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.

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

July Meeting: Brewing by the Numbers with Emily Storey

Monday July 8th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have four exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: Brewing by the Numbers by Emily Storey
      • A presentation breaking down entry statistics from Brew Slam 2018
    • Guest: Kathy Yan Li will discuss the new Canadian Homebrewers Association
    • 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 July Meeting: Brewing by the Numbers with Emily Storey

Member Profile: Matti Cowan

Matti Cowan

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m both an entrepreneur (Silly Sir Brewing Co.) and a supply teacher with the TDSB. It’s perfect because affords me lots of flexibility to simultaneously (attempt to) run a business.

What got you into homebrewing?

I started homebrewing in the winter of 2015 with a homebrewing kit from Magnotta (really just prepared wort in a bag, and a packet of dry yeast). I was just bored, I think. I was probably seasonally depressed. My first beer was an Irish red ale, which despite being over-carbonated, tasted pretty good. I quickly graduated to all grain brewing after a couple extract batches, and have been hooked ever since. My love stems from the blend of art and respect for science that’s required in brewing.

Continue reading Member Profile: Matti Cowan

HomebrewCon 2019 – Recap

Another fantastic year at HomebrewCon came to a close last week, so I thought I would put together a recap post.

This was my fifth year attending and every year feels fresh. Endless opportunity to:
– Learn from dozens of seminars
– Collect swag/ingredients
– Network with homebrew industry suppliers
– Meet and chat (and maybe even share a meal) with your homebrew heroes
– Judge among the best BJCP judges at NHC Final Round
– Make new homebrew friends
– Taste incredible homebrewed beer (& mead/cider)
– Get inspired by other clubs at Club Night

Continue reading HomebrewCon 2019 – Recap

Last Brewer Standing #1 – Winner!

We have a winner!! 🏆 The final round of our Last Brewer Standing competition pitted Evan Bonsell and Kieth Caines against each other, and they were instructed to brew a Maibock. The final judging took place at the May Club Meeting, using a blind judging panel to select the winner. This was a long, fun ride that began last summer with 32 brewers, and we can finally announce that…

Kieth Caines has been crowned the Last Brewer Standing!!

Continue reading Last Brewer Standing #1 – Winner!

Club Barrel Fill #4 – Recap

On May 25th we emptied the beautiful Golden Sour (from Fill #3) that went in barrel back on April 28th 2018. It is a beautiful, golden sour. With just a hint of oak from the barrel a great tartness and beautiful mouth feel. Very nicely executed beer.

Once the Golden Sour was out, we immediately refilled the barrel with our 4th recipe, a Flanders Red style beer. Realizing there will be some residual bacteria and Brettanomyces yeast that should add an interesting skew to the style. For good measure we also added 8 packs of Wyeast Roeselare Blend (3763), graciously donated by Brew North.

We hope to let this beer age for a year in the barrel at our generous hosts, People’s Pint. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements on the next style going into the barrel and the opportunity to be a part of it!

Racking the Flanders Red into for Barrel Fill #4

People’s Pint even put their portion of the Golden Sour (#3) on the GTA Brews tap!

Continue reading Club Barrel Fill #4 – Recap