How Homebrewing is Changing the Toronto Brewing Scene

With pint prices on the rise and craft beer prevailing, Toronto’s ever-growing crowd of beer lovers are taking to homebrewing.

In this city beer connoisseurs are turning into brew masters. It’s a rapidly growing scene that reflects the local love of craft beer. In 2013, one of Toronto’s most active homebrewing clubs met for the first time with only 5 members. Now, just 2 years later, GTA Brews boasts over 700 online members with 20-30 attendees every month.

In this city there are several hundred serious homebrewers. There are probably thousands of casual and new hobbyists who’ve picked up the trend.

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Those who experience the homebrewing enthusiasm are usually inspired by a craft beer that’s piqued their interest. Many encounter unique brews on their trips overseas. Sought-after Belgian-styles and Trappist ales can evoke nostalgia for many beer lovers, and aren’t really accessible at the LCBO, or even local breweries.

And brewing your own can be more affordable than buying your own — at least when it comes to spending a night out.

The cheapest sixer in Toronto is Laker Lager ($7.95). But your average bar will often charge just about that for 1 20oz (and sometimes 16oz) pint.

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So what’s the cost of homebrewing?

Homebrewer starter kits are $150-$200. You’ll need to invest in brewing supplies, plus ingredients for every batch. And good news: today’s prices available for local homebrewers are lower than many in the U.S. Homebrewing can save about $62 a year if you stay basic.

Without commercial viability, homebrewers can avoid conventional consumer tastes and satisfy their own palettes using exotic spices, fruits, and yeasts in their beers.

Want to hop on the homebrewing train? Get inspired by the 2016 #beerfest coming up in July. The festival shows a growing appreciation for craft beer. The new World of Beer Pavilion extends beyond the confines of the LCBO.

 

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