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.

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

June Meeting: Sake Brewing with Marcelo Paniza

Monday June 17th at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have four exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: Marcelo Paniza presents Brewing Sake
    • Structured Tasting
    • EKG Hop Split from Bulk Buy
    • Spring Showdown 2019 – Awards Ceremony

This June we are going back to our gracious host, Northern Maverick Brewing Co.. Thanks for hosting us! This month we have a special GTA Brews Menu that will be available to our members! 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 June Meeting: Sake Brewing with Marcelo Paniza

Member Profile: Colin Green

Colin Green

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’ve been working for the LCBO in retail since 2008, coincidentally I am the beer ambassador at my location.

What got you into homebrewing?

I’ve always had an interest in beer, and wanted to learn more about it beyond the very limited amount we are taught by my employer. It wasn’t until I was at a stag/doe party where one of the raffle prizes was a Brooklyn Brewshop 1 gallon kit. When I saw it I had that “Aha!” moment, and tried to win it. My friends grandmother ended up winning it, and I had a feeeeeeeling she wouldn’t be using it anytime soon, so I went over and bought it off her and brewed it the following week. She drives a hard bargain though, I wasn’t getting it off of her for cheap.

Continue reading Member Profile: Colin Green

Announcing Learn2Brew for Canadian Homebrew Day 2019 – June 1st

June 1st, 2019 marks the first annual Canadian Homebrew Day! To celebrate, we have moved our annual public Learn2Brew event up from the fall to coincide with this new holiday.

Learn2Brew is a multi-site event where GTA Brews club members share their love of the hobby by demonstrating the brewing process at their local brewery taproom. The goal is to help demystify the brewing process and convince craft beer enthusiasts to give the hobby a try.

Visit the Learn2Brew page for full details of the event including the partner brewery addresses, and list of participating local homebrewers.

May Meeting: Backed By Bees Mead & Last Brewer Standing Finale

Monday May 13th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have four 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 May Meeting: Backed By Bees Mead & Last Brewer Standing Finale

April Meeting: You are quite Silly, Sir.

Monday April 8th at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have three exciting meeting elements!

    • Presentation: Pro Brewer – Matti Cowan of Silly Sir Brewing Co. presents: Brewing with Spice and Fruit!
    • Eric Cousineau presents: Intro to BJCP Certification
    • Structured Tasting

This April we are going back to our gracious host, Northern Maverick Brewing Co.. Thanks for hosting us! This month the “Hoppy Hour” Snack Menu will be available to our members! 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 April Meeting: You are quite Silly, Sir.

Announcing Spring Showdown 2019 – Homebrew Competition

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

Our popular seasonal homebrew competition is back for 2019! As usual, we will be accepting all styles of beer, mead, and cider. 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 and fee 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 2015 BJCP Guidelines.

Continue reading Announcing Spring Showdown 2019 – Homebrew Competition

2019 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 Mar 30th and Apr 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 on Grain Buy weekend (Apr 26th & 27th)!

We have two designs available, in both men’s and women’s styles, each with several colour options!

Club Logo Shirt

This shirt design puts the club logo front and center so everyone knows you are a member of the best homebrew club in the world!

Continue reading 2019 Club T-Shirt Order!

Grain Buy – Spring 2019

The GTA Brews Spring 2019 Grain Buy is open!

With the hop bulk buy wrapped up, we're back at it again with the launch of our Spring 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: Thursday March 21, 2019
  • Sign Up Close: Thursday April 11, 2019 (11:59 pm)
  • Split Night: Friday, April 26th, 2019 (5:30 pm - 8:30 pm)
  • Pick Up Day: Saturday April 27, 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!

Member Profile: Kieth Caines


Kieth Caines

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Spent 35 years in the Office furniture industry, Since 2014 I’ve been working with SceneAereo Aerial Photography, we’ve done some very interesting projects over the last year including commercial real estate, construction site progress and building thermal inspections.

What got you into homebrewing?

Started making wine, getting my juice from Magnotta.
Saw their beer wort kits tried a couple of those then discovered all grain and haven’t looked back.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kieth Caines

March Meeting: Tinker Teacher Brewer DIY

Monday March 11th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have five 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 March Meeting: Tinker Teacher Brewer DIY

Club Barrel Fill #4

Time to announce the sign up for out 4th barrel fill! The barrel will stay in its current home at Peoples Pint Brewing Co.

We will be filling the barrel with a Flanders-style Red. 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!

February Meeting: Little Beasts, Big Hearts <3

Monday Feburary 11th at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have two exciting meeting elements!

This February 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 February Meeting: Little Beasts, Big Hearts <3

Help Support the Modernization of Ontario Homebrewing Regulations

GTA Brews is calling for every Ontario homebrewer to join us in asking the Government of Ontario to modernize the framework regulating the consumption of homebrew at events. Homebrew clubs sit at the center of the homebrewing community, and modernization of homebrewing regulation would enable them to continue to grow the hobby in Ontario.

Over the years we have run into many hurdles while planning homebrewing focused events. We have compiled a list of issues we see with the current framework, and elaborated them in the form of a letter. We are asking Ontario homebrewers to send this letter to their MPP, and cc the Minister of Finance. This will show the Government of Ontario that the citizens of our province want to see this included in their plan to modernize the Alcohol Industry.

Cheers, and thanks in advance for your help!

Eric Cousineau
President, GTA Brews

If you have any questions or comments about this letter, please email info@gtabrews.ca

How To Help

Step 1) Find Your Local MPP
– Use this tool to find your local MPP using Postal Code

Step 2) Create a new email draft with subject:
Request for Modernized Homebrewing Regulations in Ontario

Step 3) Address the email to
• Your local MPP (from step 1)
• cc/ Finance Minister Vic Fedeli (vic.fedeli@pc.ola.org)

Step 4) Copy and paste the letter below then
• Replace [*Local MPP*] with the name of you local MPP
• Replace [*Sender Name*] with your first and last name

Step 5) Send the email, and pass this along to your homebrew friends!

Letter to Your MPP

Dear [*Local MPP*],

The Government of Ontario is currently consulting with the public on opportunities to modernize the rules for the sale and consumption of alcohol. I support the general intent of modernizing a highly regulated sector, however I wanted to express my desire to see some targeted modernization efforts for the consumption of homebrewed beer.

Continue reading Help Support the Modernization of Ontario Homebrewing Regulations

Last Brewer Standing Update + Round 4

Last night Round 3 wrapped up at Muddy York. It was another exciting night of glory for some, shame and disappointment for others.

Here were the results:

Match 1 – 17A – British Strong Ale
Tim Burnett vs. Evan Bonsell
Evan was the winner

Match 2 – 17C – Wee Heavy
Kym Watts vs. Mark Verok
Mark was the winner.

Match 3 – 26D – Belgian Dark Strong
Jase Gudat vs. Keith Caines
Keith was the winner.

Match 4 – 15C – Irish Extra Stout
Emily Storey vs. Mike Vandervoort
Mike was the winner.

Only 4 remain.

Round 4 will have a new requirement! Tavistock Hops was super generous and donated all the hops for this round. Each brewer will be receiving 12oz of Tavistock hops that MUST be used in its entirety and no other hops may be used.

Round 4 matchups are the following:

Match 1 – 21B5 – Specialty IPA: Rye IPA
Keith Caines vs. Mark Verok
Hops: 4oz Cascade, 4oz Centennial, 4oz Rakau

Match 2 – 21B2 – Specialty IPA: Black IPA
Evan Bonsell vs. Mike Vandervoort
Hops: 4oz Cascade, 4oz Rakau, 4oz Glacier

Descriptions of the hops can be found at Tavistocks webpage here:

https://www.tavihops.ca/

Hop breakdown from Tavistock:

Cascade – Our Cascade have notes of Citrus and Mango 2018 Alpha 5.1% // Beta 7.2 % Centennial – Earthy and floral with an element of citrus Alpha 6.6 // Beta 2.9%
Rakau – Aroma’s of Stone Fruit, Red Licorice and Grassy notes 2018 Alpha 8.7% // Beta 2.% Glacier – Our Glacier have notes of Citrus, Herbal, Earthy and hints of fruit. 2018 Alpha 4.1. // Beta 5.2%

Good luck and good brewing! Round 4 will be judged at the meeting in March.

Brew Slam 2018 – Wrap Up

Brew Slam is wrapped up for another year, and what a year it was! Most prizes were shipped out to our winners before the holidays, and I finally have time to write my annual wrap up post. With 826 entries judged, were were Canada’s largest homebrew competition again for 2018!

The judging and awards for Brew Slam happened back in November, but we’ve been hard at work since then working on all the wrap up tasks to be able to mark the competition complete for another year. Don’t stop reading now because some pretty amazing things happened this year that I want to share.

Competition Stats 2018:

  • Largest Canadian homebrew competition, ever!
    • 826 entries judged
    • 847 registered entries
    • 8/10 provinces, Yukon, CT/PA, and ISRAEL!
  • 191 participants with entries
  • 135 volunteers: 75 judges, 54 stewards, 22 sorters, 10 crew
    • Likely the most judges in any Canadian beer competition, ever!
  • 31 award categories
  • 7 judging sessions, avg 7.5 entries/pair per session
  • Over $16,000 in prizes!!
Continue reading Brew Slam 2018 – Wrap Up

January Meeting: New Year New Beer!

Monday January 14th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have five 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 January Meeting: New Year New Beer!

December Meeting: Holiday Gathering

Monday December 10th 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: Cider Making with KW Craft Cider

Monday November 26th at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

This month we have three exciting meeting elements!

  • Guest Presenter: Michael Kramar from KW Craft Cider
  • New Format for Structured Tasting
  • 2018 Advent Calendar:  The bottle exchange is happening this meeting! Bring your 30 brews to swap or send a mule – We don’t want any missing dates!

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: Cider Making with KW Craft Cider

Mains’ Mos

In memory of Jon Mains and the many thousands of dollars he raised for Movember, we are putting together a team (male and female) to raise funds for this cause.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with how this works, we will simply be doing this as a team. For those who are unable or do not wish to grow facial hair, Emily Storey will be committing to a “Move” distance. This will involve running a targeted distance and raising funds that way.

Mo Bros – Basic “rules” are, you shave on the morning of November 1st. Completely clean, like a baby’s bottom. Then, you grow a magnificent (or, in my case, horrific) mustache for the rest of November. You can promote your Movember page easily through social media and raise money through donations.

Mo Sistas – In the past, the Move distance has had great success. It’s a commitment to reach a target amount of running or walking in a month. This is used as an action to drive donations through the month of November. These activities can also be promoted through social media by using activity trackers like Strava, Garmin, or Fitbit.

Jon was a serious contributor to Movember and I think this will be a great and fun way to remember Jon participate in something charitable.

Click here to join!

Thanks!
-Evan Bonsell

Last Brewer Standing – Round 3

Round 3 is commencing now. It will be a slightly different round than previous as it is sponsored by none other than Escarpment Labs who have generously provided all the yeast for the participants.

Because there will be no meeting in December, LBS round 3 will be judged at the January meaning. More time for the brewers to brew the stronger beers we have chosen. Brewers must use the specific strain provided by Escarpment.

Here are the matchups!

Match 1 – 26D – Belgian Dark Strong Ale (Escarpment St. Remy)

Jase Gudat vs. Keith Caines

Match 2 – 17A – British Strong Ale (Escarpment English Ale 1)

Tardy Tim Burnett vs. Evan Bonsell

Match 3 – 15C – Irish Extra Stout (Escarpment Irish Ale)

Emily Storey vs. Mike Vandervoort

Match 4 – 17C – Wee Heavy (Escarpment Scottish Ale)

Kym Watts vs. Mark Verok

Good luck to everyone!

Last Brewer Standing Round 2 Update!

Another exciting round took place last night at the October Meeting at Northern Maverick! Just as in previous rounds, the quality of the beer was impressive. Its almost like people are trying to win this competition.

Unfortunately, we can’t all be winners, only half the people move on past Round 2. Hearts were broken last night, and if you weren’t there, you missed a lovely poem from Emily Storey, dedicated to none other than her competitor Jesse Reynolds.

Here are the results!

1D – American Wheat (Mark Verok vs Matti Cowan)
Mark was the winner
11B – Best Bitter (Guillaume Couture-Levesque vs. Kym Watts)
Kym Watts was the winner
15A – Irish Red (Mike V vs Bear)
Mike V was the winner
20B – American Stout (Sean Holden vs. Evan Bonsell)
Stinky Bonsell was the winner
1C – Cream Ale (Jesse Reynolds vs Emily Storey)
Emily was the winner
25A – Belgian Blond (Tardy Tim Burnett vs Mark Hubbard)
Tardy Tim Burnett was the winner
14B – Scottish Heavy (Eric Cousineau vs Keith Caines)
Keith was the winner
15B – Irish Stout (Iain Robertson vs Jase Gudat)
Jase was the winner
Round 3 details will be coming in the next fews days.
Congrats to the winners, my condolences to the losers (even Guillaume).

 

October Meeting: Kyle Smith and LBS Round 2

Monday October 15 at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Company
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2P9  MAP

This month we have four exciting meeting elements!

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: Kyle Smith and LBS Round 2

2018 GTA Brews Advent Calendar

The 5th Annual GTA Brews Advent Calendar is just days away! 24 brewers will swap 24 beers at 7pm on Monday, November 26th at Muddy York. If you’re just hearing about it now, you missed the boat! K...

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!

Brew Slam 2018 – Entry Registration Now Open!

Entry registration is now open, and spots are already filling up quickly! Visit the Brew Slam 2018 page to learn more, and register your entries.

Entry Registration and Drop Off

Registration will close on Nov 3rd, or when the 850 entry cap is hit. Entries will be accepted at drop off and shipping locations beginning on Oct 11th. If you need to drop off earlier for any reason, please email us.

If the cap is hit, the site won’t allow any more entries to be registered. In this case we will do our best to follow up on unpaid entries, and verify if the entrants still need the spot(s).

Please do everyone (especially our Registrar) a favour, and only register entries you actually plan to submit, then pay for them right away. We will provide regular entry registration updates on social media.

Volunteering

Brew Slam is a volunteer driven competition, so please consider donating a bit of your time to help this competition happen. The Brew Slam 2018 comittee has been hard at work for months laying the groundwork for another fantastic year, please help us out by registering as a volunteer.

We need help with Bottle Sorting (Nov 4th), and Stewarding/Judging (Nov 9-11th), learn more on our Brew Slam Volunteer page. If you have a friend that is a BJCP judge, please encourage them to attend!

Membership Renewal 2018 – Renew before Oct 1st to avoid initiation fees!

It’s that time of year! Time to renew your GTA Brews membership!

CLICK HERE to renew now!

Last year’s memberships expire on Oct 1st, so you need the renew soon to maintain your active membership status! Don’t forget Fall 2018 Grain Buy is open now, and membership renewal is needed to participate!

As we continue to streamline club operations, we’ve made a few adjustments to the membership structure. Here’s a quick summary of the new format:

  • Dues: $20/year plus $5 initiation fee for new (or lapsed) members
  • Membership is now valid for 1 full year after sign up date, and renewal is automatic each year using the same credit card!
  • Members are welcome to bring household family members to occasional events

Due to a limitation in our membership software we have disabled the $5 initiation fee until Oct 1st, to allow current members to transition into the new membership subscription.

Membership is excellent value, and includes access to fall and spring grain buys, annual winter hop buy, monthly meetings, discounted homebrew supplies at Toronto Brewing, club projects like our barrel project and homebrew advent calendar, and much more!

Membership dues pay for the operating of the club, including paying for web services, advertising, club projects, AV equipment, Specials Occasion Permits from LLBO and more. The club is also planning to incorporate as a non-profit entity in the next 3-6 months, and there are some one-time costs associated with that transition.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at membership@gtabrews.ca.