Chatham-Kent brewery releases beer in honour of local baseball legend Fergie Jenkins

A Chatham-Kent craft brewer has launched a brand new beer in honour of local baseball legend Ferguson Jenkins.

Dubbed ‘Fergie’s Classic Pilsner,’ Sons of Kent head brewer and co-founder Colin Chrysler said the lager-style beer has a refreshing, approachable taste that should offer drinkers a clean, crisp flavour.

“Being a pilsner, the style originated in the Czech Republic,” Chrysler said. “And what that means is a lot of the ingredients that are in the beer, including the hops, are actually from the Czech Republic.”

The label artwork was designed by a British Columbia artist, and features a hand drawn rendition of Jenkins mid-pitch. 

“Obviously we used a lot of references from his old photos from back in the day,” said Chrysler. 

Jenkins was born in Chatham, Ont. in 1942, and played as a pitcher for most of his 18-year career.

Jenkins is a three-time MLB All-Star, and lead the league in wins twice — once in 1971 and again in 1974.

Chrysler said the idea for the Fergie Jenkins brew came from the Childhood Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent earlier this spring. 

The goal was to craft a brew in honour of Jenkins, with a portion of profits going to the Children’s Treatment Centre in Chatham-Kent.

“[Jenkins] has family that’s actually benefited from the Childhood Treatment Centre as well,” said Chrysler. “He obviously still has a lot of family here in Chatham, so his family was really on board.”

However, the brewery had to put the beer on hold while they worked out the flavours and ingredients. 

“The opportunity came up again in the fall, and the Children’s Treatment Centre was onboard and Fergie was onboard,” said Chrysler. 

The beer will be available at the Sons of Kent brewery, as well as in LCBO stores in the southwestern Ontario.

Chrysler said the beer will likely be available until late October or early November, “but it really depends on how quick it sells.”

… A lot of the ingredients that are in the beer … are actually from the Czech Republic.– Colin Chrysler, head brewer and co-founder of Sons of Kent

This isn’t the first time the Sons of Kent brewery has crafted a beer in honour of a hometown hero. 

The brewery previously mixed up a batch of ‘Doc’s Lager,’ to commemorate Ken “Doc” Houston, a Chatham-born right winger who played with the Calgary Flames, Washington Capital and Los Angeles Kings. 

In addition to his numerous baseball accolades, Jenkins was honoured on a Canada Post stamp to commemorate Black History Month in 2011.