Category Archives: Community

Member Profile: Kym Watts

Kym Watts

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

My day job is a Senior Pipeline Technical director. Outside of the animation and VFX industry this is a mix of a solutions architect or automation software engineer.

What got you into homebrewing?

My grand father was brewing from coopers tins in the late 90’s, I helped with a couple of batches, i was too young to enjoy beer, so I was just a helper. Brewed some more coopers tins with some roommates in our laundry room. 

Ended up having to move to Canada for work, after a couple of years of moving cities, found good work in Toronto, ended out moving down the road from a fairly prolific brewer who got me more into brewing. Started with partial extract and moved to all grain. So really got my feet drenched in 2010 and been at it since.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kym Watts

Member Profile: Wuilmer Venegas

Wuilmer Venegas

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I am a computer engineer working as an SAP Business One functional consultant. My job involves the implementation of software throughout all stages of the project. In summary, it's a mix of consulting, software design, and support.

What got you into homebrewing?

I always had a curiosity about brewing beer but didn't have the drive to do it. Then, during the early months of the pandemic with all the confinement and loss of a family member, I needed a distraction and a new hobby. My wife gave me an online tasting and a beer-making event. Unfortunately, the event was canceled, so I thought, "I have plenty of time, why not buy the supplies and give it a try?" I started watching YouTube videos to understand the materials needed, realized there were various methods, and chose the one I considered the simplest – using extract. After enjoying the process with extract, I wanted to try the full process, so I bought a basic all-grain kit.

Continue reading Member Profile: Wuilmer Venegas

Member Profile: Dan Mills

 Dan Mills

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I have a degree in survey engineering and specializes in forensic measurements….long winded and technical way of saying that I take accurate measurements from photos and videos for use in legal cases.

What got you into homebrewing?

I have always loved procedural, technical and process driven things…(see occupation 😊 ). The process of making beer falls squarely into that. I had thoughts of opening a brewery, as many of us have had, and decided working on some recipes that the first step. I have given up the dream of a brewery for the time being but still am working on brewing and recipes.

Continue reading Member Profile: Dan Mills

Member Profile: Cory Fletcher

Cory Fletcher

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Mechanical Engineer for various types of large buildings. Think mechanical design of HVAC, plumbing, storm, sanitary, gas, fire protection systems, etc.

What got you into homebrewing?

I stumbled upon a ‘howtobrew’ website one day in 2018 and couldn’t stop reading. Shortly after, I attended an in-person how-to-brew session at Toronto Brewing, and a love for the hobby was born.

Continue reading Member Profile: Cory Fletcher

Member Profile: Shane Schlesinger

Shane Schlesinger

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m a high school science teacher with a background in Biology.

What got you into homebrewing?

Gigging in bands over the years at beer festivals and gastropubs introduced me to the more mainstream craft breweries, as well as a variety of European styles. I actually played in a band with Zack Weinberg many years ago around the time he was just starting up Toronto Brewing – he used to bring homebrew to rehearsals, which put the idea of brewing one day in the back of my mind. Years later when my wife and I started dating, she introduced me to a lot of great local craft beer and got me hooked. Not long after, she bought me a one-gallon Brooklyn Brewshop homebrew kit as a Chrismukkah gift. I brewed a couple of batches, loved the process, and I have been brewing ever since.

Continue reading Member Profile: Shane Schlesinger

Canadian Homebrew Day

Canadian Homebrew Day Graphic

We are pleased to announce that our 2023 edition of Canadian Homebrew Day (CHD) will be in-person at Toronto Brewing!

Sat. June 3rd, 2023
Toronto Brewing (3701 Chesswood Drive, Unit 115)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

On Saturday June 3rd, we will have a live brewing demonstration and be available to answer questions and promote the hobby!

GTA Brews Members will be present and brewing on club equipment! Come, see, support and chat with fellow members and members of the public about the joys of homebrewing!

Recipe: Bia-Hoi by Chi-Linh Dinh

This year's recipe, now available in the club recipe database, is Chi-Llinh Dinh's "Bia Hoi" (Vietnamese for 'fresh beer'). Chi created this recipe to emulate the type of beer her father and his friends used to drink back home in Vietnam! It's a light (about 4% ABV), refreshing lager that's meant to be drank very fresh once it's fermented!

If you are indeed brewing that day, please take some pictures and share it with our community and beyond by tagging GTA Brews and #CanadianHomebrewDay in your posts!

Farewell People's Pint

A Brief History Of A Place For Homebrewers and Craft Beer Lovers

It started as a collective; an inclusive one that was focused on homebrewed beers made by passionate homebrewers. These beers, and the brewers that made them, were then featured at small batch events around the city of Toronto.  That collective was what was known as The People's Pint and the gentlemen behind that collective were Doug Appledoorn and Pietro Ciara. 

That was 2016. 

By 2017 Doug and Pietro were searching for a permanent space for their collective and events but also to brew their own beers.

By mid 2018 an opportunity presented itself. Junction Craft Brewing were moving out of their space on Cawthra Ave and Doug and Pietro had found a permanent home for People's Pint. 

They continued to host events that focused on, and supported, the homebrew community, and GTA Brews in particular, including: 

  • A homebrew tap takeover for Toronto Beer Week
  • Learn2Brew days
  • Off Flavour Tasting sessions 
  • Being a sponsor for BrewSlam (GTA Brews Premier National Homebrew Competition)
  • A rotating GTA Brews guest tap serving GTA Brews members homebrew to the public
  • Hosting Club Meetings, the Club Barrel (fills and empties), and Hop Buy Pick Ups / Sorting

They also were active in the industry by ensuring their brewery was a space that was safe, inclusive, and welcoming to all who wanted to partake, learn and enjoy craft beer regardless of creed, colour or sexuality. 

They were also one of the first breweries in Toronto to "employ" a brewery cat via the SPCA; Maris was quite unique for some time!

On top of all of that Doug and Pietro and all others who worked with them were friends, homebrewers and individuals to be admired. 

So, now that they have closed their doors, Peoples Pint, the brewery space, will be missed but Peoples Pint, the ideal, will live on.  

Thank you to Pietro, Doug, Angie, Chris, Chris, Adam, Alex, Deaglan, Jeff, and everyone else that welcomed us as GTA Brews members, fellow homebrewers and cherished friends into the warm space you built.  

That space, of course, will be missed. 

(To interact with homebrewers and for photos of People's Pint, please visit our Facebook page)

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Josh Davis

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Xander Smith

Canadian Homebrew Day 2022

We are pleased to announce that our 2022 edition of Canadian Homebrew Day (CHD) will be in-person at Toronto Brewing's Geary Ave location!

Sat. June 4th, 2022
Toronto Brewing (211 Geary Ave)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

On Saturday June 4th, we will have two live brewing demonstrations.

  1. David Chang-Sang of Chang Sang Estates Homebrewery will be joined by Colin Green to brew up a batch of his Oat N About pale ale, which he originally created in collaboration with our friends at Muddy York Brewing Co.
  2. Darrell Kelly (multi-award winning homebrewer and BJCP Judge) will be brewing up a batch of his famous German Pilsner

Recipe #1: Darkness English Porter by Matt King

The 2021 Canadian Brewer of the Year (BOTY circuit) was our very own Matt King. For CHD 2022, he graciously shared one of his favourite recipes for us to brew at home!

Recipe #2: Betty Blonde by Barley's Homebrew Supplies

Barley's Homebrew Supplies from New Westminster, BC was voted as Canadian Homebrew Shop of the year for 2021. To celebrate CHD 2022, owner Curtis supplied his favourite Blond Ale recipe for us to brew!

If you are indeed brewing that day, please take some pictures and share it with our community and beyond by tagging GTA Brews and #CanadianHomebrewDay in your posts!

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Aaron Van Gramberg

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!

Continue reading Member Profile: Luke Van Oort

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Guillaume Couture-Lévesque

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Tina Lineman

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Nicholas Cole

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Darrell Kelly

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Andrew McCready

Canadian Homebrew Day 2021

Yet again our annual Canadian Homebrew Day (CHD) tradition of running Learn2Brew has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But CHD is about much more than just running L2B, and COVID-19 sure won't stop us! CHD is an opportunity to take a moment out of what has been a hectic 12+ months for all of us an enjoy our hobby and craft. Similar to last year, we've organized a virtual brewing session on Zoom:

Join On Zoom (link)
Password: gtabrews
Date: Saturday June 5th, 2021
Time: 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM

If you're free, get a brew going and join us on Zoom to talk all things brewing and some regular old banter. If you're looking for something to brew, there are a few official Canadian Homebrew Day recipes from our friends at the Canadian Homebrewers Association:

David Chang-Sang, Eric Cousineau, and Colin Green will be hosting the virtual brew session:

  • David will be brewing the Tropical Stout
  • Eric will be brewing the Kolsch
  • Colin will be brewing a Triple IPA and partigyle'd Session IPA

If you are indeed brewing that day, please take some pictures and share it with our community and beyond by tagging GTA Brews and #CanadianHomebrewDay in your posts!

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Matt King

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.

Continue reading Member Profile: Mark Hubbard

Member Profile: David Larocque


What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Since 2012 I’ve been working for the Ontario Public Service in various policy roles ranging from health research funding, developing Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Project and currently working in animal welfare/cruelty policy. Essentially I support the development of government programs/legislation/regulations. I’m also a father of two young girls (3 and 1) which keeps things busy and exciting on the home front. My 3 year old is becoming quite the brewing apprentice.

What got you into homebrewing?

I got more and more interested in the craft beer scene around 2012/13, and a friend of mine started homebrewing around then. After a few chats and a bit of reading I ordered my first kit and never looked back!

Continue reading Member Profile: David Larocque

Black is Beautiful: Homebrewers Against Racial Injustice (Final Update)

Over the years, GTA Brews hasn't really taken an active role in advocating for diversity in the homebrewing community. We've mostly taken a passive approach by trying to remove barriers that may hinder a feeling of inclusion for women and racial minorities. The vast majority of our club leadership is composed of white men, and in the past we didn't feel like it was our place to speak out.

After witnessing the racial injustices that have been brought to light over the past few weeks, we have decided we can no longer be passive on this matter. We are ready to help in the fight for real change.

Black is Beautiful is an initiative founded by Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio, TX. This initiative is mainly focused at craft breweries and beer drinkers, and encourages them to collaborate in raising awareness and funds for local charities fighting against racial injustice. The initiative is centered around a single stout base recipe, and each participant is encouraged to put their own creative spin on it.

Chosen Charity: CAFCAN

CAFCAN is a registered charitable organization whose primary focus is on building and strengthening the service framework for African Canadian children, youth and families through culturally safe individual and group counselling supports, case management services, employment services, youth mentorship, and youth outreach programs.

Donate Here

How We Will Help

As a homebrew club, we don't sell beer, so we aren't able to dedicate a certain portion of each bottle sold. Instead, we will do the following:

  • Raise awareness for a local charity (CAFCAN) focused on the black community
  • GTA Brews will donate $10 for each member that brews the Black is Beautiful recipe
  • GTA Brews will match member donations to CafCan, up to $1000 total

As a small, non-profit, membership based organization, we don't have deep pockets, so this $1000 is a considerable part of our bank account. Brew and/or donate before July 31st to qualify!

Update: Our good friend Toronto Brewing has joined the initiative, and will match what the club donates. This means that for every dollar donated, it gets multiplied by 3!

Final Amount Raised:


  • Batches Brewed by Members: 16
  • Member Donations: $965
  • Club Donation: $1000
  • Toronto Brewing Donation: $1000

How to Participate

To make a difference, we need the help of you, our club members! We need you to brew the beer, and we need you to consider making a monetary donation if you are able.

  • Donation: Please email proof to, the club will match your donation
  • Brew the Beer: Please notify after brew day, and we will donate $10

The Recipe:

Weathered Souls said it best:

Continue reading Black is Beautiful: Homebrewers Against Racial Injustice (Final Update)

Canadian Homebrew Day 2020: Virtual Group Brew

Due to COVID-19, our annual Canadian Homebrew Day tradition of running Learn2Brew has been cancelled. We still wanted to celebrate Canadian Homebrew Day, so we're excited to announce we've organized a virtual group brew session on Zoom!

Join On Zoom (link)
Password: GTA_Brews
Date: Sunday June 7th, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Note: This will take the place of our June club meeting

Hosts: David Chang-Sang and Eric Cousineau will be hosting the virtual brew session

  • David will be brewing a Munich Dunkel
  • Eric will be catching up on bottling some mead and kegging some beers

We were pleased to see lots of interest when we shared the plan on our Facebook Discussion Group a few days ago. We're expecting at least 5 others to join the virtual brew session while brewing, so this will be a sort of virtual Learn2Brew!

Member Profile: Eric Cousineau

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

My profession is Computer Engineering. I am a proud member of a pre-silicon IP team at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc. We design, verify, and deploy a portion of the hardware logic that goes into the various GPU products that we make.

I'm also the Founder and President of GTA Brews, which also takes up quite a bit of time. It's been a ongoing joke among the club officers that I've been too busy running the club to answer the questions for a member profile, but here I am! You win Rob!

What got you into homebrewing?

I started homebrewing because I wanted to explore my pre-existing love of craft beer, and learn more about it.

I had become really into beer while in university (~2008), and I even co-authored a column called Beer Buzz in the Engineering Society Newspaper (Iron Warrior). I had seen my friend (Kyle Smith) brewing up a storm on social media, so shortly after I graduated I bought myself a Brooklyn Brewshop kit from Chapters (Tip: Go to a homebrew shop instead, way fresher!). I brewed my first batch in January 2013 and the rest is history!

Continue reading Member Profile: Eric Cousineau

Member Profile: Bear Alberico

Bear Alberico

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Homebrewing is an occupation? Seriously though, I own and run a business that manufactures professional hair care products. It’s remarkable how similar it is to running a brewery; mix water and other ingredients in a kettle, fill them into bottles, then market and sell them. Beer shampoo anyone?

What got you into homebrewing?

I was a drummer in a reggae band and started making beer for our band to drink at rehearsals. Wasn’t great stuff, but it was cheap.

Continue reading Member Profile: Bear Alberico

Cask Days Homebrew Section 2019

Cask Days 2019 is fast approaching and will run this year from Oct. 18 - 20, and that means we need to get some beers brewed for this year’s homebrew section! With that in mind applications are now open at the link at the bottom of this post.  Brewing for Cask Days and getting to … Continue reading Cask Days Homebrew Section 2019

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Member Profile: Emily Storey

Emily Storey

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Short answer: I am a scientist.

Long answer: I am a researcher in photonics. Think electronics, except I deal with photons instead of electrons. I shine lasers at liquids and then look at the scattered light. The light tells me what's in the liquid, and how much is there.

What got you into homebrewing?

My partner Rob saw a homebrew kit at a grocery store in Vancouver. My Dad is a homebrewer, so I knew what we were getting into. A quick trip to Dan's Homebrew Shop later, and the hobby has consumed most of our apartment for about 6 years.

Continue reading Member Profile: Emily Storey

Member Profile: Matti Cowan

Matti Cowan

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I'm both an entrepreneur (Silly Sir Brewing Co.) and a supply teacher with the TDSB. It's perfect because affords me lots of flexibility to simultaneously (attempt to) run a business.

What got you into homebrewing?

I started homebrewing in the winter of 2015 with a homebrewing kit from Magnotta (really just prepared wort in a bag, and a packet of dry yeast). I was just bored, I think. I was probably seasonally depressed. My first beer was an Irish red ale, which despite being over-carbonated, tasted pretty good. I quickly graduated to all grain brewing after a couple extract batches, and have been hooked ever since. My love stems from the blend of art and respect for science that's required in brewing.

Continue reading Member Profile: Matti Cowan

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

Member Profile: Colin Green

Colin Green

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I've been working for the LCBO in retail since 2008, coincidentally I am the beer ambassador at my location.

What got you into homebrewing?

I've always had an interest in beer, and wanted to learn more about it beyond the very limited amount we are taught by my employer. It wasn't until I was at a stag/doe party where one of the raffle prizes was a Brooklyn Brewshop 1 gallon kit. When I saw it I had that "Aha!" moment, and tried to win it. My friends grandmother ended up winning it, and I had a feeeeeeeling she wouldn't be using it anytime soon, so I went over and bought it off her and brewed it the following week. She drives a hard bargain though, I wasn't getting it off of her for cheap.

Continue reading Member Profile: Colin Green

Member Profile: Kieth Caines

Kieth Caines

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

Spent 35 years in the Office furniture industry, Since 2014 I've been working with SceneAereo Aerial Photography, we've done some very interesting projects over the last year including commercial real estate, construction site progress and building thermal inspections.

What got you into homebrewing?

Started making wine, getting my juice from Magnotta.
Saw their beer wort kits tried a couple of those then discovered all grain and haven't looked back.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kieth Caines

Help Support the Modernization of Ontario Homebrewing Regulations

GTA Brews is calling for every Ontario homebrewer to join us in asking the Government of Ontario to modernize the framework regulating the consumption of homebrew at events. Homebrew clubs sit at the center of the homebrewing community, and modernization of homebrewing regulation would enable them to continue to grow the hobby in Ontario.

Over the years we have run into many hurdles while planning homebrewing focused events. We have compiled a list of issues we see with the current framework, and elaborated them in the form of a letter. We are asking Ontario homebrewers to send this letter to their MPP, and cc the Minister of Finance. This will show the Government of Ontario that the citizens of our province want to see this included in their plan to modernize the Alcohol Industry.

Cheers, and thanks in advance for your help!

Eric Cousineau
President, GTA Brews

If you have any questions or comments about this letter, please email

How To Help

Step 1) Find Your Local MPP
- Use this tool to find your local MPP using Postal Code

Step 2) Create a new email draft with subject:
Request for Modernized Homebrewing Regulations in Ontario

Step 3) Address the email to
• Your local MPP (from step 1)
• cc/ Finance Minister Vic Fedeli (

Step 4) Copy and paste the letter below then
• Replace [*Local MPP*] with the name of you local MPP
• Replace [*Sender Name*] with your first and last name

Step 5) Send the email, and pass this along to your homebrew friends!

Letter to Your MPP

Dear [*Local MPP*],

The Government of Ontario is currently consulting with the public on opportunities to modernize the rules for the sale and consumption of alcohol. I support the general intent of modernizing a highly regulated sector, however I wanted to express my desire to see some targeted modernization efforts for the consumption of homebrewed beer.

Continue reading Help Support the Modernization of Ontario Homebrewing Regulations

Announcing Brew Slam 2018 - Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

August 10th, 2018 - Toronto, ON

GTA Brews is excited to announce our fourth annual, nation-wide, homebrew competition for beer, mead, and cider; Brew Slam 2018 (#BrewSlam)!

Last year saw 804 entries, from 8/10 provinces, judged by 73 judges, over just 3 days, making this the largest homebrew competition in country!

This is an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition, and also part of the Canadian Brewer of the Year circuit. The judging will take place at Amsterdam Brewery (Leaside) from Nov 9th to 11th. Judging will be performed by BJCP ranked judges and Continue reading Announcing Brew Slam 2018 - Homebrew Competition

May Meeting: Jamie Mistry of Common Good Beer Company Plus Discussion Panel

Monday 14 May at 7:00 PM
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4B 3H1  MAP

For this meeting we're going to try something new in lieu of having a second presentation. Based on a topic chosen in a poll on the website, the meeting will have a panel discussion/Q&A involving selected members from the crowd interested in sharing their knowledge and opinions. Based on where the poll is at right now it looks like we'll be discussing session/low ABV brewing, so if you're passionate and experienced with that sort of thing please feel free to volunteer to be on the panel! And if you're interested in something else, there's still time to vote!

This month's meeting is at Muddy York Brewing Co. and our special guest, Jamie Mistry of the Common Good Beer Company, will also be there to answer any of your questions about contract brewing. Continue reading May Meeting: Jamie Mistry of Common Good Beer Company Plus Discussion Panel

April Meeting: Kettle Souring & Craft Malting

After a record attendance and an incredibly informative March meeting, we knew we had a hard act to follow.  Well beer geeks, we think we've done it. We're very lucky to have not one, but two great guest speakers and presenters:

Continue reading April Meeting: Kettle Souring & Craft Malting

Competitions Update

GTA Brews members represented us well in the Lethbridge Werthogs WertContest, the latest Brewer of the Year Circuit competition. Clayton Hoy took home Gold in British Bitter/Scottish Beers for his Strong Bitter named “This Used To Be Good”. Mike Vandervoort took home silver in American Pale Ale, Bronze in Specialty IPA and Gold in IPA. That IPA also claimed second in the Best of Show.

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GTA Brews Brings Home the Bling from Cowtown

Congratulations to the following GTA Brews Members that won medals at the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers Homebrew Roundup 2018:

  • Mike Vandervoot, Best of Show 4th place for his American IPA, "Mosaic IPA"
  • Mike Vandervoot, 1st place in American IPA category, again for his "Mosaic IPA"
  • Iain Robertson with co-brewer Shawn Ruff, 3rd place in Dark Lager and Amber Hybrid for their entry, "What Is A Schwarzbier?"
  • Clayton Hoy, 1st place in the Bock category for his Eisbock, "Eis Eis Bockby"

And a special mention for first time winner:

  • Emery Soos, with a 3rd place win in the Scottish and Irish Ale category with his Irish Red: "Kiss My Red Blarney"

Congratulations to all of you for doing us proud!

Did you know that GTA Brews will ship your entry for free for select competitions? Click here for more information

Member Profile: Mike Vandervoort

Mike Vandervoort

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I am a Police Officer with Toronto Police Service and am currently working in the Jane and Finch community. Don’t let the media scare you it is actually a great community and I really enjoy working there.

What got you into homebrewing?

I did a university exchange to the Netherlands for a year. Every Friday (ok, maybe Thursday and Saturday too), a group of us would each purchase different beers from around Europe. I attempted to start that here with a group of friends when I got back and one said, “Hey, why don’t we make it?” Enough said.

Continue reading Member Profile: Mike Vandervoort

Brew Slam 2017 - Wrap Up

Brew Slam 2017 is finally wrapped up after almost a whole year of planning, and a ton of execution. What a year! The last of the prizes made their way into the hands of our winners this week, so it's finally time to write my annual wrap up post. With 806 entries judged, I'm very proud to say that we met and exceeded our goal for 2017 of becoming Canada's largest homebrew competition (by almost 300 entries)!

Saturday morning judging

The judging and awards for Brew Slam 2017 happened back in November, but we've been hard at work since then making sure that everyone got their prizes as fast as we could. Don't stop reading now because some pretty amazing things happened this year that I want to share.
Continue reading Brew Slam 2017 - Wrap Up

Learn2Brew 2017 Recap

This past weekend saw Toronto's 9th annual #Learn2Brew event, with both east and west locations again this year! One change we tried this year is moving it to September, during Toronto Beer Week (TBW), to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Huge gratitude to our generous hosts Rainhard Brewing Company, and Common Good Beer Co. This event wouldn't be possible without local breweries like these two that support the homebrewing hobby.

Learn2Brew is an event where a half dozen brewers set up and demonstrate the brewing process. We invite the public to come in, learn about homebrewing, and hopefully get inspired to join this wonderful hobby. Here's a smattering of pictures to give you an idea Continue reading Learn2Brew 2017 Recap

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.

Member Profile: Kat Goodale


Kat Goodale

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I was a computer studies teacher at a girl's school for 12 years, but made a career change in 2013. I was accepted into the Brewmaster program at Niagara College, and am now a brewer at Magnotta Brewery in Vaughan.

What got you into homebrewing?

My dad! He'd been homebrewing on and off since the 1985 beer strike, and we helped by bottling. I inherited his bottle capper, which is still as much of a PITA to use now as it was then.

Continue reading Member Profile: Kat Goodale

Member Profile: Jon Mains


Jon Mains

What is your occupation (outside homebrewing)?

I’m a businessman. I work as a financial analyst at a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, crunching numbers, financial statements, spreadsheets, graphs, charts, Excel baby!

What got you into homebrewing?

Some combination of unemployment, curiosity, frugality, education, and entrepreneurial aspirations. I had recently completed my Master of Business at U.B.C. in Vancouver, and had a lot of spare time while job hunting. As someone who loves craft beer and cooking, I figured I could probably brew up a decent batch myself while simultaneously saving money! By the way, I’ve yet to save any money making my own beer, the equipment is expensive!

I started reading every book I could get my hands on and anything I could find on web forums. With an undergraduate degree in Biology, the science of brewing came quickly and easily, that’s when the same thought crossed my mind that crosses every homebrewer’s mind, “Why not start a brewery?!” Continue reading Member Profile: Jon Mains