Cask Days Homebrew Competition

Cask Days is North America's largest cask beer festival, taking place every October in Toronto. Our club has partnered with Cask Days and Toronto Brewing to collaborate on the the Cask Days Homebrew Competition. The winners of this competition work with our partner breweries to re-brew their beer to be served at the festival. This is a rare opportunity and winners get to share their love of the hobby with a thirsty crowd of thousands of people.

*Winners have been announced! See the post here.


Click here to go to the registration software.


Key Dates:
General Registration Open: Friday May 27th, 2016
Entry Registration Open: Wednesday June 1st, 2016
Entry Submission Deadline: Tuesday July 12th, 2016
Judging: Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The first ever Cask Days Homebrew Competition will take place in July! This is a collaborative effort between Cask Days, Toronto Brewing, and GTA Brews.

Entrants will compete for 10+ spots to have their beer served at Cask Days 2016 in October. The winners of this competition will work with our partner breweries in August and September to re-brew their beer. 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.

$9 per entry, max 3 entries per person, 1 spot per person.

If you have questions, or aren’t sure of which style to enter your beer as, email:


Competition Overview

The goal of this competition is to facilitate the selection of 10+ brewers that will be able to brew their winning beer to be served at Cask Days 2016. Winners will work with the organizers and partner breweries to re-brew a firkin of their winning beer in the mid-August to late-September. A $40 stipend will be provided to help cover the costs, but winners are responsible for sourcing their own ingredients for the re-brew. At Cask Days we plan to have a voting station where the best beer will be selected by people's choice.

Due to the logistics of brewing the winners beers at partner breweries, this competition is open to Ontario residents only.

With the anticipated number of entries being high, we have decided to split this competition into two stages to make things more manageable.

Stage 1: BJCP Homebrew Competition

The first part of the competition will follow a standard BJCP homebrew competition format and will be used to select the best beers to move on to the next stage. We will be using the 2015 BJCP Guidelines. More than one beer from each category/table may move forward to stage 2 at the judge's discretion.

If you have never entered a BJCP competition before or feel that the types of beers you brew aren't suited for BJCP competitions, please read the "I Don't Brew to Style" section below.

Stage 2: BOS Style Selection Round

The final stage of the competition will be used to select the overall winners. This will be less formal than stage 1 and more similar to a BOS (Best of Show) round. The best beers from stage 1 will be presented to the judges all at once, who will then pick the overall winners. There will be no formal feedback provided to entrants from the stage 2 judges.

Selection Criteria
When selecting the 10+ winners there will be several things considered including:
- Practicality of reproducing this beer within a 2 month period
- How well the beer fits into the theme of the event (cask beer)
- Overall quality and flavour appeal

Judges for the final round will consist of BJCP judges, pro brewers, and prominent beer community members.

"I Don't Brew to Style"

Beer styles (even specialty ones) are very useful because they help group beers with similar flavour characteristics and balance. A style/subcategory declaration helps set the drinker's expectation for your beer.

"I Don't Brew to Style" is a common phrase in the beer community, and there is some truth to it, but really only when you consider the classic style subcategories (1-26). Even then, the classic style subcategories are fairly broad, as long as the beer is balanced. Outside of the classic styles there are 8 specialty categories (21B, 27-34), each containing several subcategories, that capture anything else you could possibly brew. Coffee porter (30A), strawberry witbier (29A), dry hopped brett saison (28A), kettle soured wheat with apricot+dry hopped (28C), Black IPA (21B), and even chili+chocolate+mango imperial stout (29B) are all at home in the available specialty categories. If you brew a hybrid of several other styles, that can be entered in 34B (Mixed Style Beer). If you think you have brewed something that is completely unique and fits no where else, please enter it in 34C (Experimental Beer). "Not brewing to style" isn't a barrier to BJCP competitions, you just need to enter your beer in the right subcategory and provide a proper description.

If you aren't sure where you beer fits after browsing the guidelines, send us an email at:

Submission Details

*All Entries must be registered through the competition software and properly labeled*

Cost is $9 CAD per entry, with a max of 3 entries per person. There is a limit of 1 entry per classic style subcategory (1-26), and 2 entries per specialty beer category (21B, 27-34), provided they are different beers. Score sheets will be emailed to participants.

Each entry will consist of two 12 oz brown glass bottles. Bottles must be void of all identifying information, including brewery labels and embossing. Any marked caps must be blacked out. A Bottle ID form must then be attached to each bottle by elastic band. Bottle ID labels can be printed from the "Account" -> "Entries" page and show your personal info and entry number. Recipe sheets and PayPal receipts are not required, only Bottle ID labels. Bottles will not be returned to contest entrants.

12oz brown bottles are preferred; however we will also accept green/clear glass, sizes up to 22 oz, and corked bottles, if necessary.

Please fill out the entry forms completely (when adding entries on this site). Be meticulous about noting any special ingredients/processes that must be specified per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. Failure to note such ingredients/processes may impact the judges' scoring of your entry.

Drop Off Locations

Toronto Brewing Downtown
1567 Dundas Street West. Toronto, ON. M6K 1T9
(647) 348-8895

Toronto Brewing North
3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115. Toronto, ON. M3J 2P6
(416) 901-3900

Shipping Info

Shipped entries must be received by the entry deadline.

Ship entries to:
Toronto Brewing North
3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115
Toronto, ON
M3J 2P6

Partner Breweries

Muddy York Brewing Co.

Amsterdam Brewery