All posts by Mark Hubbard

Member Profile: Josh Davis

Josh Davis

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I'm a Chemical Engineer that works in Technical Sales selling adhesives and tapes. Structural acrylics, double-sided tapes, hotmelts... anything sticky.

What got you into homebrewing?

Like most kids in university, my beer drinking capacity was limited only by my (very minimal) budget. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and brew beer myself to save some dollars at the Beer Store. This egregious use of the shared kitchen in our student housing really pissed off my female roommates, and also didn't save me any money. But it did generate enough passably drinkable beer to fuel many beer pong tournaments, it ignited some interesting conversations, and it kicked me down the long, rewarding rabbit hole that is the art & science of fermentation.

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Member Profile: Xander Smith

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in film, TV and commercial production. I work as a lighting technician (ie. gaffer, electric, key grip, best boy (akg). I am currently working on a union film tv production here in the city, called Beacon 23.
I am also a partner in a video game company working as a Dev on level, character and story design.

What got you into homebrewing?

I worked as a line cook in a bier market that opened up in Etobicoke. I was exposed to a lot of craft beer and Belgian trappist beer. I underwent the first level of Prud'homme training, but unfortunately the company didn't file it properly (so I have to redo it). Soon after I bought myself a 1 gallon beer kit that I failed miserably at. About a year later, my friend who moved to Australia gave me his 5 gallon home brew kit, it worked out and I’ve been brewing ever since.

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Member Profile: Aaron Van Gramberg

Aaron Van Gramberg

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in the Maintenance Department for the York Region District School Board.

What got you into homebrewing?

I always wanted to try making my own homebrew. When Covid came around it became the perfect opportunity for me to try just that. I started with a Brooklyn Brew Shop Kit and then went from there.

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Member Profile: Luke Van Oort

Luke Van Oort

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Software engineering at Wave Financial working on our small business banking offerings.

What got you into homebrewing?

The short answer is mirin and Merit SVP.

The long answer is that I made a bit of wine in university and helped my then-roommate Jesse with his meadmaking for a while (some members might remember Jesse’s excellent bochet from the bottles he was wandering around with at the Brew Slam 2019 award ceremony), but I only really got into homebrewing seriously was when I got frustrated with the poor availability of hon-mirin in Ontario and started making choujiu (a Chinese style of rice wine that’s sort of like nigori sake) in the hopes of eventually being able to make a decent substitute. Eventually I progressed into also making fruit wines for turning into vinegar, but I held off on beer due to the equipment requirements.

Luckily, I eventually stumbled upon Lars Marius Garshol’s blog and realized that I could adapt some of the techniques and ingredients that Norwegian farmhouse brewers were using to allow me to brew beer in my condo with absolutely minimal equipment. The final kick to start was having Merit SVP and wishing that I could have something that was similarly low ABV, complex, and quaffable available to drink without having to make my way to Hamilton to acquire it.

I haven’t really chased the SVP flavour profile consciously since my first few brews, but when I brought a can of it home from the Toronto Brewing bottle shop earlier this year, my girlfriend commented that she could taste a definite common thread between it and a lot of the things I brew, so perhaps it made a greater impact than I thought!

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Member Profile: Guillaume Couture-Lévesque

Guillaume Couture-Lévesque

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I'm a tech lead at Prodigy Game, where I work on making tools for people making the game that teaches kids math.

What got you into homebrewing?

A friend bought me John Palmer's How To Brew, and Beer and Philosophy for my birthday saying I might like it. Read both books and learned a lot, but then did nothing until my wife bought me one of the Brooklyn Brew Shop 1 gallon kits. I had fun and kept at it after that.

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Member Profile: Tina Lineman

Tina Lineman

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I am the General Manager at Folly Brewpub! We were recently purchased by new owners and have undergone some major renovations in the restaurant and brewhouse. I would love to show you what we have going on, so come on by and say hi!

What got you into homebrewing?

I have always worked in restaurants and started off in the back of house cooking. When I took the step into bartending, I loved developing cocktails as it combined my love of people with my love of creating culinary delights. The deeper I got into working at beer bars, the more I knew that brewing was going to be my next step. Being able to create something so delicious is magical and brings me excitement and joy every time. I also love the freedom I have to create anything I want, so I am not just limited to what's available on the market.

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Member Profile: Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in account management for a tech company that helps small businesses with their marketing and operations.

What got you into homebrewing?

Aside from the occasional Guinness or Duvel, I drank macro beer pretty exclusively in university and probably didn't know the difference between an ale and a lager. I also probably would have told you that Guinness was very "heavy." Then I went away for a few years, and when I came back all of my friends were obsessed with craft beer. I caught the bug pretty quickly after that and figured that the only way to be more into it than they were was to make the stuff myself.

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Member Profile: Darrell Kelly

Darrell Kelly

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I have worked for Air Canada Jazz as an aircraft mechanic since 2004. I hold an M2 A.M.E license and currently maintain Dash 8’s, Q-400’s CRJ 200,705,900 and Embraer 175’s.

What got you into homebrewing?

After spending so much time traveling the world, a part of every trip I take is always sampling as much local cuisine as possible. This grew into also seeking out local breweries, which in turn got me more into craft beer locally as well. One year I got a Brooklyn Brewing 1 gallon kit for Christmas and the rest is history.

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Member Profile: Andrew McCready

Andrew McCready

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I am an audio engineer for a post-production house that does sound and picture for tv shows and commercials.

What got you into homebrewing?

As a lover of craft beer, I was looking into getting a keg fridge so I could buy kegs from breweries. All the places for info on buying/building kegerators were home brew sites, and I thought “hey, maybe I should just make beer instead”. So I ordered the equipment to do extract brewing, after 3 batches I was hooked. Ordered a Grainfather from Toronto Brewing and never looked back.

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Member Profile: Matt King

Matt King

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work in the market research industry as a senior research manager. My day to day is client communication, analyzing data, and writing / presenting reports.

What got you into homebrewing?

I went on a west end brewery tour a few years ago, and the guide (I think his name was Reese) was talking about homebrewing and how easily you could get into it with basic gear. After doing countless hours of research through books, podcasts, online reading, etc., I jumped into it headfirst with an all grain BIAB setup.

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Member Profile: Mark Hubbard

Mark Hubbard

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I work at a large biopharma company that makes vaccines. I purify antigens from the bacteria that causes whooping cough, and they later get formulated into a vaccine.   

What got you into homebrewing?

In 2017 a friend and I went to a U-brew/ferment on premise place to “brew” a batch of beer. I felt like we didn’t actually do much, so I looked up homebrewing afterwards to see what the process was like and with my science background it sounded right up my alley, so I bought How to Brew, visited Toronto Brewing, and the rest was history.

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