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Top Beer Symposium

Thursday , 25th July, 9am - 5pm

Burdock Barrel Warehouse

201 Geary Ave, Toronto

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Presented by Escarpment Laboratories and Paradise Grapevine, the Holy Waters Symposium is a two day program of technical, scientific and sensorial seminars that explore some of the most relevant and least understood topics facing producers and consumers of wine and beer today. Leading professionals from around the world will gather in Toronto to address challenges and present ideas and solutions in the pursuit of creating better wine and beer. See the full list of presenters and topics below 


Hidden Secrets of

The New England IPA

Dr. John Paul Maye - Technical Director

at Hopsteiner

The New England IPA (NEIPA) or Hazy IPA is a unique beer style that continues to climb in popularity. More and more breweries are starting to emulate the phenomenon known as the “haze craze,” giving way to opaque, cloudy glasses with intense tropical fruit notes. Most would suspect that the haze comes from the yeast, but NEIPAs typically contain less than 1 million cells/ml. The haze actually comes from the use of high protein adjuncts, primarily in the grain bill of wheat or oats. This makes incredibly hazy beers with turbidity measurements ranging from 80 – 900 NTU!


In this seminar Dr. John Paul Maye, Technical Director at Hopsteiner and passionate home brewer, helps explain in detail his latest research on this wildly popular phenomenon that few properly understand. Dr. Maye reveals the “Hidden Secrets of the NEIPA” and discusses results from the HPLC analysis of haze of a dozen NEIPAs in comparison to West Coast IPAs.

Wild Production with

Mikkeller Baghaven

Ehren Schmidt - Master Blender and Brewer

at Mikkeller Baghaven

Join Ehren Schmidt, Master Brewer/Blender/Yeast Scientist at Mikkeller Baghaven, for an overview of the fermentation and production of their spontaneous and wild ales. Topics include the use of indigenous yeast, fruiting techniques, spontaneous fermentation, maintaining wild cultures, blending and more.

THP, the mouse in the room

Richard Preiss, MSc - Microbiologist

at Escarpment Laboratories

"Mouse taint" is widely considered a flavour defect which can impact the flavour of both sour beers and natural wines. This flavour is a result of the production of tetrahydropyridines (THPs) by lactic acid bacteria and/or Brettanomyces. In this presentation, the current state of scientific knowledge surrounding THP ("mouse taint") will be presented and discussed. Practical suggestions for mitigating THP in mixed microbial beverages will also be presented.

Open Top Fermentation

Mary Beth Keefe - Head Brewer

at Granite Brewery

Join Mary Beth Keefe, Head Brewer at Toronto’s iconic Granite Brewery, as she presents the history of the Ringwood yeast system and it’s journey to North America. Learn why Granite decided to utilize this system and the techniques involved including sanitation requirements, yeast cropping and pitching, fermentation time and profiles and how to troubleshoot open fermentations.

The Path to Lacto 2.0

Iz Netto - R&D Biologist

at Escarpment Laboratories

In this presentation we’ll discuss the path to the development of Escarpment Labs’ Lacto 2.0 blend. We’ll share the research on how we decided on the Lactobacillus strains for the new blend, from why there was need for a second blend product, to interpreting test results, and all the twists and turns in between.

Evolution of Dry Hopping

Luke Pestl

Bellwoods Brewery

There’s no question that Bellwoods Brewery has shaped the landscape of hop forward styles in Ontario since their genesis in 2012. Stylistically Bellwoods has managed to stay ahead of the curve, predicting and creating new fashions in beer that consequently define the market trends in Ontario and Canada. Key to the success of Bellwoods’ relevance has been their creative and adventurous mindset, the relationships that its core team has forged all over the world, and their insatiable appetite for quality and product development. During this seminar Luke Pestl will take us through the evolution of dry hopping techniques at Bellwoods Brewery and tell us his experience of what works, what doesn’t and what is next.

Modern Piquette

Todd Cavallo - Owner and Winemaker

at Wild Arc Farms

A discussion of the history, economic significance, and chemistry of piquette, a low alcohol wine product made from spent grape must. We'll take a look at piquette's historical role in the vineyards of 19th century Europe, and how it's resurgence makes sense in the current marketplace. There will also be a dive into the roles of pH, alcohol, yeast, and Lactic Acid Bacteria in the production of modern Piquette.

Lager Stars

Luc 'Bim' Lafontaine - Owner and Brewmaster

at Godspeed Brewery

Michael Fava - Head Brewer

at Oxbow Brewing Company

Olivier Dupras - Head Brewer

at Isle de Garde Brasserie 

Lagers are in, and they’re still hard to brew. These frothy gems are touted as the toughest styles to perfect and for good reasons. So, we’ve assembled a panel of some of the most admired lager brewers in North America to answer your questions and discuss their tricks and techniques. Our panelists differ substantially in their approach, but they all have one thing in common, each of them knows how to brew a crisp frosty! If you’re a brewer that’s living in 2019, this seminar is not to be missed. A follow up event celebrating some of the best lagers available in the province will be held at WVRST the night after the symposium (Thursday, 25th July).


Dr. John Paul Maye


Dr. John Paul Maye is Technical Director at Hopsteiner with over 25 years of experience in the hop industry.  He received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry at Purdue University in 1994, and started work as a hop chemist in 1993.  He has developed many new products and applications for hops both inside and outside the brewing industry and has many publications and patents.  Over the last few years his research has focused on dry hopping and how it effects bitterness, the IBU test, pH and Foam. Today he will talk about his most recent research into New England IPAs.


Dr. Maye is a recipient of the ASBC’s Eric Kneen Memorial Award for his work on preparing stable HPLC calibration standards for isomerized and reduced alpha acids and is also a founding member and the secretary of the International Hop Standards Committee.

Ehren Schmidt


Ehren Schmidt is the Master Blender and Brewer at Mikkeller Baghaven in Copenhagen Denmark. He studied Geological Sciences with an emphasis in Geomicrobiology at The University of Missouri-Columbia. His passion for beer and background in microbiology led him into the brewing industry where he has become an authority on wild yeast and bacteria isolation, characterization, and implementation. Ehren has won a variety of awards for his creations, including a bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beer category at the 2016 World Beer Cup and Gold at the 2016 San Diego International Beer Competition. Ehren’s passion is combining aspects of art and science to create new and interesting beers that are constantly raising the bar and sparking discussion.

Richard Preiss, MSc


Richard is the cofounder of Escarpment Laboratories in Guelph, Ontario. Escarpment is Canada's craft yeast lab, offering a wide range of high quality liquid yeasts to brewers. Richard is a scientist and brewer and obsessed with the art and science of microbial flavour production. His goal is to unlock and communicate the flavour potential among the vast array of ingredients and processes used in the fermentation industries. 

Iz Netto


Iz Netto is the R&D biologist at Escarpment Labs. Her research projects are aimed at developing and improving on products and protocols. She made the switch to the beer industry in 2016 after years of working as a research tech in drinking water quality at the University of Toronto. Iz has a master’s degree from Ryerson University, where she wrote an award-nominated thesis on Environmental Microbiology, as well as a diploma in Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management from Niagara College.

Todd Cavallo


Todd Cavallo makes wine in the Hudson Valley of New York State, the oldest winegrowing region in the US. As a small-scale organic grower and low-intervention winemaker, he was looking for ways to keep his wine prices low without going broke. He has resurrected the historical practice of making piquette from spent grape pomace, releasing the first commercial version ever produced in the US in 2017. In addition, he makes more traditional wines from Vinifera and Hybrid grapes and ciders from cultivated and foraged apples. His primary goal, aside from making delicious beverages that represent the terroir and culture of the Hudson Valley, is to show that you can grow grapes in New York without herbicides or synthetic pesticides and fungicides, and hopefully move the needle in that direction across the state.

Olivier Dupras

Olivier is the co-owner and Head Brewer at Montreal’s Brasserie Isle de Garde. Isle de Garde focuses on brewing English ales and lagers in closed and open fermenters. Olivier developed his understanding and inspiration for lager brewing during several trips to Franconia, Bavaria and Czech Republic. Isle de Garde brews lagers mostly inspired by Franconian kellerbier and Czech lagers.

Michael Fava

Michael is the Head Brewer for Oxbow Brewing Company in Newcastle & Portland Maine. He began his brewing career in Philadelphia in 2005, with Dock Street Brewing Company. In 2008, he transitioned to Nodding Head Brewery and Pub brewing for Philadelphia's most award winning brewery. A passion for crafting authentic farmhouse ales has lead him to an 18-acre farm in Maine where he oversees the day to day operations of Oxbow's brewing operations in Newcastle, as well as their mixed-fermentation, barrel-aging program and lager brewing in Portland

Mary Beth Keefe

Mary Beth Keefe has been the Head Brewer at the Granite Brewery since 2009 and has been on the payroll since 1993 with her first role helping out her dad in the brewery. The Granite, still a family owned business, will celebrate its 28th birthday this August. Granite is an open fermenting brewery and tied house specializing in English ales and has only recently introduced their first closed fermenter in order to experiment with different styles and different yeasts.

Luke Pestl

Luc Bim Lafonatine


  • Beer Symposium + Wine Festival Ticket
    Beer Symposium + Wine Festival Ticket
    See individual events for times.
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse
    See individual events for times.
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse, 201 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2C1, Canada
    See individual events for times.
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse, 201 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2C1, Canada
    Ticket gains you entry to the Beer Symposium and one Wine Festival session.
  • Beer Symposium
    Beer Symposium
    Thu, Jul 25
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse
    Jul 25, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse, 201 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2C1, Canada
    Jul 25, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Burdock Barrel Warehouse, 201 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2C1, Canada
    A full day of technical and scientific brewing seminars




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