All posts by Eric Cousineau

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!

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.

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

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

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.

GTA Brews presents Last Brewer Standing

So you’ve heard the rumblings, the mumblings and grumblings. Or maybe you haven’t. GTA Brews is introducing a NEW* style of competition. One so rad, kewl, fetch (to hell with Regina George), neato, etc, that you will have no choice but to sign up in droves**. What am I talking about? Last Brewer Standing, of course! (In case you didn’t read the title) Continue reading GTA Brews presents Last Brewer Standing

Announcing Brew Slam 2017 – Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

August 29th – Toronto, ON

GTA Brews is excited to announce our third annual, nation-wide, homebrew competition for beer, mead, and cider; Brew Slam 2017 (#BrewSlam)! This is an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition, and also part of the Canadian Brewer of the Year circuit. Judging will be performed by BJCP ranked judges and pro brewers, using the BJCP 2015 Guidelines.

Entry Deadline: Nov 4th, 2017
Judging: Nov 10th – 12th @ Amsterdam Brewery
Awards Ceremony: Nov 18th @ Henderson Brewing Company

Styles Accepted: All BJCP Beer/Mead/Cider styles
Entry limits: 1 entry per classic style subcategory (1-26, C1, M1).  2 entries per specialty category (21B, 27-34, C2, M2-M4), must be different beers. Max 15 entries per person.

Account registration is open now! Visit the Brew Slam page for details on rules, prizes, and more!

About Brew Slam 2017

This will be our 3rd year running this competition, and we’re excited to make it even better. Last year we had; 689 entries (117% increase over 2015), avg flight of only 8.67 entries/pair, 52 judges, 22 stewards, entries from 9/10 Canadian provinces, and over $7,000 in prizes. This year, we expect to become the largest homebrew competition in Canada.

About GTA Brews

We are Toronto’s local, as well as Canada’s largest, homebrew club. Since establishing in 2013, we have worked to strengthen and grow the homebrewing community through education, events, competitions, and camaraderie. We bring Toronto area homebrewers together in person, and online, to create a friendly community where we share knowledge, talk shop, and provide feedback on each others homebrews. We welcome members of all experience levels including; potential brewers, new brewers, experienced brewers, and pro brewers.

BJCP Exam Prep Tips from Eric

Online Exam Tips

Tasting Exam Prep Tips

Tasting Exam Outline

  • Exam consists of writing scoresheets for 6 beers, with 15 mins given per beer
  • Bring mechanical pencil, erasers, and other writing items you want
  • Only basic calculators can be used, no smartphone apps
  • This is a closed book exam, referring of the guidelines is not allowed
  • The exam only covers categories 1-26, specialty categories are not included
  • Be prepared to write neatly and firmly to ensure the graders can read your writing clearly when scanned, also do not write to the edges or on the back of the pages

Grain Buy – Spring 2017

The GTA Brews Spring 2017 Grain Buy is now open!

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, now they deliver your online order to breweries all over Toronto for FREE!

All questions should be emailed to grainbuy@gtabrews.ca

Key Dates

Sign Up Open: Saturday Apr 29th, 2017
Sign Up Close: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 (11:59 pm)
Split Date: Friday, Jun 2nd, 2017
Main Pick Up Date: Saturday Jun 3rd, 2017 (10:30 am – 1:30 pm) Continue reading Grain Buy – Spring 2017

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!

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Some notable accomplishments and improvements we made this year:

Fall 2016 Grain Buy

The GTA Brews Fall 2016 Grain Buy is now open!

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 Dates

Sign Up Open: Monday Oct 17th, 2016
Sign Up Close: Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Tuesday, Nov 1st, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Split Date: Friday, Nov 11th, 2016
Main Pick Up Date: Saturday Nov 12th, Continue reading Fall 2016 Grain Buy

Membership Drive for the 2016-2017 Season

As our 2015-2016 season draws to a close, we’re excited to announce that we are doing something exciting to drive membership renewal for the 2016-2017 season!

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From today until Oct 1st, we have special deals on membership where you buy some swag and get your membership for FREE! After Oct 1st, membership will be available for it’s new price of $10 per year.

Click the button below to visit the Continue reading Membership Drive for the 2016-2017 Season

Cask Days Homebrew Comp 2016 – BJCP Results

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Announcing the results from the BJCP component of the 2016 Cask Days Homebrew Competition! Please check the PDF link above for the list of winners. Congratulations to everyone that placed in the competition!

Judges were asked to nominate 1-3 beers from their table to move onto the selection component of the competition where the 10 brewers were selected. In total 21 beers were nominated for the selection round, and it was very difficult to pare that list down to only 10 beers. The selected brewers have been notified privately so we can begin planning, but their names won’t be announced publicly today. Cask Days will announce their names in early August.

Scoresheets containing the judge’s feedback and scores are still being sorted, but they will be sent out very soon.

In total we had 79 entries from 44 brewers submitted. Thank you to our 16 judges, and 5 stewards for their hard work on the judging day, we couldn’t have done this without you. There were plenty of excellent beers submitted and we wish we had enough capacity to brew more, but we we’re only able to select ten.

Don’t forget that Brew Slam 2016 is coming up in September! If you enjoyed this competition, you’ll enjoy Brew Slam even more since it is our flagship homebrew competition. We have thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, plus several Pro-Ams!

Thanks for Cask Days and Toronto Brewing for their partnership on this competition!

Here’s a few pictures from the final round to tide you over!

BOS cup mats

BOS discussion 1

BOS soo many glasses 21 beers each

August Bus Trip – Escarpment, Barn Cat, Block 3, Abe Erb!

Facebook Event

Join us for a visit to Escarpment Laboratories for a presentation on yeast with Q&A, followed by visits to Barncat Artisan Ales and Block 3 Brewing, then dinner at Abe Erb Brewing.

Tickets are $40/person for the trip, plus the dinner and any beer/merch you want to buy at the breweries. There is a limit of 56 (the capacity of the bus), so please don’t hold-off if you’re interested.

Tickets on sale here:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/gta-brews-august-bus-trip-tickets-26570758855

Itinerary:
10:00am, depart Toronto from Downsview station parking lot (easy parking and TTC).
11:15am Escarpment Labs
1:00pm Lunch (TBA)
2:30pm Barncat Artisan Ales tour/tasting
5:00pm Block 3 Brewing tour/tasting
8:00pm Abe Erb dinner
10:30pm return to Toronto

Because of the size of our group, Abe Erb has provided us with a condensed menu, and is asking that each person preorders their dinner. This way, they won’t run out of anything, and everybody will know what their dinner will cost (tax and ip inculded) so we can pay on one bill. The menu is as follows:

Salads
Caesar Salad $10
Farro Salad $10
Village Salad $10

Apps
Bone Marrow $11
Wings $14
Nachos (meat or veggie) $11 or $14 with meat
Mussels $16
Poutine (meat or veggie) $12 or $15 with meat
Charcuterie board $24

Mains
Abe Burger $16.5
Jerk chicken Burger $14
Ribs $20
Stout Pie $15.5
Jambalaya $18
Gnocchi $17
Soba Noodle Bowl $14

Full descriptions at: http://abeerb.com/menu/dinner/

Flight of beer $10
Pint of beer $6.50
(beers don’t need to be specified in your preorder).

Basic idea from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GTA.Brews/permalink/1018329691550165/

Announcing Brew Slam 2016 (#BrewSlam2)

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

July 5th, 2016 – Toronto, ON

 GTA Brews is pleased to announce the dates and details for our Brew Slam 2016 Homebrew Competition in Toronto. These dates might seem like a ways away, but it’s actually under 3 months away so get brewing and mark the deadline in your calendar!
 
Entry Deadline: Sept 24th, 2016
Judging Dates: Sept 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016
Account registration is open now! Visit the Brew Slam 2016 page for rules and entry details!
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Brew Slam 2015 (recap) was our club’s first big competition. It was a huge success with 318 entries judged in only 2 days, almost 50 amazing volunteers, and thousands of dollars in prizes!

We are excited to build on last year and make Brew Slam 2016 bigger and better. Our goal is to make this the premier competition in the area for both judges and entrants. Toronto has the largest pool of BJCP judges in Canada which allows us to focus on the best quality judging and feedback possible. We are also excited to work with some fantastic sponsors for even better prizes than last year!

About GTA Brews
We are Toronto’s local homebrew club. Since establishing our club in 2013 we have gained momentum and grown into Canada’s largest homebrew club with well over 200 Paid Members. We bring Toronto area homebrewers together in person, and online, to create a friendly community where we share knowledge, talk shop, and provide feedback on each others homebrews. We welcome members of all experience levels including; potential brewers, new brewers, experienced brewers, and pro brewers.

Announcing the 2016 Cask Days Homebrew Competition

We are very excited to announce that GTA BrewsCask Days, and Toronto Brewing have teamed up to collaborate on the first ever Cask Days Homebrew Competition. The competition will take place this July, and the deadline to enter is July 12th.

The winners of this competition will work with our partner breweries in August and September to re-brew their beer to be served at Cask Days 2016. This is a rare opportunity for homebrewers to get their name out there and share their love of the hobby with a thirsty crowd of thousands of people.

Visit the competition page to learn more and to register.

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Spring Showdown 2016 Results!

Spring Showdown judging happened yesterday April 27th. Scoresheets will be emailed out in the next week or two.

First of all, a huge thanks to all the volunteers for their hard work yesterday. Without the hard work of the judges and stewards this wouldn’t have been possible! I believe this competition was a huge success!

Also a huge thanks to Jordan and Rainhard Brewing for hosting the judging! Also thanks to Patrick Brown, Mark Verok, Andrew Byer, and Eric Cousineau for acting at drop off locations!

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View of the judges hard at work!

The results are posted in pdf below:
BOS
We had 63 entries, 16 judges, and 6 stewards. I believe the judging quality was overall high, and from where I was it seemed like judges felt comfortable and were able to focus on writing the best sheets possible.

Continue reading Spring Showdown 2016 Results!

Member Profile: Andrew Kotowick

This is a new feature we are introducing on our club blog. We will periodically profile some of our club members to help build our sense of community and also to help people get to know each other more. If you would like to volunteer to be profiled please email gtabrews@gmail.com!

*Note from Eric: Andrew is our VP Communications, and also runs our social media. I’m glad he agreed to be our first club member profiled!

Andrew Kotowick

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

For about 10 years I worked in the Casino Gaming industry. I’ve worked at a bunch of casinos around the province and I Continue reading Member Profile: Andrew Kotowick

GTA Brews Spring 2016 Grain Buy

The GTA Brews Spring 2016 Grain Buy is now open!

Thanks again to Toronto Brewing for hosting, please make sure to give them your love and make some purchases on pick up day!

Key Dates

Sign Up Open: Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Sign Up Close: Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Split Date: Friday, May 20th, 2016
Main Pick Up Date: Saturday May 21st, 2016 (10:30 am – 1:30 Continue reading GTA Brews Spring 2016 Grain Buy

Announcing Spring Showdown – Homebrew Competition!

Full details are posted here!
http://www.gtabrews.ca/competitions/seasonal-competition/

Entries Deadline: Sunday April 24th, 2016
Judging: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at Rainhard Brewing Co.

The third competition in this series will take place in April and have the theme, Spring and Warm Weather Beers! We’ve also added cider for the first time!

Also, we have updated our software to BCOE&M 2.0.1! Check out the slick new UI!

Toronto Big Brew for National Homebrew Day – May 7th

Presented by GTA Brews and Lansdowne Brewery.

Lansdowne

“In 1988, May 7 was announced before [US] Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May.” – The American Homebrewers Association

This event is an AHA registered Big Brew for National Homebrew Day Event.

Homebrew clubs around the USA and around the world celebrate National Homebrew Day differently. Our club has decided to celebrate it by partnering with a great local brewery, Lansdowne Brewery at 303 Lansdowne Ave.

On Saturday May 7th, we will collaboratively brew a 10 bbl batch of wort and split it among 50 club members to take home for a fee of $10 each (to cover the costs of the wort and competition). You can straight up ferment the wort as is, or Continue reading Toronto Big Brew for National Homebrew Day – May 7th

Club Teku Glass Order

A while ago I asked people if they would be interested in a club Rastal teku glass. Lots of people were interested so I thought I would put together a sign up sheet. We were able to find a new supplier that allowed us to lower the price to $10/glass without sacrificing the quality of the glass (still name brand Rastal Teku). The minimum order of now 200 qty instead of 144, but hopefully the 33% price reduction convinces more people to jump on or existing orders to be increased.

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Once enough people si Continue reading Club Teku Glass Order

2015 Wrap Up – What A Year!

2015 was a busy year for our club! With 2016 now upon us it’s a great excuse to reflect back at what we accomplished together! It’s also a great time to look forward to the year ahead!

Cask Days 2015
GTA Brews Club Members at Cask Days 2015 – photo by Ken Woods

Brew Slam and Summer Showdown

The first thing that comes to mind, is the huge success that was Brew Slam 2015. Our club put together a big competition from scratch this year. Starting Continue reading 2015 Wrap Up – What A Year!

GTA Brews 2015 Hop Crop Bulk Buy

The GTA Brews 2015 Hop Crop Bulk Buy is now open!

Key Dates

Sign Up Open: Friday Dec 18th, 2015
Sign Up Close: Wednesday Jan 6th, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Sunday Jan 10th, 2016 (11:59 pm)
Split/Pick-Up Date: Saturday Jan 23rd, 2016
(Split: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Pick-Up: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm)

Updates will be sent via email you sign up with on the Continue reading GTA Brews 2015 Hop Crop Bulk Buy

Club Advent Calendar 2015 is under-way!

The 2015 GTA Brews Advent Exchange is done and we’re off to the races with two separate advent calendars this year! Twice the size from last year, and twice the excitement!

Note for participants: Please remember to indicate which calendar you are drinking when posting on the FB group. Eg. “Drinking beer 21E, great job Nick Perry!”

East Side Calendar

GTA Brews Advent 2015 East

West Side Calendar

GTA Brews Advent 2015 West Continue reading Club Advent Calendar 2015 is under-way!

GTA Brews Fall 2015 Grain Buy

The GTA Brews Fall 2015 Grain Buy is now open!

Thanks again to Toronto Brewing for hosting, please make sure to give them your love and make some purchases on pick up day!

Key Dates

Sign Up Open: Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2015
Sign Up Close: Tuesday, Oct 27th, 2015 (11:59 pm)
Payment Deadline: Tuesday Nov 3rd, 2015 (11:59 pm)
Split Date: Friday Nov 13th, 2015
Main Pick Up Date: Saturday Nov 14th, 2015 (10:30 am – 1:30 pm) Continue reading GTA Brews Fall 2015 Grain Buy

Brew Slam 2015 Wrap Up

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Brew Slam 2015 judging and awards wrapped up last weekend and it was quite a whirlwind of activity. If you haven’t noticed yet, results from Brew Slam 2015 have been posted to the site. We ended up with 318 entries, 31 judges, and 9 stewards over both days of judging. Pretty great turnout for a first year competition!

PDF version of Brew Slam 2015 Results

Congratulations to everyone that placed in the competition. We already distributed many Continue reading Brew Slam 2015 Wrap Up

Brew Slam 2015 – Judging This Weekend!

Our first annual BJCP-sanctionned competition, Brew Slam 2015, is here and we are very excited. The entries are all in and we are working on unpacking and sorting them all before the first judging day on Friday. We will update when we have a final tally of entries. We are adding sponsors constantly and already have a few Pro-Ams lined up for winners! This competition is part of the Brewer of the Year circuit has entrants from all over Canada.

Deadline: September 25th, 2015
Judging Dates: October 2nd-3rd, 2015
Pop-Up Bar and Award Ceremony: October 4th, 2015 @ Lansdowne Brewery

Tickets are now on sale for the Brew Slam Pop-Up Bar, where the awards for Brew Slam 2015 will be presented.

Check out the Brew Slam 2015 page for details.

Judges and stewards we need you! Please register here. Every judge and steward will receive $20 in ZackBucks to be used at Toronto Brewing.

Brew Slam Prizes!

I thought this would be a good place to start documenting all the awesome prizes our winners from the Brew Slam 2015 Homebrew Competition will get. Time to get excited because we have some amazing prizes that will make you want to enter and win! Follow this link to register!

Our sponsors have been very generous to us for our inaugural year including many homebrew shop gift cards and several pro-am collaborations. Check out our full list of sponsors here. Continue reading Brew Slam Prizes!

The Toronto Homebrew Scene

What is it like to be a homebrewer in Toronto?

Pretty awesome actually.

Ontario, and Toronto in particular, is currently experiencing a renaissance in homebrew retail, and public interest. There are countless new homebrewers buying starter kits every day, just ask the local homebrew shops (LHBS). This is definitely related to the exponential growth that craft beer in Toronto has experienced in recent years. People have been Continue reading The Toronto Homebrew Scene

July 2015 Meeting Recap!

We had a very successful club meeting last Saturday at Mark’s house! It was 35*C outside and calling for rain but we still managed to have a great time and sample lots of awesome beer. We had several members come out and join us for their first meeting, and it was a pleasure meeting all of you in person!

July 2015

The Gratzer we brewed at Noble Hop at the May meeting came out wonderfully with a medium level of oak smoke character from the 100% oak smoked wheat grain bill. We brewed the wort for a club saison that will be dry hopped with 2 oz of Pekko hops Continue reading July 2015 Meeting Recap!

Summer Showdown 2015 Wrap Up!

Results are up for the GTA Brews Summer Showdown 2015! As we begin to wrap up our first competition run as a club I must say it went rather well. We planned for 20-30 entries  in our club only competition and we had a total of 35 entries judged, all local to the GTA. Congrats to Matt Sulker and his Best of Show winning IPA! Congrats to all the winners! Scores have been input to the system, and score sheets will be emailed out to participants in a few days.

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Lots of lessons learned to take into organizing Brew Slam 2015 competition in the fall, thanks to our judges Tina, Kyle,Craig, Geof, Tim, and Nick for their patience, staying late, and sticking through! Thanks to Andrew for organizing, and opening his house to entry Continue reading Summer Showdown 2015 Wrap Up!

Welcome – Join our Facebook Group!

Welcome to the homepage for GTA Brews. This page serves as an central location for items that would get lost on our Facebook Group, and to host our competition software. All of our groups discussions happen on our Facebook Group, so don’t miss out and join today!

Join us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GTA.Brews/ 

*We have Club Meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month, for Paid Members. Check our Events Calendar for more happenings. Hope to see you soon!

GTA Brews Advent Calendar 2014

When people think of advent calendars they usually think of candy, but since we are a homebrew club we were thinking beer. The idea was that we would get 24 people to sign up and brew a beer to put in the calendar. Each person would be assigned a day of the month so that we are all drinking the same beer on the same night, then we can discuss it. James Kennedy put in the effort to make it happen, organizing the exchange and making the calendar below. In the end we had 26 brewers participate in the exchange. Here’s to a month of great beers!

GTA Brews Advent 2014
The calendar schedule for 2014.

I took a few blurry pictures of the exchange, it was a bit cramped and everyone was moving around!

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November Club Meeting Recap

This past weekend was our 15th monthly meeting as a club and I’m constantly amazed that so many great brewers come out to share their beers. We had a good amount of new faces and lots of repeat attendees. I found the that the quality of beer was very high this time around, including beer from several people that were insisting they weren’t that great! Remember, just because you didn’t hit your gravity or mash numbers right on, or it doesn’t taste exactly how you imagined, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste great!

I dragged them outside in the cold for a picture!
I dragged them outside in the cold for a picture!

The Brett IPA we brewed in October at Geof Trail’s house was fantastic. On the nose I got a little bit of funk but also tons of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple). Right on with what we were aiming for. I’m hoping to bottle some up to bring to future club meetings, and to do a full review.

Our wonderful hosts Shaun Staples and Peter Kirby guided us through their Brew In a Bag (BIAB) system on stove top. A great system that many small space brewers can take inspiration from. We brewed a clone of Firestone Walker’s Double Barrel Ale, which is an oak aged English Pale Ale.

Unfortunately this was the last meeting for our friend Shaun Staples who has been an active member since meeting #3 and when the group was less than 40 people on Facebook (now over 360!). Best of luck in Australia, come back and visit sometime!

Here’s the recipe we used:

Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale clone (ish)
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.015
ABV: 4.85%
IBU: 30ish
SRM: 13ish

8.5 lbs of Pearl / 2 row (67%)
2 lbs of Maris Otter (16%)
1 lb Munich I (10L) (8%)
12 oz Crystal 75L (6%) (preferably english crystal)
4 oz Crystal 120L (2%)
1 oz Chocolate Malt (0.5%)

0.33 oz @ 14%AA Magnum for 60 mins (13.5 IBU)
1 oz @ 5%AA EKG for 30 mins (11 IBU)
1 oz @ 5%AA EKG for 20 minute whirlpool after FO (4.5 IBU)
1 oz @ 4.5%AA Fuggles for 20 minute whirlpool after FO (4 IBU)

WLP002

1.25 oz Medium toast oak cubes for 14 days, to be added after first 24 hours. Will soak in Whiskey or Cognac first, depending on what’s handy.