Brew Slam 2016 - Wrap Up

Brew Slam 2016 Awards wrapped up just over a week ago, results have been announced, scoresheets were posted, and prizes will be mailed (and emailed) out soon. I think it's safe to finally start writing this wrap up post after what seems like almost a whole year of prep!


Some notable accomplishments and improvements we made this year:

  • All judges Provisonal+ or Pro-Brewers
  • Scoresheets returned same day as results announced
  • All medals engraved with winner names
  • Judged all beer and mead entries in one weekend
  • Improved judging food! Gourmet sandwiches everyday!
  • Henderson Cup added with $1000 cash prize and Pro-Am collab
  • Increased the amount of sponsor benefits and better defined the tiers
  • Added a $50 travel stipend to draw in judges from further away
  • Overall improved logistics and coordination
click to view the panorama

Here's a few quick stats after this year's competition:

  • 702 registered entries, 689 entries sorted, from 9/10 provinces
  • 2nd largest homebrew competition in Canada
  • 166 participants with entries
  • 52 judges; including 1 Grand Master, and 6 National ranked judges; 22 stewards
  • 29 award categories with over $7,400 in prizes!
  • 117% increase in entry count over 2015
  • 106 people attended the Brew Slam Awards Party on Oct 15th
  • 24/29 flights averaging under 10 entries per judge, none over 12.5

Thank You Volunteers!

Thanks to all of the volunteers that made this event possible! Judges, stewards, bottle, prize, and sheet sorters, and committee members; we all share in the success of this competition.


As most competition organizers know, recruiting enough judges is always one of the most challenging aspects of any competition. We were ecstatic to see 52 judges participate over the 9 sessions, many of them returning for multiple days over the weekend! Thank you judges, we hope you all come back next year! We are working hard to make this THE judging event of the year in Ontario, and thanks to you we are one step closer.


2016 Judge Breakdown:
1 Grand Master
6 National
17 Certified
9 Recognized
9 non-BJCP Pro Brewers
9 Provisional or Rank Pending
1 GlintCap Cider Judge


Thank you to every one of our 22 stewards! You all arrived ready to learn the role and help wherever you could. This competition ran so smoothly thanks to your tireless efforts completing paperwork, washing glasses, and doing everything else that needed doing. Our bottle sorters spent a good 6 hours unpacking, checking in, labeling, and sorting our 689 entries, thanks again for your tireless efforts! Also thanks to everyone that jumped in to help with the odd tasks like prize and sheet sorting, entry transportation, etc...



Thanks again to Michael, Iain, Cody, and everyone else from Amsterdam Brewery for hosting our competition judging for the 2nd year in a row. You were gracious hosts and we hope to work with you again next year!


Last but not least, thank you to our 2016 Brew Slam Committee! The gargantuan efforts of these people helped make this competition a success. This committee worked together for several months before the competition to brainstorm ideas, plan out details, and coordinate logistics.

Brew Slam 2016 Committee

  • Organizer: Eric Cousineau
  • Head Steward: Jon Mains
  • Head Judge: Andrew Byer
  • Cellar Master: Jim Bruce
  • Registrar: Clayton Hoy
  • Social Media: Andrew Kotowick
  • Special thanks to: Craig Wallace, John Tyler, Caroline Avery, Evan Bonsell, Mark Verok, James Kennedy, Rebecca Cousineau
Cellar Master Jim pulling flights in advance so they would be ready to go to the judges on time!

Thank you Sponsors!

Click Here to see our full list of Sponsors and Prizes

We had over $7,400 worth of prizes donated by our wonderful sponsors for this competition! Thanks to them we had plenty of fantastic prizes for our winners and volunteers to enjoy.


Special thank you to our Title Sponsor Toronto Brewing for sponsoring all Bronze and Silver medals with $10 and $15 gift cards respectively, in addition to the $20 gift card for each judge/steward!


Thank you to our Platinum and Venue sponsors: Henderson Brewing Co, Amsterdam Brewery, Fast Brewing & WineMaking, and Five Star Chemicals.


Thank you homebrew stores, I hope that all those gift cards go to good use and they help get you new return customers!  Thank you to our homebrew industry suppliers, your quality products will go to good use in the hands of this country’s most talented brewers! Thank you to all our brewery and category sponsors, your swag items were very much appreciated and will be worn by with pride by our winners! Thank you to all our Pro-Am and Brewer for a Day sponsors, we can't wait to hear how the brew days go!

Fantastic lunch provided on the Saturday by BSG Canada!

Big Winners

Congratulations to the all the winners of Brew Slam 2016! There were some absolutely fantastic beers that didn't even win medals this year, so winning a medal is truly a testament to the quality of your homebrew.

Best of Show:

There were some individuals that really stood out this year, especially those that placed in the Best of Show round of judging. Congrats to Cory Day from Vanbrewers and Michal Foniok from Cowtown Yeast Wranglers for clinching the top spots in the competition, you both make incredible beer!

Pl. Brewer(s) Entry Name Style Club
1st Cory Day Pamn? American Pale Ale vanbrewers
2nd Cory Day Czeck Please Czech Premium Pale Lager vanbrewers
3rd Michal Foniok Smokey The Beer Says Beers Can’t Talk Rauchbier Cowtown Yeast Wranglers

Toronto Brewer of the Year:

In order to recognize and celebrate our local homebrewers we created the Toronto Brewer of the Year award. This year the local brewer with the most medal points was none other than our club President, Eric Cousineau! Second place was a tie between Evan Bonsell and Matt Ballyk.

Pl. Brewer(s)
1st Eric Cousineau
2nd Evan Bonsell
2nd Matt Ballyk


Henderson Cup:

Henderson Cup Details

New for 2016, we have partnered with Henderson Brewing Co to award the Henderson Cup. The 10 best local winning entries are invited to resubmit a 3rd bottle to Henderson. Henderson then picks which of these beers they like best and award that brewer $1000 cash and an opportunity to collaborate with them on their January seasonal beer. This year's winner was Ed Hitchcock, congrats Ed! Thanks again to Henderson Brewing Co for this fabulous prize!

Ed Hitchcock Genus Rubus Fruit Lambic


Thanks for reading our wrap up post! The rest is all pictures! We certainly succeeded in taking the competition to the next level! We're already starting to plan Brew Slam 2017 to make it even better, but the bar is certainly set high now!

Bonus Pictures:

Proudly showing off the new snazzy shirts designed by James Kennedy
Best of Show judging well underway
Awarding the Henderson Cup