Sign up to volunteer through your participant profile in the registration software.
Brew Slam is a large competition with a lot of moving parts that requires a large team of volunteers to manage. Volunteering is a fantastic way to get to know other beer enthusiasts, get involved in GTA Brews, learn about the judging process, and learn about beer styles you may not be completely familiar with. There are no qualifications required to help out, so please consider volunteering.
There are several ways to volunteer, and each role plays a key part in making the competition a success. Please check out the descriptions below, then sign up through the registration software.
Before the Competition
Before the judging can occur, we need a small army of volunteers to come out and help us unpack boxes, pair up matching bottles, re-label the bottles with stickers, and sort the bottles into the appropriate medal group.
This may not sound like a ton of fun at first, but we have a great time chatting and eating pizza while it all goes on. If you are only available to help for part of the entry sorting session, please still come, we can always use more helpers. If you plan on judging, we will assign you to a part of the process after the bottles have been re-labelled.
In the volunteer perk hierarchy; Entry Sorting for 2+ hours counts as "1 session", 4+ hours counts as "2 sessions".
Click here to sign up for entry sorting. Select "Yes" for "Are you willing to serve as a staff member in this competition?" then sign up for the "Entry Sorting" session.
During the Competition
Successfully judging our large competition requires both fantastic stewards, and passionate judges. We have written brief descriptions of these roles in their sections below.
Passionate BJCP judges are the center of every homebrew competition, and are the ones filling out the scoresheets, sharing their feedback with the entrants, and ultimately deciding the winners. At minimum, we require all judges to have at least passed the BJCP Online Entrance Exam. New judges will be paired with experienced judges to encourage mentorship.
A robust judging process is important so we have compiled a set of judging instructions based on past experience. Please review it prior to the competition.
Stewards are the lifeblood of every judging day and are the reason that things moving. They support the judges and making sure they have everything they need to do their job. This includes: stocking the table (glasses, scoresheets, etc..), managing the entries, and keeping the paperwork up to date. Click here to learn more about the role of a steward.
This is a fantastic learning opportunity because stewards have a front row seat to listen to the judges discuss entries and to learn from their experience. When time allows, stewards are encouraged to taste along with the judges as a practical palate training exercise. After volunteering, many stewards are inspired to go on and become judges themselves.
Judge Travelling From Outside the GTA?
Our goal is always to recruit as many qualified judges as possible, because we all benefit from a more diverse judge pool! If you are a BJCP ranked judge travelling in from outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), we offer two types of travel stipends:
Day Trip: C$35 if you judge at least 2 sessions
Overnight Trip: C$35; plus C$50 per night if staying at paid lodging, and judge at least two sessions on each adjacent day
Saturday Activities for Volunteers
Saturday is the busiest judging day so we try to make it extra special by including an educational talk with our special guest. This year our special guest is homebrewing luminary Annie Johnson, and she will be giving a lunch time talk about TBD (~11:15 AM).
Network With Other Volunteers
We've created a Brew Slam Facebook Group: Link to Group
- Join this group to network with other volunteers.
- If you are looking for folks to group up with after judging sessions to explore the local beer scene, this is the place to ask.
In addition to email, we'll use this Facebook group to keep volunteers in the loop about future Brew Slams
To show our appreciation for our volunteers, the Brew Slam Committee has put together a series of incremental rewards to thank volunteers for donating their time to help make the competition a success. This is in addition to BJCP points which are awarded according to the BJCP Award Schedule.
Judge or Steward for 1 session:
- $20 gift card to our Title Sponsor, Toronto Brewing
- Get access to FREE empty bottles
- Leftover beer to take home
- Commemorative Glass
Judge or Steward for 3 sessions:
- FREE ticket to the Brew Slam Awards Party
Judge or Steward for 5 sessions:
- Commemorative Shirt
Judge or Steward for all 7 sessions:
- We'll think of something awesome for you!