Local businesses unite to craft bourbon barrel aged cold brew in support of Dufferin Alzheimer’s Society

October 12, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Two local businesses have joined forces to create a uniquely crafted small batch of cold brew coffee to support a good cause.

Headwaters Beverage Company has launched the “Lovers and Other Strangers” series, where it partners with local businesses to raise money for not-for-profit organizations. 

To kick off the series, Volume 1 is a blended bourbon barrel cold brew coffee called “Hurry Up and Wait,” made in collaboration with Mochaberry. The non-alcoholic beverage costs $5, with 50 cents from every can going to the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County.

With 960 cans or 40 cases brewed for this limited-edition collaboration, about $500 will be donated to the Alzheimer Society once the drink sells out.

“Get them while you can,” said Headwaters Beverage Company owner and brewmaster David Hennig, who partnered with Mochaberry’s owner Troy Brett to create the new cold brew beverage. 

For the collaboration, the pair decided to age double strength cold brewed Sumatran coffee, roasted by Mochaberry, in a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel. The brew was later blended with a fruity Brazilian coffee.

The fusion joins together a smokey, caramel flavour from the Sumatra with a citrusy, zesty flavour from the Brazilian roast.

“On the nose, there’s just a ton of bourbon barrel. It’s gorgeous,” said Hennig. “Then you take the first step, and it’s certainly lighter than you might expect. The way that it finishes, the best way I can describe it was is like a Cadbury fruit and nut bar.”

He added, “We weren’t going for that heavy, syrupy, kind of commercial cold brew taste.”

Instead, Hennig said he and Brett intended to create a unique blend of flavours that can’t be found anywhere else in the region. 

“It’s a really good balance,” said Brett. “The great thing about collaborating is you get these different profiles coming together,” 

The coffee is fair trade and organic as well.

“It’s definitely a sipper. It’s a contemplative beverage, something you want to sit and take your time with, because it develops. Each sip is a little bit different and you’ll find different things on the palate,” said Hennig. “Those are my favourite kinds of drinks.”

Brett agreed, adding, “I would envision somebody sitting on their front porch with a cigar, sipping it in a nice glass.”

He told the Citizen while the drink isn’t for everybody, with its unique fusion of flavours, it’s definitely worth trying out, especially with a portion of each sale going towards a worthy cause.

“If you want to try something unique that’s flavorful that’ll tantalize your taste buds much different than a regular cold brew, then you should try it,” said Brett. 

Hennig added, “It’s absolutely like nothing else you’ve ever had before.”

He said when he started Headwaters Beverage Co. last year, he did it with the intention of bringing more non-alcoholic drinks to the local market.

And with the goal of making Headwaters Beverage Co. more “socially conscious,” Hennig came up with the “Lovers and Other Strangers” series. He collaborates with a local business for each edition to create a unique non-alcoholic beverage. Then, the collaborator gets to choose a charity of their choice to support with a portion of the sales revenue.

“An interesting thing about it is, usually with craft beverages, it seems to always go towards the beer side. This is great that Dave’s opened up this sort of new area of non-alcoholic choice,” said Brett.

Growing up in the 80s, Hennig said the name for his beverage series came from the 98.1 CHFI radio program Lovers and Other Strangers, hosted by Sandy Hoyt.

Looking ahead to Volume 2 of the series, Hennig’s fundraising for prostate cancer for “Movember” with a beverage called Berry Rancher.

“It’s a wildberry tea with Eldorado hops,” Hennig said. “They’ve always reminded me of Jolly Rancher candy.”. 

In addition to the beverage collaborations, Headwaters Beverage Co. sells sparkling fruity hop water and sparkling teas regularly. Hennig said he’s trying to break new ground in the non-alcoholic beverage world.

“I want to do stuff that nobody else is doing really anywhere around here,” Hennig remarked.

Mochaberry has long supported the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County over the years, and with COVID-19 pausing a lot of the business’s usual fundraising activity, Brett said the beverage collaboration seemed like a great way to support the charity.

Nearly 600,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s, and with the illness’s prevalence increasing each year, the need for support is growing.

“Everybody has a handful of people in their lives that has Alzheimer’s or had Alzheimer’s, and I do have people in my life that are experiencing it now,” said Brett. “It’s a dreadful disease.”

The money raised through the beverage collaboration is helping the Alzheimer’s Society to create up to 20 Montessori Kits for individuals impacted by memory issues. 

The kits simulate activities and are used in long-term care, hospitals or homes of people living with Alzheimer’s in Dufferin County.

“Our behaviour support workers will create kits that are personalized to the clients based on their likes or dislikes. We put what they like to do with these kits,” noted Alzheimer’s Society of Dufferin County executive director Carmelina Cicuto.

For example, a client who loves birds may receive a birdhouse in their kit and a bird songbook. The kits’ items are meant to bring comfort and ease to those who receive them.

“We’re grateful for the collaboration. We’re grateful that Mochaberry chose us as the charity of choice to donate the $500. Mochaberry’s always been a supportive of the Alzheimer’s Society,” said Cicuto. “These funds will definitely help us restock our supplies for sure.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the “Lovers and Other Strangers” series or about Headwaters Brewing’s products can reach Hennig at

All of Hennig’s products are available at Harmony Foods in Orangeville.

The “Hurry Up and Wait” cold brew is available at Mochaberry while supplies last. 

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