So I know that I am necroing an old thread here, but I was heading to Canada this weekend and wanted to bring homebrew with me. In trying to figure out the legality of bringing homebrew into Canada I searched the forums and this thread was the top search result, but I wasn't satisfied with the answers provided so I contacted the Canada Border Services Agency with these very questions, here was their response:
Due to the nature of homemade alcohol it is difficult to establish both the ingredients and the alcohol content. While Canadian residents and visitors are able to import homemade alcohol it is their responsibility to satisfy the border services officer of both:
the value of the item
the alcohol content (litres of pure alcohol)
So you CAN
in fact legally transport homebrew across the boarder into Canada so long as you can convince them of the alcohol content. I think 99% of the time if they ask if you are bringing alcohol and you say "yes X amount of beer" they won't question it any further. If they do question further I'm not sure how you are suppose to convince them of the alcohol content short of providing your brew-log for the beer and maybe cracking one open just to prove you didn't fill the bottles with vodka or something.
As far as quantities, this was their response:
Visitors to Canada are able to import certain quantities of alcoholic beverages duty and tax free provided they have these items in their possession when they arrive. Alcoholic beverages are deemed to be any beverage that exceeds 0.5% alcohol by volume. The alcohol allowance for visitors is:
1.5 litres of wine; or
a total of 1.14 litres of alcoholic beverages; or
up to a maximum of 8.5 litres of beer or ale.
The quantities listed are per person who has attained the age of majority of the province or territory that you are entering into.
8.5 liters is the equivalent of 1 case of beer, or 24 12oz (355ml in Canadian) cans/bottles per person. You can legally bring more than that but it will be subject to duty and taxes.
Again, this info is for bringing stuff from the US into Canada, the rules are probably different in reverse. Hope this info helps.