All posts by Bear Alberico

Jon Mains

It is with heavy hearts that GTA Brews informs members of the loss of tireless volunteer, competitor, brewer, and friend, Jon Mains. Jon was in a tragic mountain biking accident last Sunday and he passed away peacefully this morning at St. Michael’s Hospital. His generous and helpful spirit remains ever-present even at this difficult time. Jon is an organ donor, and he will go on to give the gift of life to those desperately in need.

Anyone who has attended club events, participated in Canadian homebrew competitions, or simply been a regular participant in the club facebook group is likely familiar with Jon. From the monstrous 33 gallon batches that he brewed on his stove in five different vessels, to his endless volunteering efforts as a head steward and judge in Brew Slam and Spring Showdown, to his love for brewing crushable light lagers that put BMC to shame, Jon’s passion for this hobby was palpable and his approach utterly unique. And although he was nationally recognized for lager brewing, he would want us to remind you that he medalled in IPA with the best of them.

Jon will be well-remembered and dearly missed by the close friends that met him and came to love him through GTA Brews. At meetings and club events Jon made members both old and new feel instantly at ease with his friendly and welcoming nature. Good conversation came easily to Jon, and many of you will recall that he was always ready to share an engaging discussion, crack a joke, or offer some indispensable piece of brewing advice to anyone he met.

Jon’s passing will be most closely felt by his family and loved ones, who have lost a son, a brother, a partner, or a friend. Discussions are underway among club directors about the best ways to support his family, express the gratitude we feel for having known Jon, and honour his memory. More details will follow.

Critically, if you are hurting and in need of any kind of grief support, please feel free to reach out to other club members or directors to talk. These bleak times do not have to be quite so painful as long as we come together and support each other as a community.

Jon’s funeral date and location are to be determined, but we will keep you informed. The family is asking all friends to kindly forward photos and stories to
roslynnem9@gmail.com.

June Meeting: The Journey to Folly Begins with One Beer

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

June’s speaker is John Jenkinson, who has been in charge of brewing at Folly Brewpub since late last year. John started brewing while completing a PhD in Philosophy at Western University. One of his favourite aspects of brewing at Folly is the spirit of experimentation and creative freedom through which he develops his craft. He gravitates towards mixed-fermentation ales with subtle complexity that are dry and refreshing. He loves exploring interesting flavour combinations by using new hop varieties or fermenting in oak. John is going to talk about Continue reading June Meeting: The Journey to Folly Begins with One Beer

May Meeting: Jamie Mistry of Common Good Beer Company Plus Discussion Panel

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

For this meeting we’re going to try something new in lieu of having a second presentation. Based on a topic chosen in a poll on the website, the meeting will have a panel discussion/Q&A involving selected members from the crowd interested in sharing their knowledge and opinions. Based on where the poll is at right now it looks like we’ll be discussing session/low ABV brewing, so if you’re passionate and experienced with that sort of thing please feel free to volunteer to be on the panel! And if you’re interested in something else, there’s still time to vote!

This month’s meeting is at Muddy York Brewing Co. and our special guest, Jamie Mistry of the Common Good Beer Company, will also be there to answer any of your questions about contract brewing. Continue reading May Meeting: Jamie Mistry of Common Good Beer Company Plus Discussion Panel

April Meeting: Kettle Souring & Craft Malting

After a record attendance and an incredibly informative March meeting, we knew we had a hard act to follow.  Well beer geeks, we think we’ve done it. We’re very lucky to have not one, but two great guest speakers and presenters:

Continue reading April Meeting: Kettle Souring & Craft Malting

Competitions Update

GTA Brews members represented us well in the Lethbridge Werthogs WertContest, the latest Brewer of the Year Circuit competition. Clayton Hoy took home Gold in British Bitter/Scottish Beers for his Strong Bitter named “This Used To Be Good”. Mike Vandervoort took home silver in American Pale Ale, Bronze in Specialty IPA and Gold in IPA. That IPA also claimed second in the Best of Show.

Continue reading Competitions Update

GTA Brews Brings Home the Bling from Cowtown

Congratulations to the following GTA Brews Members that won medals at the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers Homebrew Roundup 2018:

  • Mike Vandervoot, Best of Show 4th place for his American IPA, “Mosaic IPA”
  • Mike Vandervoot, 1st place in American IPA category, again for his “Mosaic IPA”
  • Iain Robertson with co-brewer Shawn Ruff, 3rd place in Dark Lager and Amber Hybrid for their entry, “What Is A Schwarzbier?”
  • Clayton Hoy, 1st place in the Bock category for his Eisbock, “Eis Eis Bockby”

And a special mention for first time winner:

  • Emery Soos, with a 3rd place win in the Scottish and Irish Ale category with his Irish Red: “Kiss My Red Blarney”

Congratulations to all of you for doing us proud!

Did you know that GTA Brews will ship your entry for free for select competitions? Click here for more information

Our March Meeting is All About Hops

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hops…

… but were afraid to ask!

That’s right ladies and gents, this month’s meeting at Muddy York Brewing Co., is all about hops. Some would argue (Mike V.) that it’s the most important ingredient in beer. Well, it’s at least top 4. Our special guest, Kyle Wynette of the The Tavistock Hop Co., will be there to answer any of your questions.

Monday 12 March at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP
Continue reading Our March Meeting is All About Hops

Northern Maverick Brewing Set to Host Our February Meeting

Come one, come all: homebrewing rookies and vets alike for a night of learning, drinking, and homebrew bottle sharing (if you want). This February we premiere a new host for our meetings: Northern Maverick Brewing Co.. Thanks for hosting us! We request that everyone spend some money to support our wonderful host. Their food is fantastic, and they have plenty of beer to go in their bottle shop!

Monday 12 February at 7:00 PM
Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
115 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2P9 MAP
Continue reading Northern Maverick Brewing Set to Host Our February Meeting