All posts by Eric Cousineau

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)

Now for the finer details.


32 GTA Brews members sign up to join the competition. This is a tournament style competition with 5 rounds. In each round each participant will be matched up against another randomly. Each match will be assigned a specific beer style to brew and given 2 months to brew, carbonate and package said beer. The faceoffs will take place at our regular meetings. 3 judges per pair will decide which one moves on. The winner moves to the next round. Next round (also randomized) will have an entirely new set of beers to brew with an additional 2 months.

^^^ sample tournament, real one may be different beers.


I already said this. But in case you skimmed, the regular GTA Brews Meetings that take place 2nd Monday of the month.


Sign up will be at the bottom of this post. Once filled up, we will announce the pairs and the beers they must brew. Most likely first round will be judged either July or August.


You! If you sign up! *Note, must be GTA Brews member.


Why not? Glory? Bragging rights? Finally something that Mike Van might not win at if we don’t assign him the IPA category? You choose! But if thats not enough, we will have prizes. Brew North, Escarpment Labs and Tavistock Hops have all graciously volunteered to sponsor this competition. 1st place winner will receive a $150 gift certificate to Brew North, 2nd place $75 and 3rd $25. Escarpment and Tavistock will be sponsoring rounds (more to follow). Also, we plan on having a sweet trophy so your name will be immortalized in GTA Brews legend!

How Much? 

Less than 2 coffees at Starbucks! Only $5. Strictly to cover the cost of cups for judging and a trophy.

Sign up soon! The sooner we have the 32 spots filled, the sooner the competition can begin!

Even More Finer details?

  • Judges will be chosen (volunteered) at the meetings. Rounds 1-3 judges can be anyone. You cannot of course judge your own beer. Rounds 4-5 will have BJCP judges.
  • Entrants must present for the judging OR have a proxy.
  • Entrants must bottle beer in STANDARD 355ml bottles with no labels or markings. No exceptions. At least 2 bottles brought in for the meeting (one to judge, one to share with competitor)

*Might want to fact check that.

**well, 32 people tops this round.


Spot – 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

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: