Welcome to GTA Brews

We are Toronto’s local homebrew club and our goal is to help our members learn how to make the best beer/mead/cider possible! We run events, competitions, bulk buys, and lots more. Club Meetings are the 2nd Monday of each month. Join as a Member to get access to all our events and services. Keep up with our latest news:

Join on Facebook: GTA Brews Facebook Discussion Group
This group serves as the main discussion hub for over 2000 local homebrewers. Ask your brewing questions, and check out what others brewing to get inspired for your next brew!

Sign Up for: GTA Brews Mailing List
New members are automatically added to the mailing list, but anyone can sign up here. Emails consist of Monthly Newsletter and occasional reminders about events/sign-ups.

Grain Buy – Fall 2022

The GTA Brews Fall 2022 Grain Buy is open!

We're back at it again with the launch of our Fall 2022 Grain Bulk Buy!  Make sure you take a good look at the catalogue as we have some newish additions (Raven from the Czech Republic and Canada's own Prairie Malting). In addition to the grain buy catalogue on this page,  Toronto Brewing is offering GTA Brews members with 17% off items from the JaDeD wort chillers offered through their website! Details can be found in the post below.

Thanks again to Toronto Brewing for hosting, please make sure to give them your love and make some purchases on pick up day! All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca.

Key Info:

    • Sign Up Open: September 8, 2022
    • Sign Up Close:  September 25, 2022 (11:59 pm)
    • Pick Up Day: Saturday, October 15, 2022 (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
      • PICKUP LOCATION: Toronto Brewing (Chesswood Location)
      • You MUST book a pickup timeslot
    • NO SPLITS - FULL BAGS ONLY

Reminders

    • Updates are sent to the email registered with your GTA Brews membership account
    • If you didn't get the announcement email or order confirmation, check your spam!
    • Reminder that some items are special order, and may be delayed
    • You can find all your gtabrews.ca orders on your My Account page

This content is only available for GTA Brews Members. Please visit our membership page to join today!

If you are already a member, don't forget to Log In!

September Meeting: Pull Your Head Out Of Your Cask! with Mary Beth Keefe / Tim Burnett from Granite

Location: Muddy York Brewing Co.
Date: Monday September 12th, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

We swing BACK to the east side this month at Muddy York Brewing Co!!! We’re pleased as punch to have Mary-Beth Keefe and Tim Burnett, from The Granite Brewery and Tied House, to give us a talk on Cask Conditioned Ales (aka “Real Ale”)

As we are now back to in-person meetings, please be respectful of the presenters and keep your chatting to a minimum.

Also, please don’t forget to patronize our hosts!! Muddy York offers a wide selection of fine beers to go so don’t hesitate to grab some especially if you don’t get out to see them as often as you’d like!

Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading September Meeting: Pull Your Head Out Of Your Cask! with Mary Beth Keefe / Tim Burnett from Granite

August Meeting: Cooking With Beer (and Chris!) with Chris Tower!

Location: People’s Pint Brewing Company
Date: Monday August 8th, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

In Person again (sort of) at People’s Pint Brewing Company in the Junction!!! This month we’re trying something a bit different for our in-person meeting. Our presenter will NOT be present but will still present! (read on for more information) Chris Tower will be giving a delicious talk on cooking with beer!

As we are now back to in-person meetings, please be respectful of the presenters and keep your chatting to a minimum.

NOTE: Our presenter this month will be virtually joining us – we’ll broadcast the presentation via the big screen and make it a bit easier for those that can’t attend to review the presentation after the fact!

Also, please don’t forget to patronize our hosts!! People’s Pint offers a wide selection of fine beers to go so don’t hesitate to grab some especially if you don’t get out to see them as often as you’d like!

Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading August Meeting: Cooking With Beer (and Chris!) with Chris Tower!

Recording: Whoa That’s Wild! (Yeast Capture & Testing) with Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder of Escarpment Labs!

Recording from the July 2022 meeting of GTA Brews Homebrew Club in Toronto, Canada.(NOTE: The club is still figuring out how to best record these in person sessions so please bear with us until we can sort out getting better quality video and audio available)

We were back to IN PERSON meetings at Muddy York Brewing!!! For the East End of the GTA, this was the first time we have been back in person at Muddy York and we were so happy to hearing from our good friends at Escarpment Labs! Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder came to the meeting to give us a talk on Wild Yeast Capture and Testing!

Recording: Style O’ The Month: Mead!

Recording from the July 2022 meeting of GTA Brews Homebrew Club in Toronto, Canada. (NOTE: The club is still figuring out how to best record these in person sessions so please bear with us until we can sort out getting better quality video and audio available)

Emily was in-person for her final “Style Of The Month” presentation for July! If you missed June’s meeting you’d realize that Emily couldn’t make June’s meeting so we’re hopeful she can get to Muddy York for the final category: Mead! Emily looked at the mead style guidelines in more detail. We’ll miss seeing Emily and hearing the various styles!! Thanks for all your hard work on this Emily!

Announcing Summer Showdown 2022 – Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page and register!

Our popular seasonal homebrew competition is back for 2022, in person! We will be accepting all styles of beer, and for the first time we will be using the new BJCP 2021 Guidelines! Since this is our small competition, entry will be restricted to GTA Brews members only.

This seasonal competition is designed to be a “low stakes” introduction to BJCP competitions for club members to enter their beers for feedback and fun. The focus is on providing excellent feedback, so we keep the entry cap low. Our hope is that lots of first-time entrants will find themselves on the winners list and be motivated to continue entering competitions. This competition will be judged by BJCP Judges according to the newly released 2021 BJCP Guidelines.

If this if your first competition, please read our BJCP Competition Guide for tips on entering. If you aren’t sure which category to enter your beer, bring it to a club meeting, or email comp@gtabrews.ca.

Continue reading Announcing Summer Showdown 2022 – Homebrew Competition

Member Profile: Xander Smith

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in film, TV and commercial production. I work as a lighting technician (ie. gaffer, electric, key grip, best boy (akg). I am currently working on a union film tv production here in the city, called Beacon 23.
I am also a partner in a video game company working as a Dev on level, character and story design.

What got you into homebrewing?

I worked as a line cook in a bier market that opened up in Etobicoke. I was exposed to a lot of craft beer and Belgian trappist beer. I underwent the first level of Prud’homme training, but unfortunately the company didn’t file it properly (so I have to redo it). Soon after I bought myself a 1 gallon beer kit that I failed miserably at. About a year later, my friend who moved to Australia gave me his 5 gallon home brew kit, it worked out and I’ve been brewing ever since.

Continue reading Member Profile: Xander Smith

July Meeting: Whoa That’s Wild! (Yeast Capture & Testing) with Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder of Escarpment Labs!

Location: Muddy York Brewing Company
Date: Monday July 11th, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

We are back to IN PERSON meetings at Muddy York Brewing!!! For the East End of the GTA, this is the first time we’re back in person at Muddy York and we’re so looking forward to hearing from our good friends at Escarpment Labs! Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder will be coming to the meeting to give us a talk on Wild Yeast Capture and Testing!

As we are now back to in-person meetings, please be respectful of the presenters and keep your chatting to a minimum.

Also, please don’t forget to patronize our hosts!! Muddy York offers a wide selection of fine beers to go so don’t hesitate to grab some especially if you don’t get out to see them as often as you’d like!

Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading July Meeting: Whoa That’s Wild! (Yeast Capture & Testing) with Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder of Escarpment Labs!

June Meeting: Everything You Wanted To Know About Mashing with Pietro Caira!

Location: People’s Pint Brewing Company
Date: Monday June 13th, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

This month we are SUPER excited to be back to IN PERSON meetings!!! And since we haven’t had a proper in person meeting in, oh, about 2+ years it’s going to be exciting since there’s a lot of new stuff to announce! Firstly, our “west” meeting location has changed to be at PEOPLE’S PINT BREWING CO. 90 Cawthra Ave in Toronto. Secondly, we’re stoked to hear People’s Pint’s head brewer and former GTA Brews member Pietro Caira talk to us about all things Mash related (well, almost all things – I don’t think Pietro’s going to talk about the “Monster Mash”. . . . . ) !

As we are now back to in-person meetings, please be respectful of the presenters and keep your chatting to a minimum.

Also, please don’t forget to patronize our hosts!! People’s Pint offers a wide selection of fine beers to go so don’t hesitate to grab some especially if you don’t get out to see them as often as you’d like!

Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading June Meeting: Everything You Wanted To Know About Mashing with Pietro Caira!

Canadian Homebrew Day 2022

We are pleased to announce that our 2022 edition of Canadian Homebrew Day (CHD) will be in-person at Toronto Brewing‘s Geary Ave location!

Sat. June 4th, 2022
Toronto Brewing (211 Geary Ave)
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

On Saturday June 4th, we will have two live brewing demonstrations.

  1. David Chang-Sang of Chang Sang Estates Homebrewery will be joined by Colin Green to brew up a batch of his Oat N About pale ale, which he originally created in collaboration with our friends at Muddy York Brewing Co.
  2. Darrell Kelly (multi-award winning homebrewer and BJCP Judge) will be brewing up a batch of his famous German Pilsner

Recipe #1: Darkness English Porter by Matt King

The 2021 Canadian Brewer of the Year (BOTY circuit) was our very own Matt King. For CHD 2022, he graciously shared one of his favourite recipes for us to brew at home!

Recipe #2: Betty Blonde by Barley’s Homebrew Supplies

Barley’s Homebrew Supplies from New Westminster, BC was voted as Canadian Homebrew Shop of the year for 2021. To celebrate CHD 2022, owner Curtis supplied his favourite Blond Ale recipe for us to brew!

If you are indeed brewing that day, please take some pictures and share it with our community and beyond by tagging GTA Brews and #CanadianHomebrewDay in your posts!

May Meeting: Cider Brewing and Tasting with Revel Cider!

Date: Monday May 9th, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

This month we are exceptionally excited to have Tariq Ahmed join us from Revel Cider talk to us about cider brewing! His presentation will focus on Revel Cider, their cider brewing philosophies and a guided tasting of two of their ciders. Please see details on how to get their cider below!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading May Meeting: Cider Brewing and Tasting with Revel Cider!

Summer Thirst Quenchers Bottle Share!

Exchange Date: Sunday June 26th, 2022 @ 3:30 PM (Don't be late!)Exchange Location: To Be Announced, but in TorontoParticipation Fee: FREE

Some feedback coming out of the member survey this yea...

This content is only available for GTA Brews Members. Please visit our membership page to join today! If you are already a member, don't forget to Log In!

Member Profile: Aaron Van Gramberg

Aaron Van Gramberg

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in the Maintenance Department for the York Region District School Board.

What got you into homebrewing?

I always wanted to try making my own homebrew. When Covid came around it became the perfect opportunity for me to try just that. I started with a Brooklyn Brew Shop Kit and then went from there.

Continue reading Member Profile: Aaron Van Gramberg

April Meeting: Lager Brewing and Tasting with Sonnen Hill!

Date: Monday April 11th, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

This month we are exceptionally excited to have Calum and Lauren join us from Sonnen Hill Brewery talk to us about lagers! Their presentation will focus on brewing lagers and will include a guided tasting of four of their beers, so make sure you check out some ways (see here) you can get their beers before April 11th!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading April Meeting: Lager Brewing and Tasting with Sonnen Hill!

Pre-Meeting Post – Sonnen Hill Group Order!

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see details related to the Sonnen Hill Group Order!. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

This may be a wee bit early to be talking about a meeting that’s about 2 weeks away BUT there’s good reason for it! Our guests for our April meeting will be Calum and Lauren from Sonnen Hill Brewing and the focus will be on lagers!

Part of that meeting will include a guided tasting of four of Sonnen Hill’s lagers (Low & Slow, Vienna, Munich and Gold). If you plan on attending the Club Meeting on Monday April 11 @ 7:30pm – and you’d like to participate in that guided tasting you can do one of the following:

  1. Place an order for these four beers direct from the brewery; OR
  2. Locate these beers yourself via one of the retailers (e.g. Toronto Brewing; Bottega Volo) that carry Sonnen Hill’s beers; OR
  3. Participate in our club’s group buy in order to save on shipping. If interested in participating in the group order, please email your exact order to meetings@gtabrews.ca. All orders must be submitted by April 4, 2022.
    • Payments will be settled after the order is placed w/ Sonnen Hill
    • East End pickup location (exact location TBD).
    • At this time, we do not have a West End pickup location – if you are interested in serving as a West End pickup location, please email meetings@gtabrews.ca

If you have any questions regarding the guided tasting, please email meetings@gtabrews.ca.

Continue reading Pre-Meeting Post – Sonnen Hill Group Order!

Grain Buy – Spring 2022

The GTA Brews Spring 2022 Grain Buy is open!

We're back at it again with the launch of our Spring  2022 Grain Bulk Buy!  Make sure you take a good look at the catalogue as we have some new additions (Raven from the Czech Republic and Canada's own Prairie Malting).

Thanks again to Toronto Brewing for hosting, please make sure to give them your love and make some purchases on pick up day! All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca.

Key Info:

  • Sign Up Open: Wednesday March 16, 2022
  • Sign Up Close:  April 1, 2022 (11:59 pm)
  • Pick Up Day: Saturday, April 23, 2022 (11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
    • PICKUP LOCATION: Toronto Brewing (Chesswood Location)
    • You MUST book a pickup timeslot
  • NO SPLITS - FULL BAGS ONLY

Reminders

  • Updates are sent to the email registered with your GTA Brews membership account
  • If you didn't get the announcement email or order confirmation, check your spam!
  • Reminder that some items are special order, and may be delayed
  • You can find all your gtabrews.ca orders on your My Account page

This content is only available for GTA Brews Members. Please visit our membership page to join today!

If you are already a member, don't forget to Log In!

March Meeting: Beer / Food Pairings with Lauren Richard!

Date: Monday March 14th, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

As we March towards spring this month (you see what I did there?) we are excited to have GTA Brews Member Lauren Richard (pronounced akin to “Rocket Richard”) with us to impart her knowledge on something our club has never looked at before – Beer / Food Pairings!!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading March Meeting: Beer / Food Pairings with Lauren Richard!

Annual General Meeting of GTA Brews – March 6, 2022

Please RSVP using the form below to help us track expected attendees and make sure we hit our required quorum!

Date: Sunday March 6th, 2022
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Special note: When joining the Zoom meeting, please ensure your display name is your first AND last name! This will assist with attendance.

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

The annual GTA Brews AGM will be conducted from 8:00PM-9:30 PM on Sunday March 6th, 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this will be hosted virtually using Zoom, however we hope to make this an exciting annual in-person event in the future. To reach the quorum required to hold the meeting we need 43+ members to attend, so please mark your calendars and plan to attend!

The meeting will be chaired by current President, David Larocque.

Continue reading Annual General Meeting of GTA Brews – March 6, 2022

February Meeting: The (REAL) Garage Brewery with Stephen Rodermond

Date: Tuesday February 15th, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

It’s February and this month we are happy to have GTA Brews Member Stephen Rodermond to give us a presentation on opening up a brewery (yes… a legal brewery) in his garage!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading February Meeting: The (REAL) Garage Brewery with Stephen Rodermond

Member Profile: Luke Van Oort

Luke Van Oort

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Software engineering at Wave Financial working on our small business banking offerings.

What got you into homebrewing?

The short answer is mirin and Merit SVP.

The long answer is that I made a bit of wine in university and helped my then-roommate Jesse with his meadmaking for a while (some members might remember Jesse’s excellent bochet from the bottles he was wandering around with at the Brew Slam 2019 award ceremony), but I only really got into homebrewing seriously was when I got frustrated with the poor availability of hon-mirin in Ontario and started making choujiu (a Chinese style of rice wine that’s sort of like nigori sake) in the hopes of eventually being able to make a decent substitute. Eventually I progressed into also making fruit wines for turning into vinegar, but I held off on beer due to the equipment requirements.

Luckily, I eventually stumbled upon Lars Marius Garshol’s blog and realized that I could adapt some of the techniques and ingredients that Norwegian farmhouse brewers were using to allow me to brew beer in my condo with absolutely minimal equipment. The final kick to start was having Merit SVP and wishing that I could have something that was similarly low ABV, complex, and quaffable available to drink without having to make my way to Hamilton to acquire it.

I haven’t really chased the SVP flavour profile consciously since my first few brews, but when I brought a can of it home from the Toronto Brewing bottle shop earlier this year, my girlfriend commented that she could taste a definite common thread between it and a lot of the things I brew, so perhaps it made a greater impact than I thought!

Continue reading Member Profile: Luke Van Oort

January Meeting: The Shape of Water Chemistry with Eric Cousineau!

Date: Monday January 10th, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

HOPPY NEW YEAR! This month we are happy to have GTA Brews Member (and former club President) Eric Cousineau back to give us a presentation this month on water chemistry!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading January Meeting: The Shape of Water Chemistry with Eric Cousineau!

December Meeting: Holiday Gathering

Monday December 13th at 7:00 PM
People’s Pint Brewing Company
90 Cawthra Ave, Unit #101, Toronto, Ontario, M6N 3C2  MAP

This month come hang out, swap homebrews, and mingle!

This December we are being hosted by People’s Pint Brewing Company. Thanks for hosting us! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. They have plenty of beer-to-go in their bottle shop!

What’s Different From The Last Time We Met?

As we are still within a global Pandemic, and we want to ensure safety for our members and for People’s Pint staff, please note the following:

  • Capacity Limits: a maximum of 40 fully (aka double) vaccinated members will be allowed to attend.  “Purchase” your free ticket at the end of this post to reserve your spot!
  • Vaccine Passports: Please ensure you have downloaded your Ontario Vaccine Certificate (QR Code) from the Ontario Government’s website as you’ll be required to present it in order to attend.
  • Physical Distancing: While only fully vaccinated members will be in attendance, please remember to treat others with respect and, if someone’s uncomfortable, provide them the appropriate personal space.

Continue reading December Meeting: Holiday Gathering

2021 Homebrew Advent Begins!

A few months ago we opened sign up for our 8th annual GTA Brews Homebrew Calendar. The participation fee was $10/person, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). We also included the option to donate extra (in $10 increments) to CAMH to help us on our fundraising efforts.

We’re pleased to announce that (as of writing) we have raised $370 for CAMH! There’s still time to donate using the following item. Donations will be accepted until Tues Dec 14th.

As is tradition, James Kennedy has designed a custom advent graphic showing each beer that is part of the calendar. As is also tradition, he has taken artistic liberty based on the name given to the beer, at least for the members that gave their beer a name.

Advent Calendar

November Meeting: Those Czech (and now Italian) Pilsners with Annie Johnson!

Date: Monday November 8th, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM ET

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

This month we are exhilarated to have Annie Johnson, an American Homebrewers Association Brewer Of The Year award winner, give us a presentation this month on everything pertaining to Czech (and now Italian) pilsners!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading November Meeting: Those Czech (and now Italian) Pilsners with Annie Johnson!

Club Barrel Fill #5

Time to announce the sign up for our fifth club barrel fill for this new bourbon barrel! The barrel will stay in its current home at Peoples Pint Brewing Co.

We will be filling the new bourbon barrel with a Russian Imperial Stout. Want in on this fun members-only project? Log in, then click the link below and apply for the barrel. We will randomly pick applicants to participate in the barrel fill.

This content is only available for GTA Brews Members. Please visit our membership page to join today!

If you are already a member, don't forget to Log In!

2021 GTA Brews Advent Calendar

Exchange Date: Sat. November 27th, 2021 @ 11:00 AM (Don't be late!)Exchange Location(s): Common Good Beer Company (475 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough, ON M1R 4E5)Participation Fee: $10

The Annual G...

This content is only available for GTA Brews Members. Please visit our membership page to join today! If you are already a member, don't forget to Log In!

October Meeting: Yeast Q&A with Dr. Richard Preiss of Escarpment Labs!

Date: Monday October 18th, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

GTA Brews Members: You must login to see the link and password. If you have logged in and cannot see them, please refresh the page.

This month we are over-the-moon to have Dr. Richard Preiss, co-founder of Escarpment Labs, give us a presentation this month and take a Q&A on all things yeast related!

As with any conference call, please mute your microphone if you aren’t speaking, this really helps cut down on background noise. During Q&A segments we will make use of the “Raise Hand” feature.

Continue reading October Meeting: Yeast Q&A with Dr. Richard Preiss of Escarpment Labs!

Member Profile: Guillaume Couture-Lévesque

Guillaume Couture-Lévesque

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m a tech lead at Prodigy Game, where I work on making tools for people making the game that teaches kids math.

What got you into homebrewing?

A friend bought me John Palmer’s How To Brew, and Beer and Philosophy for my birthday saying I might like it. Read both books and learned a lot, but then did nothing until my wife bought me one of the Brooklyn Brew Shop 1 gallon kits. I had fun and kept at it after that.

Continue reading Member Profile: Guillaume Couture-Lévesque