Dear GTA Brews Members,
Out of an abundance of caution of the ongoing COVID-19 / CoronaVirus pandemic, the GTA Brews Board of Directors have decided that it is prudent to re-examine and adjust our schedule of spring events.
Hop Buy Postponed
Hop Buy participants have already been notified that it has been postponed from the original date of Sunday March 22nd. We will announce a new date for in a few weeks, but we are aiming for mid-late April, depending on how the virus situation develops.
The hops will stay fresh in the freezer at the supplier, so we don’t lose anything by postponing. The cider part of the hop buy will not be postponed since it has already been pressed, frozen, and delivered to our temporary holding location (The Homebrew Beer Academy). Instructions will be sent to people that purchased cider once we work out the details.
Club BOTY Entry Shipping On Hold
(Updated March 16th, 2020)
The situation has continued to escalate, and many local businesses have closed, including our drop off locations. We felt it wasn’t appropriate to ask any new drop off locations so we have decided that we will put a hold on club shipping until further notice.
This includes the ALES Open shipping deadline that was set for March 21st. We will refund any shipping fees that have been paid to the club. At the moment ALES is proceeding with their competition, and not offering to refund entry fees. We hope they will change their mind, but this is outside the control of the club. If you would still like to enter the competition, you will need to manage your own shipping for the time being.
We will re-evaluate entry shipping for later comps in a few weeks.
Grain Buy Postponed
Due to the Hop Buy being pushed back to April, we are pushing the Grain Buy back to May. We were almost ready to launch the sign up, but will now hold off until a new pick up date in mid-late May can be solidified.
April Club Meeting
The April meeting is currently scheduled for Monday April 20th, due to Easter Monday falling on our traditional 2nd Monday of the month. At this time there are no changes planned for this event.
Spring Showdown Cancelled
Our annual Spring Showdown competition was in the initial planning stages to take place in early May, but we have decided to cancel the competition. With the Grain Buy moving back to May, and the uncertainty around additional event schedule changes that may be needed, we felt this was the best choice we could make.
Planning and running homebrew competitions is one of the most effort intensive things we undertake as a club. Given the evolving virus situation, and the other events that have moved back, we didn’t feel we could still put together the kind of competition we want to run.
We would like to thank The Homebrew Beer Academy for offering to come in as our title sponsor for Spring Showdown this year. This gesture is very much appreciated, and we hope our members will appreciate it as well.
If the opportunity arises we may consider running another competition in the early summer. However it is just as likely that we may decide it is wise to focus our efforts on Brew Slam instead.
BJCP Beer Judging Exam in May
There is a BJCP Beer Judging Exam scheduled for Saturday May 23rd. At this time we aren’t planning any changes to this event.
Learn2Brew for Canadian Homebrew Day
Canadian Homebrew Day is scheduled for Sunday June 7th, 2020. Due to the static nature of the national date, we are planning to stay the course on planning this event. We are looking to run another multi-site Learn2Brew again this year.
Thank you for your understanding, we hope you can appreciate that these changes are the responsible direction to go. The health and safety of our members is important to us, and we felt that postponing our events would limit unnecessary exposure to others during our busy events.
One last note; please support our local breweries and businesses in these uncertain times. As more people are electing to stay in, our local breweries and homebrew shops will undoubtedly see a reduction in foot traffic through their doors. Please consider buying some beer to drink at home from their retail shops, or even from their online stores.
Thanks again for reading this letter! We are sending our best wishes of happiness and health to each of you, and your families.
GTA Brews Board of Directors
(Eric Cousineau, Bear Alberico, Jim Bruce, Rob Towle, David Larocque)