Michael Ligas (Head Judge)
Michael Ligas is a BJCP certified beer judge and a professional member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and the American Society of Brewing Chemists. He previously served on a technical committee for the Brewers of Canada and has won numerous national and international awards in brewing. He currently is a Food & Beverage and Biotechnology specialist at Deloitte LLP in the Global R&D and Government Incentives group. Prior to joining Deloitte he worked in the wine/beer/spirits sector, founded a specialized microbiological services company, and conducted published research in virology and molecular biology. Michael holds an Honours Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biology) degree from McMaster University.
Robert Hughey has been brewing beer since the early 1980s and he has been writing about it almost as long. Robert was a key member of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Canada during the 80’s when craft brewing was being revived chairing the CAMRA Canada, Toronto Chapter. Robert was also co-founder of CASK! Toronto in 2008, which has raised awareness and production of cask ale in Toronto via regular ‘cask socials’ at pubs.
He has designed beers such as a pale ale, an IPA and a stout and had them brewed by Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the Amsterdam Brewing Company of Toronto for Allen’s on the Danforth, Toronto. He has brewed on the pilot system of the Great Lakes Brewery and on the brewing system at Café Volo, both of Toronto.
Currently, his beer, Hughey’s Gold, is being brewed by Toronto’s Junction Craft Brewing as a cask ale for various outlets around the city. He has grown, harvested and brewed with Cascade hops from his inner-city hop garden for over 15 years.
Laura Takata (Table Lead)
Laura’s passion for beer started back in the 80’s, when she started her career in the beer industry. From microbiology to flavour quality to new product development, she has developed and implemented various quality improvement initiatives, including a Taster Training and Validation program for North America’s oldest brewing company. Laura now focuses her efforts as the R&D Manager for Constellation Brands, a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy.
Chris Burek is the founder of the Ontario Beverage Network and was formerly a lead organizer and National Director of Sales and Marketing for the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2014 and 2015. He is an occasional homebrewer, Cicerone Certified International Beer Server, MBAA Certified Beer Steward and part-time bartender. His career is based in pharmaceutical and biotech regulatory operations.
Jason started home brewing in 2006, and has been growing hops on two 20’ hop trellises in his suburban back yard since 2008. He runs three rotating taps, one of which always has a west coast IPA. Co-founder of the Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition, Jason works for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and works with hop growers to improve their crop protection practices.
Scott Hodgins is the horticulture crop manager with the sponsor of the GOHCBC, BASF. He lives in Dorchester, ON with his wife Lisa and two children. While a first-time official judge, Scott has been evaluating beers on his own and with friends for quite some time.
Tiffany is a blogger and owner of The Travelling Pint, which is about the people, places, and stories that make our craft beer world more pleasant. From the story that started the brewery through to the creation, packaging, and guzzling, Tiffany Martin covers all thing craft beer culture in a unique way using both video and social media.
Having been self-employed for over ten years, Tiffany believes people should do what they love for “work” – as life is too short to hate what you do. She thinks it’s important always to be learning, she has been on a great beer journey as The Travelling Pint is centered around her thirst for knowledge about beer, brewing, the industry, and community.
She also currently works part-time at a brewery and has completed her Level 2 of Prud’homme Beer School. Visit her at www.thetravellingpint.com or come hang in her garage where her first set of Home brewing equipment is about to be broken in.
Louise Agius is a Risk Management Specialist with the Risk Identification and Management (RIM) Unit in OMAFRA’s Foods of Plant Origin program since 2014. In this role, she specializes in cider production and has been helping producers achieve higher levels of food safety during manufacturing. Prior to joining OMAFRA, Louise spent several years in industry as a food safety professional and quality assurance lead for both small and global food processors. She began her career in brewing where she worked in quality control for a large manufacturer for three years and became a trained sensory evaluator of beer. Having sat on numerous sensory profile panels, Louise has acquired more than a taste for beer—sampling new and innovative flavours has become a hoppy—err—happy obsession!
Louise holds an Honours B. Sc. in Biochemistry and an M.Sc. in Food Safety and Quality Assurance with Toxicology from the University of Guelph.