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 – Spring 2024

The GTA Brews Spring 2024 Grain Buy is open!

Now that you've just bought lots of hops, it's time to buy some malt so you can make beer. The Spring 2024 Grain Bulk Buy is here!  New this year are malts from Mississippi Mills Malting Co. This is a Canadian craft maltster in Pakenham, Ontario. They are the preferred maltster of Avling Kitchen & Brewery.

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: May 4, 2024
    • Sign Up Close:  May 19, 2024 (11:59 pm)
    • Pick Up Day: Saturday, June 8, 2024 (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
      • PICKUP LOCATION: Toronto Brewing (Chesswood Drive)
      • You MUST book a pickup timeslot
    • NO SPLITS - FULL BAGS ONLY
      • If you wish to split a bag, we encourage you to arrange  the split with other members on the GTA Brews Facebook group or Messenger chat.

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!
    • 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!

Annual General Meeting of GTA Brews - May 13, 2024

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

Date: Monday May 13th @ Rainhard Brewing Co.!
Time: 7:00 - 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.

The GTA Brews AGM will be held from 7:00PM to 10:00 PM on Monday May 13th, 2024. Please try to make an effort to attend this important corporate function, integral to the operation of our beloved club. We will have a mix of important club business such as reviewing the club survey results, summarizing the clubs financial position, reviewing the past initiatives and looking ahead to future ones. 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 President David Chang-Sang and Vice President Josh Davis.

Continue reading Annual General Meeting of GTA Brews - May 13, 2024

April Meeting: Q&A at True History

Location: True History Brewing
Date: Monday April 8th, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

Brewer and co-founder Adam Shier will be hosting us at True History Brewing for a talk on the genesis of True History, his approach to traditional German brewing, and a guided tasting of some of the current masterpieces on tap. Come prepared with some questions for Adam, and remember, bring your tasting glass!

Also be sure to SIGN-UP for structured tastings if you'd like some feedback on your latest brew.

Don't forget to patronize our hosts! True History 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!

Continue reading April Meeting: Q&A at True History

March Meeting: The Road to Judician

Location: Rainhard Brewing
Date: Monday March 11th, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

What's the difference between a Maibock and a Doppelbock? Is this SRM appropriate? Does my beer have notes of snozzberries? How are babies made?? These are questions only a certified Cicerone or BJCP judge can answer. Learn how to become one with Cicerone, BJCP judge and GTA Brews director Onur Çaka this month at Rainhard Brewing. Come share a beer and learn about the process of becoming a cicerone and BJCP judge from one of our own. And remember, bring your tasting glass!

Also be sure to SIGN-UP for structured tastings if you'd like some feedback on your latest brew.

Don't forget to patronize our hosts! Rainhard 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!

Continue reading March Meeting: The Road to Judician

Member Profile: Kym Watts

Kym Watts

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

My day job is a Senior Pipeline Technical director. Outside of the animation and VFX industry this is a mix of a solutions architect or automation software engineer.

What got you into homebrewing?

My grand father was brewing from coopers tins in the late 90’s, I helped with a couple of batches, i was too young to enjoy beer, so I was just a helper. Brewed some more coopers tins with some roommates in our laundry room. 

Ended up having to move to Canada for work, after a couple of years of moving cities, found good work in Toronto, ended out moving down the road from a fairly prolific brewer who got me more into brewing. Started with partial extract and moved to all grain. So really got my feet drenched in 2010 and been at it since.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kym Watts

February Meeting: Avling

Location: Avling Brewery
Date: Monday February 12th, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

We're exploring more of the GTA this month with a visit to Avling Brewery. Brandon from Avling will be giving us some insight on the mashing process for lagers and mixed fermentations, as well as LoDo (low oxygen) brewing, blending and bottle conditioning. We'll also have a hands-on tasting component of Avling beers...so remember, bring your tasting glass! And homebrew is welcome too of course!

Also be sure to SIGN-UP for structured tastings if you'd like some feedback on your latest brew.

Don't forget to patronize our hosts! Avling 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!

Continue reading February Meeting: Avling

Member Profile: Wuilmer Venegas

Wuilmer Venegas

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I am a computer engineer working as an SAP Business One functional consultant. My job involves the implementation of software throughout all stages of the project. In summary, it's a mix of consulting, software design, and support.

What got you into homebrewing?

I always had a curiosity about brewing beer but didn't have the drive to do it. Then, during the early months of the pandemic with all the confinement and loss of a family member, I needed a distraction and a new hobby. My wife gave me an online tasting and a beer-making event. Unfortunately, the event was canceled, so I thought, "I have plenty of time, why not buy the supplies and give it a try?" I started watching YouTube videos to understand the materials needed, realized there were various methods, and chose the one I considered the simplest – using extract. After enjoying the process with extract, I wanted to try the full process, so I bought a basic all-grain kit.

Continue reading Member Profile: Wuilmer Venegas

January Meeting: Wet & Wild - Intro to Brewing Water with Eric Cousineau!

Location: Rainhard Brewing Co
Date: Monday January 8th, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

It's 2024; a new year and the perfect time to hone our technical brewing skills. To kick things off, as is now traditional, Eric Cousineau will be focusing on the controversial and mysterious dihydrogen monoxide molecule, a colourless and odourless chemical compound also referred to by some as DHMO, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Oxide, or simply by its "street" name: "water."

Despite this nefarious chemical being found to cause sweating and urination, being a major component of acid rain, contributing to erosion, decreasing the effectiveness of automobile brakes, and being deadly if inhaled, it's still the #1 ingredient of beer at nearly 95%... More info on this in the video below:

Come visit us at Rainhard Brewing to get educated and learn how to manage this problematic molecule.

We'll also be re-establishing the long lost art of Structured Tastings at the beginning of this meeting. Bring some homebrew (and some thick skin (just kidding)) to get an expert critique from BJCP-minded judges on what's working for the beer, and how you might improve it further. Don't worry, it's all good-spirited and with the intent of helping everyone (including the judges) improve.

Also, please don't forget to patronize our hosts!! Rainhard 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!

And, Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading January Meeting: Wet & Wild - Intro to Brewing Water with Eric Cousineau!

Member Profile: Dan Mills

 Dan Mills

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I have a degree in survey engineering and specializes in forensic measurements….long winded and technical way of saying that I take accurate measurements from photos and videos for use in legal cases.

What got you into homebrewing?

I have always loved procedural, technical and process driven things…(see occupation 😊 ). The process of making beer falls squarely into that. I had thoughts of opening a brewery, as many of us have had, and decided working on some recipes that the first step. I have given up the dream of a brewery for the time being but still am working on brewing and recipes.

Continue reading Member Profile: Dan Mills

December Meeting: Holiday Party & Muddy York Farewell

Location: Muddy York Brewing Co.
Date: Monday December 11th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

It's that time of year again, and we'll be ringing it in with a festive holiday social get-together at our old stomping grounds Muddy York Brewing. This is one you DON'T want to miss, as it is likely our last opportunity to enjoy the space & hospitality of Muddy York's 22 Cranfield Rd location (more on that below).

In addition to socializing, spreading holiday cheer and sharing homebrew, we'll also be kicking off the quarter finals of Last Brewer Standing. Competitors should arrive around 7pm with their bottles ready for judging (and feel free to bring another bottle or two for sharing...).

Other than that, there's no presentation this month, this meeting is all about hanging out, reminiscing about old times, sharing brews and talking beer.

Don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Continue reading December Meeting: Holiday Party & Muddy York Farewell

Brew Slam 2023 - Results Are Posted on torontobrewing.ca

The Award Ceremony has concluded for 2023, 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 2023 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: 

image.png

Scoresheets From Annie Johnson

This year our special guest for the judging weekend was Annie Johnson, and our volunteers had a blast hanging out with her all weekend. Lucky entrants will notice a 3rd scoresheet in their PDF file, completed by Annie herself while our judge pairs took turns judging a beer with her.

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 2023

November Meeting: Lager Brewing with Escarpment Labs

Location: Rainhard Brewing Co
Date: Monday November 13th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

The yeast gods smile upon us - Escarpment Labs is back! Join us this November to learn the ins and outs of brewing with the elusive and fastidious beasts called Saccharomyces pastorianus ( also known as lager yeast)! Crispy Bois incoming. This meeting will be back in the West End at our familiar Rainhard Brewing Co. spot!

It wouldn't be a homebrewing meeting without homebrew, so bring your latest creation and don’t forget to bring your tasting glass! Bonus points if it's Brew Slam branded...

Also, don't forget to patronize our hosts! Rainhard 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!

Continue reading November Meeting: Lager Brewing with Escarpment Labs

Member Profile: Cory Fletcher

Cory Fletcher

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Mechanical Engineer for various types of large buildings. Think mechanical design of HVAC, plumbing, storm, sanitary, gas, fire protection systems, etc.

What got you into homebrewing?

I stumbled upon a ‘howtobrew’ website one day in 2018 and couldn’t stop reading. Shortly after, I attended an in-person how-to-brew session at Toronto Brewing, and a love for the hobby was born.

Continue reading Member Profile: Cory Fletcher

October Meeting: Yeast Flavour & Biotransformation with Escarpment Labs & Rorschach

Location: Rorschach Brewing Co.
Date: Monday October 16th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

Join us this October for a deep dive into yeast flavour and biotransformation (is it real, how real is it, can we make it realer?!) with premier yeast provider Escarpment Labs. We're temporarily departing from our regular meeting spots this month - this meeting will be taking place at Rorschach Brewing Co.!

Our hosts at Rorschach are excited to have us, and have even gone so far as to request that our members share their homebrew with the staff! So, bring your latest creation and don’t forget to bring your tasting glass!

Also, don't forget to patronize our hosts!! Rorschach 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!

Continue reading October Meeting: Yeast Flavour & Biotransformation with Escarpment Labs & Rorschach

GTA Brews Survey 2023 - Now Open!

club survey - morpheus

Help us make the club better, and win prizes while you do it! Our club survey is now accepting submissions from now until 12pm Noon November 14th.  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.

Your opinions really matter! Insight from previous surveys have kicked off initiatives like:

      • "GTA Bux" - coupon codes to reward members who volunteer their valuable time to help us execute our events and services.
      • Blind Triangle Tests - interactive beer tasting to learn about and compare key brewing variables.
      • Alternating Meeting Locations - consistent East and West locations, consistent times for easier planning.
      • More Recipes -  increased integration of your excellent recipes into the club database.
      • Varied Events - Off-flavor classes, brewery meetups/presentations, Learn to Brew days are BACK!

This survey is open to both members and non-members, since we want to hear from everybody! The survey takes as little as 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 will be entered into a draw for one of three $5 GTA Bux coupons or a $20 gift card from Toronto Brewing! Thanks to our local homebrew stores for donating 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.

Grain Buy – Fall 2023

The GTA Brews Fall 2023 Grain Buy is open!

We're back at it again with the launch of our Fall 2023 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! All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca.

Key Info:

    • Sign Up Open: October 2, 2023
    • Sign Up Close:  October 15, 2023 (11:59 pm)
    • Pick Up Day: Saturday, November 4, 2023 (11:00 am – 1:00 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!

2023 GTA Brews Advent Calendar

Exchange Date: Sunday November 26th, 2023 @ 11:30 AM (Don't be late!)Exchange Location(s): Muddy York Brewing CoParticipation Fee: $10

The Annual GTA Brews Advent Calendar is back for the 10th 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!

Announcing Brew Slam 2023 - Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

September 1st, 2023 - Toronto, ON

Inquiries about Brew Slam 2023 should be sent to: comp@gtabrews.ca

GTA Brews is excited to announce our sixth annual nation-wide homebrew competition for beer, mead, and cider: Brew Slam 2023 (#BrewSlam)!

The competition has been on hiatus since 2019 due to the global pandemic and the club is so excited to finally bring the competition back for 2023! We are so thankful for the entrants and judges that reached out to us the past few years to express their desire to see the competition come back, and we can't wait to return to building on 2019's massive success. That competition saw 819 entries from 281 entrants representing 9/10 provinces, judged by 77 judges over just 3 days, which made it the largest homebrew competition in Canada!

We are ecstatic to have homebrewing luminary Annie Johnson attending as our guest judge of honour (Oct 27-29) to help ring in our 6th year!

Continue reading Announcing Brew Slam 2023 - Homebrew Competition

Member Profile: Shane Schlesinger

Shane Schlesinger

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m a high school science teacher with a background in Biology.

What got you into homebrewing?

Gigging in bands over the years at beer festivals and gastropubs introduced me to the more mainstream craft breweries, as well as a variety of European styles. I actually played in a band with Zack Weinberg many years ago around the time he was just starting up Toronto Brewing – he used to bring homebrew to rehearsals, which put the idea of brewing one day in the back of my mind. Years later when my wife and I started dating, she introduced me to a lot of great local craft beer and got me hooked. Not long after, she bought me a one-gallon Brooklyn Brewshop homebrew kit as a Chrismukkah gift. I brewed a couple of batches, loved the process, and I have been brewing ever since.

Continue reading Member Profile: Shane Schlesinger

Summer 2023 Club T-Shirt Order!

If you've been waiting for the opportunity to get your hands on club t-shirts, now is your chance! Between July 12th and August 11th, you can pre-order your very own GTA Brews club t-shirt! Visit the club Swag Shop to order.

Note: Shirts will be available for pick up at the September 11th meeting at Rainhard Brewing

We're going with a neutral natural colour so the three colour front really pops!

Club Logo Shirt

This shirt design adds some colour and hops to a skull and was inspired by the rock band "The Grateful Dead" on the front while the GTA Brews logo and "Brew More Of What Makes You Happy" is on the back in eye popping green!

June Meeting: Last Brewer Standing Judging And A Summer Send Off!

Location: Muddy York Brewing Co.
Date: Monday June 12th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET

Can you believe that we're already half way through the year? It's JUNE and we're back at recent winner of the Canadian Brewery Of The Year; Muddy York Brewing Co. For this meeting we are focusing on our Last Brewer Standing Judging (Style: California Common). There will be plenty of social time, some announcements and some discussion of where we may want to go for social excursions in July / August!

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 June Meeting: Last Brewer Standing Judging And A Summer Send Off!

Canadian Homebrew Day

Canadian Homebrew Day Graphic

We are pleased to announce that our 2023 edition of Canadian Homebrew Day (CHD) will be in-person at Toronto Brewing!

Sat. June 3rd, 2023
Toronto Brewing (3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

On Saturday June 3rd, we will have a live brewing demonstration and be available to answer questions and promote the hobby!

GTA Brews Members will be present and brewing on club equipment! Come, see, support and chat with fellow members and members of the public about the joys of homebrewing!

Recipe: Bia-Hoi by Chi-Linh Dinh

This year's recipe, now available in the club recipe database, is Chi-Llinh Dinh's "Bia Hoi" (Vietnamese for 'fresh beer'). Chi created this recipe to emulate the type of beer her father and his friends used to drink back home in Vietnam! It's a light (about 4% ABV), refreshing lager that's meant to be drank very fresh once it's fermented!

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!

Grain Buy – Spring 2023

The GTA Brews Spring 2023 Grain Buy is open!

We're back at it again with the launch of our Spring 2023 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). Details can be found in the post below.

Thanks to Common Good Brewing Co. 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: May 05, 2023
    • Sign Up Close:  May 19, 2023 (11:59 pm)
    • Pick Up Day: Saturday, June 10, 2023 (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
      • PICKUP LOCATION: Common Good Brewing Co.
      • 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!