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.

Member Profile: Eric Cousineau

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

My profession is Computer Engineering. I am a proud member of a pre-silicon IP team at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc. We design, verify, and deploy a portion of the hardware logic that goes into the various GPU products that we make.

I’m also the Founder and President of GTA Brews, which also takes up quite a bit of time. It’s been a ongoing joke among the club officers that I’ve been too busy running the club to answer the questions for a member profile, but here I am! You win Rob!

What got you into homebrewing?

I started homebrewing because I wanted to explore my pre-existing love of craft beer, and learn more about it.

I had become really into beer while in university (~2008), and I even co-authored a column called Beer Buzz in the Engineering Society Newspaper (Iron Warrior). I had seen my friend (Kyle Smith) brewing up a storm on social media, so shortly after I graduated I bought myself a Brooklyn Brewshop kit from Chapters (Tip: Go to a homebrew shop instead, way fresher!). I brewed my first batch in January 2013 and the rest is history!

Continue reading Member Profile: Eric Cousineau

December Meeting: Holiday Gathering

Monday December 9th 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!

Continue reading December Meeting: Holiday Gathering

November Meeting: Brewing Science with Escarpment’s Nate Ferguson

Monday September 9th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have five exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: Brewing Science by Nate Ferguson of Escarpment Labs
    • Style of the Month: American Pale Ale and Other Pale American Ale
      • Presented by: Emily Storey
    • Homebrew Advent Swap
    • Structured Tasting
    • Bottle Swap

We are going back to our gracious host, Muddy York Brewing Co! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. Don’t forget to buy some bottles from their shop!

Continue reading November Meeting: Brewing Science with Escarpment’s Nate Ferguson

Brew Slam 2019 – Results Are Posted on torontobrewing.ca

(Dec 4th, 2019) Edit: They are are also now available on gtabrews.ca

The Award Ceremony has concluded for 2019, and the results have been announced! If you weren’t able to attend, your medal(s)/prizes will be shipped. If you are a local that couldn’t attend, please arrange to pick up your prizes directly from us.

Results

Click Here to view the Brew Slam 2019 Results

Scoresheets

Scoresheets have been uploaded to the entry software, all you need to do is login, go to your Account page, and look for the “gavel” icon next to each entry. You might also notice a miniBOS checkmark next to your entry, this means it was in contention for a medal. This will allow you to download the scoresheets for that entry. Direct link to profile
Gavel Icon: 

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Scoresheets From John Palmer

This year our special guest for the judging weekend was John Palmer, and our volunteers had a blast hanging out with him all weekend. A lucky 34 entrants will notice a 3rd scoresheet in their PDF file, completed by Palmer himself while our judge pairs took turns judging a beer with the king of homebrewing.

I will follow up with a more complete wrap up post, but for now, congrats to all the winners!

Cheers,
Eric Cousineau
Organizer, Brew Slam 2019

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October Meeting: Finishing Beer: Post-Fermentation

Monday October 22nd at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have two exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: Finishing Beer: Everything After Fermentation to Make Great Beer
    • Structured Tasting

This October we are going back to our gracious host, Northern Maverick Brewing Co.. Thanks for hosting us! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. Their food is fantastic (try the Jamaican patties), and they have plenty of beer-to-go in their bottle shop!

Continue reading October Meeting: Finishing Beer: Post-Fermentation

Audio Recording of Kveik Q&A with Lars Marius Garshol

This past September we were lucky to have Lars Marius Garshol attend our September Meeting for a special Q&A session, along with our friends from Escarpment Labs. Lars also shared news about his upcoming book from Brewers Publications, Historical Brewing Techniques.

Big thanks to Escarpment for bringing Lars to Toronto, and sharing him with us! Also thanks to Muddy York Brewing Co for hosting the meeting!

James Kennedy was ready with his audio recorder and has assembled a bootleg soundtrack of the Q&A for anyone too listen to. Check it out below!

Find Us in the Cask Days 2019 Homebrew Section!

Cask Days is coming up this weekend and we’re very excited to have coordinated a whole section of the festival devoted to featuring homebrewers. Check out the full cask list here.

While these beers were brewed by many of the most talented homebrewers around, they don’t technically qualify as homebrew since they were brewed at commercial breweries. In addition to beer brewed by GTA Brews members, we also have casks from Durham Homebrew Club, Maple City Brewers Alliance, and Toronto Brewing!

Which one are you most excited to try? Hint, you want 182…

Our club member Guillaume (cask 183) has setup his Cask Helper website again, to help you track and plan your time at the festival!

Group Photo @ 3 PM (Session 1 Only)

As is tradition, we will be taking a group photo of homebrewers at 3:00 PM during session 1, in front of the homebrew section sign. Make sure to wear your GTA Brews swag for the photo, and don’t forget to set your phone alarm for 2:50 PM so you remember to make you way over.

Thank You To Our Partners

Big thanks to all our brewery partners for letting us brew with them! Please stop by breweries and say thanks by buying a pint, or some beer to go!

Big thanks for Nik Cole for coordinating the homebrew section again this year! Also thanks to Toronto Brewing for storing the empty casks, and Bear for storing the full casks!

Member Profile: Bear Alberico

Bear Alberico

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Homebrewing is an occupation? Seriously though, I own and run a business that manufactures professional hair care products. It’s remarkable how similar it is to running a brewery; mix water and other ingredients in a kettle, fill them into bottles, then market and sell them. Beer shampoo anyone?

What got you into homebrewing?

I was a drummer in a reggae band and started making beer for our band to drink at rehearsals. Wasn’t great stuff, but it was cheap.

Continue reading Member Profile: Bear Alberico

Brew Slam 2019 – Entry Registration is 7 Days Away!

Visit this page for the full details: gtabrews.ca/brew-slam/

[BREW SLAM 2019 – Toronto, ON]

Entry Registration Opens: Sept 25th, 2019
Entry Deadline: Nov 2nd, 2019
Judging Dates: Nov 8th – 10th, 2019

Entry Limits:

  • Total cap of 850 PAID entries
  • Per-entrant caps: 2 pp for Sept 25 – Oct 2, then up to 6 pp starting Oct 3

ENTRY REGISTRATION FOR BREW SLAM 2019 (#BREWSLAM) IS 7 DAYS AWAY, SO IT’S TIME TO SHIFT GEARS AND GET READY!

GTA Brews is excited is excited to build on last year’s massive success which saw 826 entries, from 191 entrants, in 8/10 provinces, judged by 75 judges, over just 3 days, making this the largest homebrew competition in Canada! We are ecstatic to have John Palmer attending as our guest of honour (Nov 8-10) to help ring in our 5th year!

This is a BJCP sanctioned competition, and also part of the Canadian Brewer of the Year (BOTY) circuit. The judging will take place at Amsterdam Brewery (Leaside) from Nov 8th to 10th. Judging will be performed by BJCP ranked judges and pro brewers, using the BJCP 2015 Guidelines and Provisional Styles.

OUR COMPETITION RULES HAVE BEEN UPDATED TO ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO ENTER

This year we have implemented a few changes to the structure of the competition in order to encourage more entrants:

  • The total cap has been moved to PAID entries, rather than registered entries
  • The per-entrant cap is staggered to allow prospective entrants a full week opportunity to register at the lower cap

September Meeting: Share your Kveik Beers with Richard Preiss & Lars Marius Garshol

Monday September 9th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have six exciting meeting elements!

We are going back to our gracious host, Muddy York Brewing Co! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. Don’t forget to buy some bottles from their shop!

Continue reading September Meeting: Share your Kveik Beers with Richard Preiss & Lars Marius Garshol

Grain Buy – Fall 2019

The GTA Brews Fall 2019 Grain Buy is open!

We're back at it again with the launch of our Fall 2019 Grain Bulk Buy!  

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, they deliver your online order to breweries all over Toronto for FREE!

All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca.

Key Info:

  • Sign Up Open: Monday September 2, 2019
  • Sign Up Close: Tuesday September 17, 2019 (11:59 pm)
  • Split Night: Friday, October 4th, 2019 (5:30 pm - 8:30 pm)
  • Pick Up Day: Saturday October 5th, 2019 (10:30 am – 1:30 pm)

Reminders

  • Updates are sent to the email registered with you GTA Brews membership account
  • Please sign up to volunteer through the volunteer form below
  • 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!

Announcing Brew Slam 2019 – Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

August 26th, 2019 – Toronto, ON

Inquiries about Brew Slam 2019 should be sent to: comp@gtabrews.ca

GTA Brews is excited to announce our fifth annual, nation-wide, homebrew competition for beer, mead, and cider; Brew Slam 2019 (#BrewSlam)! We are excited to build on last year’s massive success which saw 826 entries, from 191 entrants, in 8/10 provinces, judged by 75 judges, over just 3 days, making this the largest homebrew competition in Canada! We are ecstatic to have John Palmer attending as our guest of honour (Nov 8-10) to help ring in our 5th year!

This is a BJCP sanctioned competition, and also part of the Canadian Brewer of the Year (BOTY) circuit. The judging will take place at Amsterdam Brewery (Leaside) from Nov 8th to 10th. Judging will be performed by BJCP ranked judges and pro brewers, using the BJCP 2015 Guidelines and Provisional Styles.

Continue reading Announcing Brew Slam 2019 – Homebrew Competition

Cask Days Homebrew Section 2019

Cask Days 2019 is fast approaching and will run this year from Oct. 18 - 20, and that means we need to get some beers brewed for this year’s homebrew section! With that in mind applications are now open at the link at the bottom of this post.  Brewing for Cask Days and getting to … Continue reading Cask Days Homebrew Section 2019

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!

August Meeting: BOTY Winner Panel and Q&A

Monday August 12th at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have two exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: BOTY Winner Panel and Q&A
      • Panelists: Chris Hughes, Darrell Kelly, Matt King, Mark Hubbard, Andrew McCready, Nick Hodowsky, Iain Robertson
      • Panel Moderator: Eric Cousineau
    • Structured Tasting

This June we are going back to our gracious host, Northern Maverick Brewing Co.. Thanks for hosting us! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. Their food is fantastic (try the Jamaican patties), and they have plenty of beer-to-go in their bottle shop!

Continue reading August Meeting: BOTY Winner Panel and Q&A

GTA Brews Survey 2019 – Now Open!

Our annual general survey is now accepting submissions! We use the results of this survey each year to help inform the direction of the club and identify areas of strength and opportunities to improve. The survey will remain open until 11:59 PM on August 30th!

Update: Survey deadline extended until 11:59 PM on Thu Sept 12th!

This survey is open to both members and non-members, since we want to hear from everybody! The survey takes as little as 5-10 mins if you elect to answer only the mandatory questions, or a little longer if you choose to write more detailed answers (and we hope you do).

How can we make the best homebrew club in the world even better?!

Participants are eligible for a drawing of gift cards to Brew North and Toronto Brewing! Thanks to our local homebrew stores for donating these prizes to help encourage participation, please support them with your patronage!

This club belongs to all of us, and we want to make sure are all satisfied with the value you get for your membership. There will always be some challenges, but we are always looking for solutions and opportunities to improve. Please share your thoughts in as much detail as you are comfortable with, and we promise to read and seriously consider them.

Member Profile: Emily Storey

Emily Storey

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Short answer: I am a scientist.

Long answer: I am a researcher in photonics. Think electronics, except I deal with photons instead of electrons. I shine lasers at liquids and then look at the scattered light. The light tells me what’s in the liquid, and how much is there.

What got you into homebrewing?

My partner Rob saw a homebrew kit at a grocery store in Vancouver. My Dad is a homebrewer, so I knew what we were getting into. A quick trip to Dan’s Homebrew Shop later, and the hobby has consumed most of our apartment for about 6 years.

Continue reading Member Profile: Emily Storey

September Guest: Kveik with Lars Marius Garshol

At our July meeting we announced that Lars Marius Garshol (of Larsblog) will be attending our September club meeting (Sept 9th). He’ll be in town for Escarpment’s Kveikstokk on Sept 10th, and agreed to come check out our club meeting and taste some homebrewed kveik beers!

Escarpment Labs‘ Richard Preiss will also be in attendance, making this a double Kveik whammy! As many of you know Richard has been a huge proponent of kveik, and have driven significant research into this exciting family of yeast.

Lars is responsible for the popularizing this workhorse yeast in the home and craft brewing world. This article from Good Beer Hunting does an excellent job telling the story about how Lars documented and popularized Kveik yeast.

Continue reading September Guest: Kveik with Lars Marius Garshol