Category Archives: Community

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:

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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.

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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)!

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.
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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

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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

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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