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This a great event and I encourage everyone to go who has an interest in brewing or how beer is made!

Across North America, the first Saturday of November is recognized as “Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day”, and the Southern Ontario Brewers recognize the date by hosting a Learn2Brew event. In cooperation with Amsterdam Brewing, the Southern Ontario Brewers invite you to spend a day learning about homebrewing on Saturday 3. November 2012 at 45 Esandar Drive, in Toronto. This group of homebrewers will be demonstrating a range of homebrewing techniques and equipment from single-vessel systems through larger 3-vessel breweries. The group consists of novice homebrewers through professional brewers.

“Homebrewers are proud of our craft, and usually take any opportunity we can get to show it off.” explained Jason Stranak, one of the event organizers. “We hope to attract members of the public with an interest in craft beer, homebrewing or anyone who enjoys tasting and learning about hand-crafted full-flavoured beer. We are inviting the public to come out to view the beer brewing demonstrations and learn about the hobby and ask questions about the brewing process”.”

Amateur brewers will be setting up their mash tuns, kettles and assorted gear and attendees can expect that there will be at least 10 brewing stations on site brewing a variety of ales and lagers during the demonstration using malted barley, hops, yeast and water.

Jamie Mistry, brewmaster at the Amsterdam Brewery has been generous in hosting this annual event for the fourth year running. The Amsterdam Brewery will also be open for the event, with public tours of the new Leaside brewery location, and Amsterdam beers will be available to sample.

Date: Saturday, 3.November 2012
Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Amsterdam Brewery, 45 Esander Drive, Toronto

For further information, media may contact:
Jason Stranak, Southern Ontario Brewers
jason.stranak@gmail.com
http://learn2brew.areyouansob.com/

The Southern Ontario Brewers are a group of amateur homebrewers from the GTA (and beyond) who love to share their passion for homebrewing. SOB is an informal association of amateur brewers who share brewing knowedge and stage the occasional gathering to brew together and perhaps share our beers. – The SOB mandate is to be inclusive, not elitist. We hope to have a little fun, and perhaps break some of the rules along the way.

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Some times you just have to do things out of order.

Back in October I was contacted by Jordan a fellow beer blogger about brewing some beer with other local blog-ites during the Southern Ontario Brewers Learn 2 Brew day.  Since it is a Christmas Ale and I did enjoy the fruits of our labor last night I thought it only fair to jump ahead in my timeline to critique this brew today.  If you do the math you now know I am 57 posts behind what I am drinking today!!

All I can say about the beer was that it was damn good and better than I could have ever expected.  A true one of a kind beer since we changed the recipe on the fly and probably broke some cardinal brewing rules by not taking notes!  Ooops.

You can check out Brew day at the following links:

About the Beer – It poured really dark brown with a great mocha coloured head.  The aroma was of cinnamon and sweetness.  The flavour had a bold cinnamon hit right up front but mellows into some nice caramel/molasses notes.  I picked up some pine and bitterness right at the end.  Nowhere near as bitter as I was expecting after putting all those hops in!

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, what a smooth and interesting beer.  I can’t take any real credit for it though since the recipe was Jordan’s (with some tweaks by Andrew) and most if not all of the brewing technique was done by Andrew.  Chris and I were more of the go crush some barley, wash out that pot, get rid of those grains kinda guys!  Although Chris sure knew how to explain the whole experience to any passer’s by.  I am officially dubbing Chris the “Marketing Guy” for the day!

We never really named the beer so I guess it will always go by Christmas Ale but apparently the beer is popular with the ladies!

Thanks again to Jordan for inviting me, Amsterdam for putting up with a bunch of brewers and the SOB’s for all the info.  I now feel prepared to try my next Home-Brew.

I got an interesting email a few weeks back from Jordan a fellow beer blogger.

Real Men

The guys doing the real work! Jordan, Chris, and Andrew

If you have not read any of his stuff you should check it out here: St. John’s Wort, he is a great writer.  Anyway Jordan somehow got to talking with the Southern Ontario Brewers (SOB’s) about having a group of local bloggers come down to the Learn 2 Brew day held at the Amsterdam brewery and brew some beer (since we are so quick to rate it why not make it).  With out thinking twice Jordan accepted their challenge.  Little did he know that of the bloggers he contacted and that accepted the challenge would be me and Chris from the Toronto Beer Blog.  Both of us have little to no brewing experience….Joke was on him apparently, but Jordan is smarter than the average bear and hooked us up with a ringer (and fellow blogger) Andrew!  Andrew just happens to work at the Amsterdam Brewery and is also in the inaugural year of the brewmaster program at Niagara College.

I am not sure what I expected when I volunteered for this since my brewing experience was all theoretical and not practical but I have wanted to brew beer for quite a while now and this seemed like a good way to get my feet wet.  I am sure Andrew is still thinking about “that guy” who could not stop asking questions!

I can’t say enough about the Amsterdam brewery and their generosity of loaning out the brewery to a bunch of amateur brewers to use for the day.  It was very cool!

Christmas Ale Anyone?

I was surprised by the amount of brewers there but also the amount of people walking through and asking questions.  All in all I had a great time, learned a ton and had a few laughs.  What more could you ask for?  I am not going to write about the beer brewed or brew day itself since Jordan has and Chris likely will have better posts on it!

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