GTA Brews is excited to announce our fifth annual, nation-wide, homebrew competition for beer, mead, and cider; Brew Slam 2019 (#BrewSlam)! We are excited to build on last year’s massive success which saw 826 entries, from 191 entrants, in 8/10 provinces, judged by 75 judges, over just 3 days, making this the largest homebrew competition in Canada! We are ecstatic to have John Palmer attending as our guest of honour (Nov 8-10) to help ring in our 5th year!
At our July meeting we announced that Lars Marius Garshol (of Larsblog) will be attending our September club meeting (Sept 9th). He’ll be in town for Escarpment’s Kveikstokk on Sept 10th, and agreed to come check out our club meeting and taste some homebrewed kveik beers!
Escarpment Labs‘ Richard Preiss will also be in attendance, making this a double Kveik whammy! As many of you know Richard has been a huge proponent of kveik, and have driven significant research into this exciting family of yeast.
Lars is responsible for the popularizing this workhorse yeast in the home and craft brewing world. This article from Good Beer Hunting does an excellent job telling the story about how Lars documented and popularized Kveik yeast.
We are Toronto’s local homebrew club and our goal is to help our members learn how to make the best beer/mead/cider possible! We run events, competitions, bulk buys, and lots more. Club Meetings are the 2nd Monday of each month. Join as a Member to get access to all our events and services. Keep up with our latest news:
Join on Facebook:GTA Brews Facebook Discussion Group
This group serves as the main discussion hub for over 2000 local homebrewers. Ask your brewing questions, and check out what others brewing to get inspired for your next brew!
June 1st, 2019 marks the first annual Canadian Homebrew Day! To celebrate, we have moved our annual public Learn2Brew event up from the fall to coincide with this new holiday.
Learn2Brew is a multi-site event where GTA Brews club members share their love of the hobby by demonstrating the brewing process at their local brewery taproom. The goal is to help demystify the brewing process and convince craft beer enthusiasts to give the hobby a try.
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 email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
This year, Movember is hitting closer to GTA Brews. With our beloved Jon Mains leaving us this year, there is a team of GTA Brewers who are raising money for Movember in memory of our friend, Jon. Jon was always a huge supporter and money raiser for Movember
Last year’s memberships expire on Oct 1st, so you need the renew soon to maintain your active membership status! Don’t forget Fall 2018 Grain Buy is open now, and membership renewal is needed to participate!
As we continue to streamline club operations, we’ve made a few adjustments to the membership structure. Here’s a quick summary of the new format:
Dues: $20/year plus $5 initiation fee for new (or lapsed) members
Membership is now valid for 1 full year after sign up date, and renewal is automatic each year using the same credit card!
Members are welcome to bring household family members to occasional events
Due to a limitation in our membership software we have disabled the $5 initiation fee until Oct 1st, to allow current members to transition into the new membership subscription.
Membership is excellent value, and includes access to fall and spring grain buys, annual winter hop buy, monthly meetings, discounted homebrew supplies at Toronto Brewing, club projects like our barrel project and homebrew advent calendar, and much more!
Membership dues pay for the operating of the club, including paying for web services, advertising, club projects, AV equipment, Specials Occasion Permits from LLBO and more. The club is also planning to incorporate as a non-profit entity in the next 3-6 months, and there are some one-time costs associated with that transition.
It is with heavy hearts that GTA Brews informs members of the loss of tireless volunteer, competitor, brewer, and friend, Jon Mains. Jon was in a tragic mountain biking accident last Sunday and he passed away peacefully this morning at St. Michael’s Hospital. His generous and helpful spirit remains ever-present even at this difficult time. Jon is an organ donor, and he will go on to give the gift of life to those desperately in need.
Anyone who has attended club events, participated in Canadian homebrew competitions, or simply been a regular participant in the club facebook group is likely familiar with Jon. From the monstrous 33 gallon batches that he brewed on his stove in five different vessels, to his endless volunteering efforts as a head steward and judge in Brew Slam and Spring Showdown, to his love for brewing crushable light lagers that put BMC to shame, Jon’s passion for this hobby was palpable and his approach utterly unique. And although he was nationally recognized for lager brewing, he would want us to remind you that he medalled in IPA with the best of them.
Jon will be well-remembered and dearly missed by the close friends that met him and came to love him through GTA Brews. At meetings and club events Jon made members both old and new feel instantly at ease with his friendly and welcoming nature. Good conversation came easily to Jon, and many of you will recall that he was always ready to share an engaging discussion, crack a joke, or offer some indispensable piece of brewing advice to anyone he met.
Jon’s passing will be most closely felt by his family and loved ones, who have lost a son, a brother, a partner, or a friend. Discussions are underway among club directors about the best ways to support his family, express the gratitude we feel for having known Jon, and honour his memory. More details will follow.
Critically, if you are hurting and in need of any kind of grief support, please feel free to reach out to other club members or directors to talk. These bleak times do not have to be quite so painful as long as we come together and support each other as a community.
Jon’s funeral date and location are to be determined, but we will keep you informed. The family is asking all friends to kindly forward photos and stories to