Hoggetowne Ale Works
Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
4.09/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | $$
The Place is great the service, quality and atmosphere are great. Anything will feel weird your first time but the people here make you fell like a regular the only problem would be size wish it was the size of a walmart. There prices beat anyone with pricey shipping like midwest and compare with austin home brew. And remember if your not from gainesville, the beer here is west coast hoppy so if you get a kit prepare fore a kick. but not a bad one!
02-07-2013 08:30:10 | More by Graham19840
3.37/5 rDev -23.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | $$$
I live less than a mile away from this place and it makes me sad that I have had such poor experiences when going here. Let me first say that I have no complaints about their selection or quality of ingredients. They have most of what I would need if I were to use the store. Their prices are actually higher than if I were to order online, including shipping.
What I have a very big problem with (so much that I will never be going back) is their service. They have one employee who I have not had problems with and is helpful and friendly. The rest of the staff has made each of my experiments in the store awkward and very negative. My most recent experience is what has made decide to boycott the store.
I had called to ask if it would be OK for me to bring my beer in for them to critique and troubleshoot (I had been having issues with off flavors). They said yes and that I should bring it in on a Saturday because they were having a brew day and most of the employees would be there. I brought it in after the time that the brew day was supposed to be done. I walked into the store to see about 8 people behind the counter blowing on a breathalyzer trying to see who had the highest BAC. I waited for 2-3 minutes behind some people at the desk before anyone acknowledged me and all the employee said was that he would be with me soon. After another 5 minutes of waiting (and listening to the people behind the counter talking about 2 girls, 1 cup), I had not been even glanced at again and walked out.
***I have since been back due to necessity and it seems they have changed some employees and they are now 100% enjoyable. My ratings have been appropriately adjusted. Also, the owner contacted me after my first review and expressed his apologies and asked me for my opinion and how to make it better, which was much appreciated.
01-28-2013 14:32:45 | More by GatorBeer
4.86/5 rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Wow. I love this place.
But, I suppose I've never been taken to Hoggetowne while suckling on my momma's teat, because I've never had a problem with people "not talking to me" or feeling insignificant.. I'm kinda the boisterous type of guy, probably one of those that was causing a ruckus the last brew class. So I guess keep that in mind with my review.
I walk in to the shop with a recipe idea, talk with the guys and walk out with a great recipe from some quality input. They stock all the ingredients I regularly need plus a lot of weird stuff I never would (like 50 hops I'd never use, odd malts like Cherry Smoked malt, etc). I used to order online, but not anymore. Local is good, and the experienced advice along with the ability to actually "see" the ingredients before I buy them is priceless!
If I ever do have a question or need something, I just call one of the guys and usually they'll hook me up, even if it's after hours. Can't speak highly enough of the place.
02-21-2011 04:32:04 | More by DarkhorseStout
5/5 rDev +13.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Was about time for me to review Hoggetowne, so here it is..
I've been a customer with them since they were downtown and like any small business it has went through phases with the different managers. I've gotten to know the guys that work there, and I think that getting to know the business you deal with is an integral part of being a consumer anywhere - unless you want to buy all your products online or in Wal-mart....
Inventory: I know they carry 40-50 types of hops, I'm in the freezer myself all the time checking them out, yes, a customer picking his own hops out & weighing them. They carry all types of esoteric grain, from Belgian Coffee malt to Scottish Peated malt, to all of the American, German, and British Crystals. They carry all the essentials for brewing equipment wise, and are pretty much stacked to the ceiling in inventory there. They carry some kegging supplies as well. For 600 or so square feet, they have a LOT of stuff. I know they don't like you to crack your own grain, but I understand that, Dangerous machine there. They will double crack your grain without hesitation if you wish. Just ask to look at the hops or grain, or ask to weigh it out if you want to, I've never seen anyone denied.
Special Ordering: Bluntly put, don't talk to Skip during the week or you will get exactly what a fellow posted about "deer in headlights", most likely. Any of the other guys will get you what you need in a week or so's time. Sorry to play favorites with employees, but thats just how it is. Skip's a great guy and is always there working hard but ordering is his weak point. I know Baron keeps the shop open to support local home brewing, there is absolutely no way he (or any other small homebrew shop) turns much, if any profit. It is frustrating to hear people say negative things about a place that supports the cause. If you need special orders - talk to Baron, I've emailed him or called him and gotten what I've needed at a great price in no time at all.
Hours: They have great hours for brewers - till 7 during the week and even open Sunday. No complaints. Just watch to make sure you don't go during a home Gator football game, they sponsor tailgates and are closed those days. If you need something after hours, again, call one of the guys.
Overall: I've been to a lot of brew shops, I feel most at home at Hoggetowne and have never been disappointed personally. It is a place I can go by on a Saturday and hang out for a few hours just to talk about beer or whatever and not have to worry about buying anything - that is incomprehensible to most businesses nowadays. They have done more for home brewing in Gainesville than any other place. The owner is a really nice guy who will help you out in any way he can, meet him sometime before you judge the place. Shopping at a small business is different that shopping at a supercenter, it is unfortunate that corporate America has changed how we view the small guys. That's my 2 cents.
09-29-2010 20:32:30 | More by GatorBrew
4.5/5 rDev +2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been a customer of Hoggetowne Ale Works for years and up until about a year and a half ago, some of the product availability was hit-and-miss but since then and up to the present day the consistent variety and availability has been outstanding. Tons of malts to choose from and dozens of hops, along with all the important dry yeasts for both beer and wine. They even have a well-kept selection of White Labs liquid yeasts they order regularly. With the exception of their having a "run" on one item and being out of it now and then, they have evrything I need for my brewing and I'm pretty particular.
There seems to be a certain disgruntled person who obviously has no idea how the shop is run or who staffs it and I can debunk any erroneous notions right now: The staff at Hoggetowne Ale Works are excellent and knowledgeable brewers, well conversant with all aspects of brewing beer, making ciders, meads, and wine. They also know their equipment well and how to use it. They are good at teaching newbies how to brew and also good at helping veterans tweak their techniques. I'm not saying they're perfect but they're just good guys who know what they're doing 99% of the time. Doubt it? Try some of their own beer and see. I've had beer from every brewing employee and the owner and they're all good.
Special orders are taken care of a little slowly but they get the job done in the end. I've had to wait for the next time they put an order in to get my request but if I'm patient the part/ingredient comes in soon enough. I plan ahead, so this causes me no trouble.
The shop is small and the building they're in is a bit run-down but the ingredients are well-kept in their own well-labelled containers. There is NO problem if you want to "browse" the grains or hops to check them out. I saw the leaky roof problem ("last straw" referred to and since fixed) and I hardly think it's fair to fault a bunch of shop staff for a roof problem on a rainy day. I'm pretty sure that's what a landlord is for. I think they use the space they have to its best advantage and their prices are pretty darned fair.
Oh yeah, one more thing: the owner puts on many FREE brewing classes which are really fun and helpful. How cool is that?
09-08-2010 19:19:01 | More by melanchthon
1.8/5 rDev -59.2%
quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $$
What is wrong here? I have been to a lot of homebrew supply stores, and I must say that I just do not agree with the previous comments. On their own website, they proclaim they are under "Quasi new management." Maybe this is the problem here.
There is a lot of inventory that they just do not have. If you ask them to order something they don't have in stock, they give you the "deer in headlights look," and blow you off. Ask them simple technical questions that they don't know the answer to... same thing. In these cases "I don't know, but I'll look it up for you" would be an acceptable response...
A middle man is placed between you and your ingredients. What does this mean? You can not select, weigh out, and crush your grains yourself. They do it for you. What if they choose the wrong malt? The same is true of hops. You ask them for the hops you want. They go into the refrigerator behind their waiting area (which you can not see) weight the hops themselves, place the hops in a cellophane bag (not protected from light,) and with sharpie in hand write down on the baggie itself, the type of hops you're getting and the % alpha.
The straw that broke the camel's back: After it rained (and it rains a lot down here,) their roof leaked water on the ground not one foot from an open container of grain.
I have some trepidation about ordering online and liquid yeast viability in these super hot and humid Gainesville temperatures. However, with the level of customer service and quality of ingredients that I am accustomed to getting at other homebrew suppliers, I think that it is better taking a risk and ordering online than paying Hoggetowne Ale Works another visit. These guys really need to get their act together. Pray to God another homebrew supplier opens up in town.
08-27-2010 12:17:58 | More by GassyBrew
4.85/5 rDev +10%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hoggetowne Ale Works has really been improving its selection of grains and hops during the last year, and their pricing for most items is competitive with the popular online homebrew stores, especially if shipping is taken into account.
As of February 2010, they sell close to 40 different types of hops. Their grains include products from Weyermann, Briess, Muntons and Crisp, among others, with a very good selection of specialty grains. Liquid yeast is from White Labs, dried yeasts include Safbrew/Safale/Saflager, Danstar, Coopers and Brewferm. They also sell lots of brewing spices and the usual array of equipment (including Blichmann products), additives and finings. They have a small selection of products for winemaking as well.
I haven't brewed many of their recipes, but those I have had were very good.
The owner and employees are all extremely friendly and helpful - their service is second-to-none. If they do not carry an item, they will try to special-order it for you. From time to time, they hold free all-grain classes at the store, and at home football games, they hold tailgates for their customers on campus.
I recommend them highly, and find myself ordering online less and less often.
02-25-2010 01:18:06 | More by ArcaneXor
Hoggetowne Ale Works in Gainesville, FL
95 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.