Brew Slam 2016

Register now! We encourage participants, judges, and stewards to register now for the competition so we can keep you in the loop!

Quick Jumplinks:
How Does it Work?
Entry Rules and Details

Summary Info

Entry Deadline: Sept 24th, 2016
Judging Dates: Sept 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016
Judging Location: Amsterdam Brewery (45 Esandar Dr)
Pop Up Bar and Awards: TBA

Cost of Entry: $7 first entry and $6 for subsequent
Payment: Paypal
Styles Accepted: All BJCP Beer/Mead/Cider styles
Entry limits: 1 entry per classic style subcategory (1-26, C1, M1).  2 entries per specialty category (21B, 27-34, C2, M2-M4), must be different beers.

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GTA Brews is excited to announce our second annual, nation-wide, homebrew competition; Brew Slam 2016 (#BrewSlam2)! This is an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition, and also part of the Canadian Brewer of the Year circuit. The judging will take place at Amsterdam Brewery (Leaside) from Sept 30th to Oct 2nd.


We are excited to build on last year’s success and make Brew Slam 2016 bigger and better. Our goal is to make this the premier competition in the area for both judges and entrants. Toronto has the largest pool of BJCP judges in Canada which allows us to focus on the best quality judging and feedback possible. We are also excited to work with some fantastic sponsors for even better prizes than last year!


Entries for Brew Slam will be accepted at the shipping and drop off locations beginning on September 2nd, the same day that the system will start accepting entry registrations. The entry deadline for all entries to arrive at the shipping and drop off locations is end of business day on Saturday September 24th. Ship early to avoid delays.

Judges and stewards please sign up through the registration link at the top of this page, or by emailing

How Does It Work?

First time entering a competition? Read this!

If you have never entered a competition, don’t be nervous! This section will give you an idea what goes on.

In short: BJCP sanctioned competitions are all about working with BJCP trained judges to evaluate and score entries against the BJCP Guidelines, while being blind to the identity of the entrant.

Each entry is judged by a pair of judges as part of a flight of same and/or similar style beers, grouped into what we call “tables”. While judging a beer, the judges complete a scoresheet noting their impressions of various aspects  of the beer and providing technical and stylistic feedback to the entrant. Judges are trained to be as precise as possible using constructive and descriptive language (avoiding phrases like “nice hop flavour”). The beer is then given a score out of 50 at the bottom of the sheet by each judge. After the scoresheet is completed the judges discuss the beer, compare scores/notes, adjust if necessary, then work together to assign medals.

The reason BJCP judging is so useful is because the beers are judged blind and the judges are trained to use common descriptive terms. Blind judging is important because it removes all bias towards (or against) an entrant and allows complete honesty and a level playing field. Common descriptive terms are important because it ensures that the qualities being perceived by the judge can be communicated as clearly as possible, to be understood by multiple parties.


Brewing “To Style”

Beer styles (even specialty ones) are very useful because they help group beers with similar flavour characteristics and balance. A style/subcategory declaration helps set the drinker’s expectation for your beer.

“I Don’t Brew to Style” is a common phrase in the beer community, and there is some truth to it, but really only when you consider the classic style categories (1-26). Even then, the classic style categories are fairly broad, as long as the beer is balanced. Outside of the classic styles there are 8 specialty categories (21B, 27-34), each containing several subcategories, that capture anything else you could possibly brew. “Not brewing to style” isn’t a barrier to BJCP competitions, you just need to enter your beer in the right subcategory and provide a proper description.

Some Examples:
Coffee porter (30A), strawberry witbier (29A), dry hopped brett saison (28A), kettle soured wheat with apricot+dry hopped (28C), Black IPA (21B), and even chili+chocolate+mango imperial stout (29B) are all at home in the available specialty categories. If you brew a hybrid of several other styles, that can be entered in 34B (Mixed Style Beer). If you think you have brewed something that is completely unique and fits no where else, please enter it in 34C (Experimental Beer).

If you aren’t sure where your beer fits after browsing the guidelines, send us an email.



The winners from each category will be awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal, as well as gift cards and/or prizes provided by our fabulous sponsors. In addition to the medals and prizes above, the following special awards will be crowned:

Best of Show – Awarded to the single best beer entry, as determined in a final judging round with the best beers from the whole competition. Second and third BOS winners will also receive special prizes.

Toronto Brewer of the Year – Awarded to a local* brewer based on total points earned from medals in the beer categories. (Gold = 3 pts, Silver = 2 pts, Bronze = 1 pt)

Mead Maker of the Year – Awarded to the single best mead entry, by score

Cider Maker of the Year – Awarded to the single best cider entry, by score

A minimum score of 30 is required to medal. For Toronto Brewer of the Year, local is defined as living in the Greater Toronto Area (Toronto, York, Durham, Peel, Halton).

Competition Rules

This competition is AHA/BJCP sanctioned and open to any homebrewer of legal drinking age. All entries must be made using private equipment by in the homebrewing spirit (i.e., no use of commercial facilities or Brew on Premises operations, etc.). Competition volunteers are encouraged to enter!

All entries must be received at the mailing/drop-off locations by the entry deadline. The competition organizers are not responsible for mis-categorized entries, mailed entries that are not received by the entry deadline, or entries that arrived damaged.

The competition organizers reserve the right to combine styles for judging and to restructure awards as needed depending upon the quantity and quality of entries. All possible effort will be made to combine similar styles. All entries in combined categories will be judged according to the style they were originally entered in.

Qualified judging of all entries is the primary goal of our event. Judges will evaluate, score, and provide feedback on each entry. Each flight will have at least one BJCP ranked judge. The Best of Show judging will be determined by a Best of Show panel based on a second judging of the top winners.

This competition will accept Beer, Cider, and Mead from all categories listed in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines (Cider, Mead). There is a limit of 1 entry per classic style subcategory (1-26, C1, M1), and 2 entries per specialty category (21B, 27-34, C2, M2-M4), provided they are different beers/ciders/meads. Score sheets will be emailed to participants.

Submission Details

*All Entries must be registered through the competition software and properly labeled*

Cost is $7 CAD for your first entry and $6 CAD for subsequent entries. Our preferred payment method is PayPal, though e-Transfers and cheques can be accepted with special arrangements. Cash will not be accepted.

When registering entries, make sure to follow the entry instructions (if specified) that are specified in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines (Cider, Mead). Failure to note key information may impact the judges’ scoring of your entry. However also keep in mind that too much information can also be detrimental.

Bottle Acceptance Guidelines
Each entry will consist of two 12 oz brown glass bottles. Bottles must be void of all identifying information, especially commercial/home-made labels. Any marked caps must be blacked out. A Bottle ID form must then be attached to each bottle by elastic band (NO tape please).

Bottle ID labels can be printed by clicking the print icon next to each of your entries on the “Account” -> “Entries” page. Recipe sheets and PayPal receipts are not required. Bottles will not be returned to contest entrants.

12 oz (~355 mL) brown bottles are strongly preferred; however we will also accept green/clear glass, sizes up to 22 oz, and corked bottles, if necessary.

Shipping Location

Toronto Brewing North
3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115. Toronto, ON M3J 2P6

Drop Off Locations

Brew North
1578 Queen St. E
Toronto, ON M4L 1G1 Map Brew NorthMap Brew North

Toronto Brewing Downtown
1567 Dundas St. W
Toronto, ON M6K 1T9 Map Noble HopMap Noble Hop

Toronto Brewing North
3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115
Toronto, ON M3J 2P6 Map Toronto BrewingMap Toronto Brewing


Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for helping to make this competition possible! We work with our sponsors to supply prizes for our winners, volunteers, and even participants. We are already up to an estimated $4,590 in prizes (not including pro-ams), and this will continue to grow as we get closer to the competition. Time to get brewing!

If you are interested in sponsoring our competition please email:

Title Sponsor:

Toronto Brewing

$15 gift card for each Silver Medalist
$10 gift card for each Bronze Medalist
$20 gift card for each volunteer

Judging Venue Sponsor:

Amsterdam Brewery

Judging Venue

Platinum Sponsor:

Five Star Chemicals & Supply
Five Star Chemicals

Thirty of each 1 lbs PBW & 8 oz StarSan. ARV $750

 Platinum Sponsor:

Fast Brewing

Ten FastRack kits, three FastFerment kits. ARV $690

Gold Sponsor:

The Brew Outlet
The Brew Outlet

Free copy of the Pro Android app for every competition participant. ~ARV $400

Gold Sponsor:

Everwood Ave Brew Shop
Everwood Ave Brew Shop

12x $25 gift cards. ARV $300

Gold Sponsor:

Beer Grains Supply Co.
Beer Grains Supply Co.

12x $25 gift cards. ARV $300

Bronze Sponsor:

Escarpment Labratories 10 homebrew pitches of yeast
Escarpment Labs

10 pitches of artisanal yeast. ARV $100

Bronze Sponsor:


Five copies of BeerSmith 2. ARV $100

Category Sponsors:

Category TBD:

Muddy York Brewing
Muddy York Brewing Co

Brewer for a Day, Guest Judge, and more

More sponsors will be added to this list over the coming weeks!

Awards Ceremony and Pop Up Bar
*Date TBA*

Return here once details are announced to buy your tickets for the Brew Slam Pop Up Bar where the award ceremony will take place!

Come celebrate the winners of the Brew Slam competition! Club members will brew beers especially to be served at this event, and guests will also be able to share their own homebrew with other attendees.
Medals and prizes will be presented to Brew Slam winners. There will also be exclusive door prizes for attendees provided by our sponsors.

Results From Previous Years

Brew Slam 2015

Brew Slam 2015 Results
Brew Slam 2015 Wrap Up Post

Please send questions to: