Category Archives: Competitions

Last Brewer Standing #1 – Winner!

We have a winner!! 🏆 The final round of our Last Brewer Standing competition pitted Evan Bonsell and Kieth Caines against each other, and they were instructed to brew a Maibock. The final judging took place at the May Club Meeting, using a blind judging panel to select the winner. This was a long, fun ride that began last summer with 32 brewers, and we can finally announce that…

Kieth Caines has been crowned the Last Brewer Standing!!

Continue reading Last Brewer Standing #1 – Winner!

Announcing Spring Showdown 2019 – Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page and register!

Our popular seasonal homebrew competition is back for 2019! As usual, we will be accepting all styles of beer, mead, and cider. Since this is our small competition, entry will be restricted to GTA Brews members only.

This seasonal competition is designed to be a “low stakes” introduction to BJCP competitions for club members to enter their beers for feedback and fun. The focus is on providing excellent feedback, so we keep the entry cap and fee low. Our hope is that lots of first-time entrants will find themselves on the winners list and be motivated to continue entering competitions. This competition will be judged by BJCP Judges according to the 2015 BJCP Guidelines.

Continue reading Announcing Spring Showdown 2019 – Homebrew Competition

Last Brewer Standing Update + Round 4

Last night Round 3 wrapped up at Muddy York. It was another exciting night of glory for some, shame and disappointment for others.

Here were the results:

Match 1 – 17A – British Strong Ale
Tim Burnett vs. Evan Bonsell
Evan was the winner

Match 2 – 17C – Wee Heavy
Kym Watts vs. Mark Verok
Mark was the winner.

Match 3 – 26D – Belgian Dark Strong
Jase Gudat vs. Keith Caines
Keith was the winner.

Match 4 – 15C – Irish Extra Stout
Emily Storey vs. Mike Vandervoort
Mike was the winner.

Only 4 remain.

Round 4 will have a new requirement! Tavistock Hops was super generous and donated all the hops for this round. Each brewer will be receiving 12oz of Tavistock hops that MUST be used in its entirety and no other hops may be used.

Round 4 matchups are the following:

Match 1 – 21B5 – Specialty IPA: Rye IPA
Keith Caines vs. Mark Verok
Hops: 4oz Cascade, 4oz Centennial, 4oz Rakau

Match 2 – 21B2 – Specialty IPA: Black IPA
Evan Bonsell vs. Mike Vandervoort
Hops: 4oz Cascade, 4oz Rakau, 4oz Glacier

Descriptions of the hops can be found at Tavistocks webpage here:

https://www.tavihops.ca/

Hop breakdown from Tavistock:

Cascade – Our Cascade have notes of Citrus and Mango 2018 Alpha 5.1% // Beta 7.2 % Centennial – Earthy and floral with an element of citrus Alpha 6.6 // Beta 2.9%
Rakau – Aroma’s of Stone Fruit, Red Licorice and Grassy notes 2018 Alpha 8.7% // Beta 2.% Glacier – Our Glacier have notes of Citrus, Herbal, Earthy and hints of fruit. 2018 Alpha 4.1. // Beta 5.2%

Good luck and good brewing! Round 4 will be judged at the meeting in March.

Brew Slam 2018 – Wrap Up

Brew Slam is wrapped up for another year, and what a year it was! Most prizes were shipped out to our winners before the holidays, and I finally have time to write my annual wrap up post. With 826 entries judged, were were Canada’s largest homebrew competition again for 2018!

The judging and awards for Brew Slam happened back in November, but we’ve been hard at work since then working on all the wrap up tasks to be able to mark the competition complete for another year. Don’t stop reading now because some pretty amazing things happened this year that I want to share.

Competition Stats 2018:

  • Largest Canadian homebrew competition, ever!
    • 826 entries judged
    • 847 registered entries
    • 8/10 provinces, Yukon, CT/PA, and ISRAEL!
  • 191 participants with entries
  • 135 volunteers: 75 judges, 54 stewards, 22 sorters, 10 crew
    • Likely the most judges in any Canadian beer competition, ever!
  • 31 award categories
  • 7 judging sessions, avg 7.5 entries/pair per session
  • Over $16,000 in prizes!!
Continue reading Brew Slam 2018 – Wrap Up

Last Brewer Standing – Round 3

Round 3 is commencing now. It will be a slightly different round than previous as it is sponsored by none other than Escarpment Labs who have generously provided all the yeast for the participants.

Because there will be no meeting in December, LBS round 3 will be judged at the January meaning. More time for the brewers to brew the stronger beers we have chosen. Brewers must use the specific strain provided by Escarpment.

Here are the matchups!

Match 1 – 26D – Belgian Dark Strong Ale (Escarpment St. Remy)

Jase Gudat vs. Keith Caines

Match 2 – 17A – British Strong Ale (Escarpment English Ale 1)

Tardy Tim Burnett vs. Evan Bonsell

Match 3 – 15C – Irish Extra Stout (Escarpment Irish Ale)

Emily Storey vs. Mike Vandervoort

Match 4 – 17C – Wee Heavy (Escarpment Scottish Ale)

Kym Watts vs. Mark Verok

Good luck to everyone!

Last Brewer Standing Round 2 Update!

Another exciting round took place last night at the October Meeting at Northern Maverick! Just as in previous rounds, the quality of the beer was impressive. Its almost like people are trying to win this competition.

Unfortunately, we can’t all be winners, only half the people move on past Round 2. Hearts were broken last night, and if you weren’t there, you missed a lovely poem from Emily Storey, dedicated to none other than her competitor Jesse Reynolds.

Here are the results!

1D – American Wheat (Mark Verok vs Matti Cowan)
Mark was the winner
11B – Best Bitter (Guillaume Couture-Levesque vs. Kym Watts)
Kym Watts was the winner
15A – Irish Red (Mike V vs Bear)
Mike V was the winner
20B – American Stout (Sean Holden vs. Evan Bonsell)
Stinky Bonsell was the winner
1C – Cream Ale (Jesse Reynolds vs Emily Storey)
Emily was the winner
25A – Belgian Blond (Tardy Tim Burnett vs Mark Hubbard)
Tardy Tim Burnett was the winner
14B – Scottish Heavy (Eric Cousineau vs Keith Caines)
Keith was the winner
15B – Irish Stout (Iain Robertson vs Jase Gudat)
Jase was the winner
Round 3 details will be coming in the next fews days.
Congrats to the winners, my condolences to the losers (even Guillaume).

 

Brew Slam 2018 – Entry Registration Now Open!

Entry registration is now open, and spots are already filling up quickly! Visit the Brew Slam 2018 page to learn more, and register your entries.

Entry Registration and Drop Off

Registration will close on Nov 3rd, or when the 850 entry cap is hit. Entries will be accepted at drop off and shipping locations beginning on Oct 11th. If you need to drop off earlier for any reason, please email us.

If the cap is hit, the site won’t allow any more entries to be registered. In this case we will do our best to follow up on unpaid entries, and verify if the entrants still need the spot(s).

Please do everyone (especially our Registrar) a favour, and only register entries you actually plan to submit, then pay for them right away. We will provide regular entry registration updates on social media.

Volunteering

Brew Slam is a volunteer driven competition, so please consider donating a bit of your time to help this competition happen. The Brew Slam 2018 comittee has been hard at work for months laying the groundwork for another fantastic year, please help us out by registering as a volunteer.

We need help with Bottle Sorting (Nov 4th), and Stewarding/Judging (Nov 9-11th), learn more on our Brew Slam Volunteer page. If you have a friend that is a BJCP judge, please encourage them to attend!

GTA Brews – Last Brewer Standing Round 1 Updates! Round 2 Match ups.

*** LAST BREWER STANDING UPDATE ***

For those who couldn’t attend the meeting, it was another hard fought battle between fellow GTA Brews members. 16 entered, 8 remained. As usual, entries were all really nice beers, it must have been hard for the judges! Here are the results:

Clayton Hoy vs Guillaume Couture-Lévesque (Dark Mild 13A) – Guillaume Wins (Cheeky Chug-a-lug)

Tony Di Bratto vs Eric Cousineau (Ordinary Bitter 11A) – Eric Wins (No Name)

Jesse Reynolds vs Nicholas Cole (English IPA 12C) – Jesse Wins (Excalibeer!)

Chris Maheras vs Kym Watts (Saison 25B – Standard) – Kym Wins (No Name)

Keith Caines vs Jason Warner (British Golden Ale 12A) – Keith Wins (Goldie)

Ted Z vs Hugh Jahangover (Bear) (APA 18B) – Bear Wins (Ted vs. Bear Hug or Hog?)

Emily Elizabeth Storey vs Andrew Kotowick (American Brown 19C) Emily Wins (Name was too offensive to put on Facebook)

Sean Holden vs Nick Hodowsky (Trappist Single 26A) Sean Wins (Bad Pilot)

Now, for Round 2. 16 remain, here are the matchups.

Sean Holden vs. Evan Bonsell – American Stout
Iain R vs. Jase Gudat – Irish Stout
Hugh Jahangover vs. Mike Van – Irish Red
Jesse Reynolds vs Emily Elizabeth Storey – Cream Ale
Mark Verok vs Matti Kawan – American Wheat
Tim Burnett vs. Mark Hubbard – Belgian Blond
Kieth Caines vs. Eric Cousineau – Scottish Heavy
Guillaume Couture-Lévesque vs. Kym Watts – Best Bitter

Beers must be ready for the October meeting.

Good luck everyone, even Guillaume Couture-Lévesque.

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

GTA Brews – Last Brewer Standing Round 1

Fellow GTA Brewers! Since the Last Brewer Standing sold out in a day, I’ve moved up the competition dates so we can get started RIGHT AWAY. Round 1 matchups are listed in the bracket. All even number brackets will have their beers judged at the July 9th meeting. All odd number brackets will have their beers judged at the August 13th Meeting. We are staggering the first few rounds for manageability. If you have any questions, feel free to email lastbrewerstanding@gtabrews.ca Continue reading GTA Brews – Last Brewer Standing Round 1

GTA Brews presents Last Brewer Standing

So you’ve heard the rumblings, the mumblings and grumblings. Or maybe you haven’t. GTA Brews is introducing a NEW* style of competition. One so rad, kewl, fetch (to hell with Regina George), neato, etc, that you will have no choice but to sign up in droves**. What am I talking about? Last Brewer Standing, of course! (In case you didn’t read the title) Continue reading GTA Brews presents Last Brewer Standing

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.

Continue reading Competitions Update

Announcing Spring Showdown 2018 – Homebrew Competition

Click Here to go to the main competition page and register!

The sixth competition in this small competition series will take place in May, and since we skipped Winter Warmer, we will be accepting all styles of beer, mead, and cider!

These seasonal competitions are designed to be a “low stakes” introduction to BJCP competitions for club members (and anyone else) to enter their beers for feedback and fun. This competition will be judged by BJCP Judges according to the 2015 BJCP Guidelines.

Continue reading Announcing Spring Showdown 2018 – Homebrew Competition

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

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

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.

Brew Slam 2016 – Wrap Up

Brew Slam 2016 Awards wrapped up just over a week ago, results have been announced, scoresheets were posted, and prizes will be mailed (and emailed) out soon. I think it’s safe to finally start writing this wrap up post after what seems like almost a whole year of prep!

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Some notable accomplishments and improvements we made this year:

Cask Days Homebrew Comp 2016 – BJCP Results

CDHC16_Results

Announcing the results from the BJCP component of the 2016 Cask Days Homebrew Competition! Please check the PDF link above for the list of winners. Congratulations to everyone that placed in the competition!

Judges were asked to nominate 1-3 beers from their table to move onto the selection component of the competition where the 10 brewers were selected. In total 21 beers were nominated for the selection round, and it was very difficult to pare that list down to only 10 beers. The selected brewers have been notified privately so we can begin planning, but their names won’t be announced publicly today. Cask Days will announce their names in early August.

Scoresheets containing the judge’s feedback and scores are still being sorted, but they will be sent out very soon.

In total we had 79 entries from 44 brewers submitted. Thank you to our 16 judges, and 5 stewards for their hard work on the judging day, we couldn’t have done this without you. There were plenty of excellent beers submitted and we wish we had enough capacity to brew more, but we we’re only able to select ten.

Don’t forget that Brew Slam 2016 is coming up in September! If you enjoyed this competition, you’ll enjoy Brew Slam even more since it is our flagship homebrew competition. We have thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, plus several Pro-Ams!

Thanks for Cask Days and Toronto Brewing for their partnership on this competition!

Here’s a few pictures from the final round to tide you over!

BOS cup mats

BOS discussion 1

BOS soo many glasses 21 beers each

Announcing Brew Slam 2016 (#BrewSlam2)

Click Here to go to the main competition page.

Press Release

July 5th, 2016 – Toronto, ON

 GTA Brews is pleased to announce the dates and details for our Brew Slam 2016 Homebrew Competition in Toronto. These dates might seem like a ways away, but it’s actually under 3 months away so get brewing and mark the deadline in your calendar!
 
Entry Deadline: Sept 24th, 2016
Judging Dates: Sept 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016
Account registration is open now! Visit the Brew Slam 2016 page for rules and entry details!
brewslam small fb-01

Brew Slam 2015 (recap) was our club’s first big competition. It was a huge success with 318 entries judged in only 2 days, almost 50 amazing volunteers, and thousands of dollars in prizes!

We are excited to build on last year and make Brew Slam 2016 bigger and better. Our goal is to make this the premier competition in the area for both judges and entrants. Toronto has the largest pool of BJCP judges in Canada which allows us to focus on the best quality judging and feedback possible. We are also excited to work with some fantastic sponsors for even better prizes than last year!

About GTA Brews
We are Toronto’s local homebrew club. Since establishing our club in 2013 we have gained momentum and grown into Canada’s largest homebrew club with well over 200 Paid Members. 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.

Announcing the 2016 Cask Days Homebrew Competition

We are very excited to announce that GTA BrewsCask Days, and Toronto Brewing have teamed up to collaborate on the first ever Cask Days Homebrew Competition. The competition will take place this July, and the deadline to enter is July 12th.

The winners of this competition will work with our partner breweries in August and September to re-brew their beer to be served at Cask Days 2016. 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.

Visit the competition page to learn more and to register.

caskdayshc_logo

Spring Showdown 2016 Results!

Spring Showdown judging happened yesterday April 27th. Scoresheets will be emailed out in the next week or two.

First of all, a huge thanks to all the volunteers for their hard work yesterday. Without the hard work of the judges and stewards this wouldn’t have been possible! I believe this competition was a huge success!

Also a huge thanks to Jordan and Rainhard Brewing for hosting the judging! Also thanks to Patrick Brown, Mark Verok, Andrew Byer, and Eric Cousineau for acting at drop off locations!

DSC_4523
View of the judges hard at work!

The results are posted in pdf below:
BOS
We had 63 entries, 16 judges, and 6 stewards. I believe the judging quality was overall high, and from where I was it seemed like judges felt comfortable and were able to focus on writing the best sheets possible.

Continue reading Spring Showdown 2016 Results!

Announcing Spring Showdown – Homebrew Competition!

Full details are posted here!
http://www.gtabrews.ca/competitions/seasonal-competition/

Entries Deadline: Sunday April 24th, 2016
Judging: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at Rainhard Brewing Co.

The third competition in this series will take place in April and have the theme, Spring and Warm Weather Beers! We’ve also added cider for the first time!

Also, we have updated our software to BCOE&M 2.0.1! Check out the slick new UI!

Brew Slam 2015 Wrap Up

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Brew Slam 2015 judging and awards wrapped up last weekend and it was quite a whirlwind of activity. If you haven’t noticed yet, results from Brew Slam 2015 have been posted to the site. We ended up with 318 entries, 31 judges, and 9 stewards over both days of judging. Pretty great turnout for a first year competition!

PDF version of Brew Slam 2015 Results

Congratulations to everyone that placed in the competition. We already distributed many Continue reading Brew Slam 2015 Wrap Up

Brew Slam 2015 – Judging This Weekend!

Our first annual BJCP-sanctionned competition, Brew Slam 2015, is here and we are very excited. The entries are all in and we are working on unpacking and sorting them all before the first judging day on Friday. We will update when we have a final tally of entries. We are adding sponsors constantly and already have a few Pro-Ams lined up for winners! This competition is part of the Brewer of the Year circuit has entrants from all over Canada.

Deadline: September 25th, 2015
Judging Dates: October 2nd-3rd, 2015
Pop-Up Bar and Award Ceremony: October 4th, 2015 @ Lansdowne Brewery

Tickets are now on sale for the Brew Slam Pop-Up Bar, where the awards for Brew Slam 2015 will be presented.

Check out the Brew Slam 2015 page for details.

Judges and stewards we need you! Please register here. Every judge and steward will receive $20 in ZackBucks to be used at Toronto Brewing.

Brew Slam Prizes!

I thought this would be a good place to start documenting all the awesome prizes our winners from the Brew Slam 2015 Homebrew Competition will get. Time to get excited because we have some amazing prizes that will make you want to enter and win! Follow this link to register!

Our sponsors have been very generous to us for our inaugural year including many homebrew shop gift cards and several pro-am collaborations. Check out our full list of sponsors here. Continue reading Brew Slam Prizes!

Summer Showdown 2015 Wrap Up!

Results are up for the GTA Brews Summer Showdown 2015! As we begin to wrap up our first competition run as a club I must say it went rather well. We planned for 20-30 entries  in our club only competition and we had a total of 35 entries judged, all local to the GTA. Congrats to Matt Sulker and his Best of Show winning IPA! Congrats to all the winners! Scores have been input to the system, and score sheets will be emailed out to participants in a few days.

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Lots of lessons learned to take into organizing Brew Slam 2015 competition in the fall, thanks to our judges Tina, Kyle,Craig, Geof, Tim, and Nick for their patience, staying late, and sticking through! Thanks to Andrew for organizing, and opening his house to entry Continue reading Summer Showdown 2015 Wrap Up!