Welcome – Join our Facebook Group!

Welcome to the homepage for GTA Brews. This page serves as an central location for more long term items that would get lost on our facebook page, and to host our competition software. All of our communication goes through the facebook page for the time being.

Join us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GTA.Brews/

*We have monthly meet-ups every second Monday of the month for paid members (covers the cost of club permits). Check our Facebook events page for details. Hope to see you soon we’re a friendly lot of guys and gals!

BJCP Exam Prep Tips from Eric

– The online exam is based on the BJCP Exam Study Guide, and many of the questions come right out of there
– The styles tested are from the 2015 BJCP Guidelines
– There is a 20 question practice exam available for free at: http://bjcp.coursewebs.com/
– Write this exam ASAP so you can judge homebrew competitions for practice
– You can buy the 3for2 package that gives you three attempts, do this and just take a shot to see where you need to study
– Here is a blog post that goes over the exam and gives some more specific tips: http://barleypopmaker.info/2014/07/23/5-tips-for-passing-the-bjcp-online-entrance-exam/
– The online exam is PASS/FAIL, so don’t obsess about perfection, just focus on getting through it so you can begin practicing scoresheets
Tasting Exam Prep Tips
– Practice filling out scoresheets for all kinds of beers, especially ones that aren’t world class examples
– I highly recommend that everyone read the BJCP Scoresheet Guide before the exam so you have an idea what the graders are looking for
– My blog post has lots of tips, including a breakdown of an exam that I scored 82 on
– My blog post has lots of links at the bottom, but here are a few favourites:
Tasting Exam Outline
– Exam consists of writing scoresheets for 6 beers, with 15 mins given per beer
– Bring mechanical pencil, erasers, and other writing items you want
– Only basic calculators can be used, no smartphone apps
– This is a closed book exam, referring of the guidelines is not allowed
– The exam only covers categories 1-26, specialty categories are not included
– Be prepared to write neatly and firmly to ensure the graders can read your writing clearly when scanned, also do not write to the edges or on the back of the pages

Grain Buy – Spring 2017

The GTA Brews Spring 2017 Grain Buy is now open!

Thanks again to Toronto Brewing for hosting, please make sure to give them your love and make some purchases on pick up day! Don’t forget, now they deliver your online order to breweries all over Toronto for FREE!

All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca

Key Dates

Sign Up Open: Saturday Apr 29th, 2017
Sign Up Close: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 (11:59 pm)
Split Date: Friday, Jun 2nd, 2017
Main Pick Up Date: Saturday Jun 3rd, 2017 (10:30 am – 1:30 pm) Continue reading Grain Buy – Spring 2017

Member Profile: Mark Verok

Mark Verok

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I appraise commercial real estate. I’m an AACI, which basically means I value the stuff that banks lend on and developers spend way way too much money on.  The bulk of my time in the past year though has been concentrated around starting and marketing Katalyst Brewing Company.  We are listed in the LCBO and will very shortly be in stores!

What got you into homebrewing?

If I recall, I was sitting talking to my father, and somehow beer came up, I had tried making wine a few times, with varying success, and he said “I don’t think that’s a great idea, not sure it’s that easy”.  Of course, I have spent the past couple of years throwing home brewed beer at him.  I won this round Pete! Continue reading Member Profile: Mark Verok

Member Profile: Kat Goodale


Kat Goodale

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I was a computer studies teacher at a girl’s school for 12 years, but made a career change in 2013. I was accepted into the Brewmaster program at Niagara College, and am now a brewer at Magnotta Brewery in Vaughan.

What got you into homebrewing?

My dad! He’d been homebrewing on and off since the 1985 beer strike, and we helped by bottling. I inherited his bottle capper, which is still as much of a PITA to use now as it was then.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kat Goodale

Member Profile: Jon Mains


Jon Mains

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m a businessman. I work as a financial analyst at a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, crunching numbers, financial statements, spreadsheets, graphs, charts, Excel baby!

What got you into homebrewing?

Some combination of unemployment, curiosity, frugality, education, and entrepreneurial aspirations. I had recently completed my Master of Business at U.B.C. in Vancouver, and had a lot of spare time while job hunting. As someone who loves craft beer and cooking, I figured I could probably brew up a decent batch myself while simultaneously saving money! By the way, I’ve yet to save any money making my own beer, the equipment is expensive!

I started reading every book I could get my hands on and anything I could find on web forums. With an undergraduate degree in Biology, the science of brewing came quickly and easily, that’s when the same thought crossed my mind that crosses every homebrewer’s mind, “Why not start a brewery?!” Continue reading Member Profile: Jon Mains