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The Brewer's Apprentice

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: n/a
[ Homebrew Store ]

865 Route 33 Ste 4
Freehold, New Jersey, 07728-8475
United States
phone: (732) 863-9411

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by engisch:
Photo of engisch
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

I've been in this place several times now. I have not done the BOP, but I have done many of their 5 gallon recipes at home.

Walking in, it is a relatively clean atmosphere with people doing the BOP. It has the wonderful brewing area smell. ;) Now, I'm actually impressed by how clean it is inside considering it is basically a garage. Needless to say, being sanitary is important to brewing, and they seem to keep up with that. Chatting with some of the brewers, I found that many are repeat happy customers.

On my side of the fence (homebrewing @ home), they had all of the initial supplies in a convenient box, and I've been back to pick up additional supplies to make brewing easier (syphon and thief) as well as additional ingredients/recipes.

I found all of the staff helpful, with some being more knowledgeable that others. I usually come in and chat about decisions and I have not been pointed wrong.

Recipes that I have gotten from them were: South Street Honey Porter, (an ESB), Czech Session Pilzner, (a Brown Ale), and Logan's Scotch Ale. Next up will likely be a Chocolate Stout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Johnwf110
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of ryan79
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

I have been to their new location many times to pick up supplies. They alway have what I am looking for. The staff is very helpful when they arn't busy. Its seems that if they are busy they cater to the people brewing, but i usually just go up to one of them and tell them what I need and they get it right away. Their Hops seem fresh but wish they sold whole hops too. They have a pretty good solection of White Labs Yeast, their prices on all their products are right their with all the bigger web stores. In all I think they have a pretty good business with good workers.

Photo of OddNotion
3.45/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

LHBS for me.

Atmosphere: They moved to a new place which is a huge upgrade. While it is still a warehouse, it is very nice inside and very spacious.

Quality: Most things that I can get online are here, no knock off's, everything that I have purchased seems to be of high quality.

Service: Sorry, but this is the place where they faulter. I will disclaim though that once you initiate contact, they are helpful, but if you dont do it first, you better know exactly what you want. I dont think anyone has ever asked me if I need any help with anything. They seem more interested in the people who Brew on Premesis, but for me, the homebrewer, they could not care less. The woman that owns the place is GREAT and she completely cares about the customers, I do not group her in with the rest of the staff.

Selection: I wind up going there 2 to 3 times a brew day (including the days leading up to it) to get some odds and ends. They have most equipment that I would need, I have found multiple things there that broke on brew day, so in that respect, they have been a life saver. Good selection of ingredients, but other than DME and hops, I have not purchased from them. I wish I knew the quality of the grain crush as I would be interested in buying from them, but not interested in switching from where I currently order.

Photo of mars1110
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

The Brewer's Apprentice is a great local brew shop with a friendly atmosphere and staff. They always have everything I'm looking for when I stop in for supplies and are willing to give knowledgeable advice whenever you need it.

They have a recipe for just about any beer you would like to brew and l have had nothing but great results from every recipe I've tried.

Their supplies are reasonably prices and always seem to be fresh, probably due to the large turn over from brewing on premise.

Although I have never brewed their everyone brewing always seems to be having a fantastic time. It also smells wonderful in the shop with all the brewing going on. I would recommend it to any one looking to get into brewing but afraid to commit to spending money on equipment without giving it a try first.

Now that they have moved to their new location they have more room and a growing selection of supplies (all-grain, kegging, ect.). They are even carrying hops rhizomes this year (pre-order only).

Overall great local NJ brew shop with a nice ambiance, friendly/knowledgeable staff and reasonably priced supplies. Anyone in the area should stop by and check them out.

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%

Went half on a "Brew on the Premises" with my friend. The end resault was of pretty good quality and I was pleased. The service was very friendly and helpful but the employees did not step on any toes and get annoying. They were always willing to help and answer questions and offered free beer to my friend and I while we were milling the barley. They have a wide range of beer styles to choose from and a simple format with easy directions on how to go about brewing it. Considering the amount of beer I got out of the deal and the price paid, it was slightly cheaper than buying by the case and more fun too.

Photo of hansblitz
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Just got back from the new store, picked up ingredients for a barleywine. The place is huge and they had a lot more stuff than I remember. The staff were really friendly and helpful, and seemed really knowledgable. They had everything I was looking for, and the prices were pretty reasonable, actually cheaper than I expected. They seem to have a lot more kegging and all-grain equipment than they used to. Overall, I had a good experience, and will probably come back here instead of ordering online from somewhere else. I haven't used the brew-on-premis service, but people there seemed to be having a good time. Hope this helps others.

Photo of jjchristiano
2.8/5  rDev -35.3%

I think if you are going to brew there on the premises it could be a nice experience but this is not really a homebrew shop. I think I caught them in the middle of a move from South Street to new route 33 location. No one new how to use the new computer and it took like an hour to get help. And it was going to cost $50 to put together 5 gallon batch of a knock-off of a Dogfish Head recipe. I know I can get the same stuff via internet for $30 including shipping. Heck for $50 I can just about buy two cases of the real stuff. I'll try again once their settled but there are places closer to me that I am in and out of in 5 minutes and at reasonable prices.

Photo of Naugros
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

My wife made me an appointment here to do "brewing on premises" for my birthday. What a great concept: you brew with their equipment, select from their recipes, measure out from their stock of ingredients and they clean up after you! And if that wasn't enough, they bring you out two bombers of beers previously brewed from their catalog to drink! Then you go back two weeks later and bottle your beer in 22 ounce bottles they supply, with equipment that they clean and sanitize when you're done.

Go on their website and make an appointment and then go through their list of master recipes before you go, to determine what you want to brew. If you know a thing or two about the ingredients and brewing, don't be afraid to talk to them about tweaking the types or amount of hops, malt selections, or other additives. You can even request to do your brew "all grain", rather than using the extracts...but you'll spend more time at the grain mill making your grist.

The only thing you don't control is taking the hydrometer readings and pitching the yeast. They do both for you and they'll supply you the beginning and ending specific gravities and do the math to give you your ABV.

The staff knows beer. If they're not busy they'll discuss beer styles, breweries, brewing techniques, brew pubs, good liquor stores and anything beer-related until they need to run off to clean something or pitch another group's yeast, etc.

The place is spotless and the atmosphere is communal. The floor plan is open: it was/is a garage, so that was unavoidable. This allows for interaction with other people brewing next to you or filling bombers at the bottling station. Sharing tastes of your finished product with others or even bottle swapping is not uncommon. Make sure to leave one or two "for the house" so that they can serve them to thirsty brewers as they begin their batch.

Photo of magnj
3.7/5  rDev -14.5%

I've been here a few times now. It's been hit or miss in terms of service. There is one employee whom I dislike and seems to be disinterested in his work and the customers in the shop. Some other employees have been more helpful and willing to talk a bit. But no one asked me any questions or had anything much to day.

The selection on hardware seems minimal but you could walk out with all the necessities. Considering it is a BOP/HBS I guess it's not surprising that the selection is not stellar. I've not asked for anything besides 2-Row and Crystal malts as I primarily order online but they seem to have a decent selection. They had some dry yeast, not sure what they have in terms of Wyeast/Whitelabs.

I've not done the BOP but do know people who have done it and gone back for more so it must be good or at least convenient.

Personally I don't and won't go there much because it isn't local enough and they don't really like to talk but if your nearby or need to get something in a pinch it is an option.

Make sure you check the (really poor) website for hours or call ahead, they tend to open and close at odd times.

Photo of BWH3
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%

I just came home from my first visit to the Brewer's Apprentice. For the last year I have given up home brewing because of our location and heating source. So for by birthday, my mom (with the help of my wife) bought me a $200 gift certificate for the place. Essentially, you can schedule an appointment to brew after viewing the on line catalog of beers and choosing a style. When you arrive, they have a 15 gallon batch of hot water heated to 165 ready for the specialty grains. You weigh out your grains, grind them, and place them into a hopper for steeping. 30 minutes later you remove grains add the extracts, bring to a boil and then make your hops addition. They transfer to a fermentor and allow you to sample the chilled wort and take an OG. They add the yeast, you select a bottling day and leave.
Positives: they clean everything, the process is streamlined and efficient, I observed the bottling that others were doing and it looked extremely well organized, they offer forced carbonation so you can drink that night
Negatives: You have no control over the ingredients or process, it is not all grain and you use hop pellets which I am certain will impact the quality of the beer, you do not get to watch the magic of fermentation happen.

Photo of Hoppington
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%

I decided to give the BOP thing a try and made the drive to Freehold to brew a Strong Ale in the SN Celebration Style. I have to say that the The Brewer's Apprentice is a first rate establishment. Great equipment, expert assistance and quality ingredients resulted in a suberb brew of my own making (modified recipe) that all my friends rave about!

The Brewer's apprentice has a great, communal vibe and the entire staff was enthusiastic and helpful from brewing to bottling. I will definitely brew another batch there when I run out of my strong ale! Awesome place!

Photo of EStreet20
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%

Finally headed down with good friend and fellow BA Thetachibro. We've both been interested in attempting to get into brewing and figured a BOP was a good way to start.

Went in to brew by appointment on a Sunday. Cool place, basically a tiny warehouse look. Brew kettles all ready to boil. You pick a recipe and get started. Staff is very helpful and ask questions. We chose "Thrasher's Pale Ale" as they call it. A dry-hopped pale that has a nice, smooth flavor but is nothing overwhelming. Basically exactly what we wanted for our first batch.

As you brew the staff brings out samples. We got to try a few nice beers as we worked away on our beer.

On bottling day (two weeks after brewing) you get set up with a bottling station. Again the staff is great about answering questions and lending a hand. They also bring you a few pint glasses for sampling your brews and encourage beer trading as you bottle.

Overall a great experience. Our brew turned out as a delicious, straight forward but not too in your face pale. Like I said it's what we were going for, some bitterness but mainly a smooth flavor in a sessionable pale. Can't wait to head back and brew again.

Photo of thetachibro
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%

I finally got around to heading down The Brewer's Apprentice after holding on to some gift certificates for almost a year. The overall experience was great. I mad an appointment and headed down there on a sunday morning with a buddy of mine to start the cooking.

The shop is located behind a small strip mall in a garage\warehouse. It's not huge but big enough to accomodate everything that they are doing. Once you walk in there are four bottling stations directly to your right and the back wall is lined with about 7 kettles used for the brewing.

When we got there we browsed throught there large library of recipes and picked out a nice pale ale called Thrashers Pale Ale.
All of the ingredients are right there in front of you and there's always someone around if you need to ask them a question about them. The whole brewing process went smoothly. They brought out a couple of sample bombers for us to try while we brewing. One cool thing is that they let us taste the beer before they added the yeast. Definatley something different. Not as bad as i expected but different.

Returned two weeks later to bottle the goodness. Once again everything went smooth. They answered all of our questions and helped us out with whatever we needed. Got to drink a couple of the bottles and even traded with some others that were bottling also. You can even trade with the house.

Overall a great experience. It's a very friendly and inviting place. Highly recommended

Photo of marcpal
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%

I am new to the brewing world and ventured into this place to inquire about the 'brew on premises' option. It was great- the staff was very friendly and very helpful in the process. Not only do you get a whole lot of beer and help along in the brewing for a good price, it was a whole lot of fun to actually do.

Each session took a couple hours and we were able to shoot the crap with some of the workers and other brewers while going through the brewing and bottling. Good vibe in the place- also able to trade some beers with others and nothing better than a couple quality beers as we went through it.

Went in for the first session to cook and mix everything and went back two weeks later for the bottling process. I made an apricot ale that I tried to model after MH #9 and it turned out very good. They have a ton of recipes that you can choose from and I look forward to trying out again once I drink and give away all of mine.

Most important thing was the quality of the final product- I really was nervous that it would taste like garbage but it was great.

Photo of BillyB
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

This is a brew on premise place that also sells home brew supplies. It's a nice little building tucked away in the back of a stripmall on South Street in Freehold. I didn't brew my beer there but I have bought some ingredients and some supplies there. It's a pretty good place to buy ingredients since they use them to brew there so their probably pretty fresh.
There wasn't a huge selection of equipment or books. They basically make there money doing the BOP thing. I know a guy who bought a brew package and made the beer there and he had a good experience.
The staff is friendly and helpful.
They also make wine and have some winemakeing supplies as well.
A good place to get ingredients but I'd buy my equipment somewhere else.

Photo of Lupe
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

I have not used this place to brew, but I do come here for my homebrew supplies. Since they brew here, the lovely scent of beer being brewed hits you as you walk in.
The staff is very helpful. When I went to get some extract for my first brew, one of the ladies helped steer me in the right direction and told me to do a partial grain. Prices are good for supplies, and what they do not have in stock, they will order for you. They do not carry a large volume of yeast, but this is to ensure what they have is fresh. If they don't have it for you now, they will in less then a week. Since I live 45 min away, they even offered to ship me a bottling rack I ordered when it came in. I left with 2 samples of beer they made on premises so that I would have an idea for my next batch.
Once again: good beer = good people.

Photo of porter17
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

I had never brewed before and didn't want the mess in my place, so down to Freehold we go. Depending on the beer you select (it seemed that stouts and special brews were most expensive), the cost is between $130-$170 and you get 72 22-ounce bomber bottles. If you recycle the bottles each time you brew, I believe you save about $15. The place is nothing special, just a place to get down to brewing. I selected the 2001 porter and proceeded to brew. Having much experience with beer, I altered the recipe to my liking adding additional varieties of chocolate and dark malts and a slighlty higher amount of hops. Took a couple of hours, but we sampled as we drank and talked with the other brewers and the staff. Nice buzz.
Came back 2 weeks later to bottle my beer. They messed up and put CO2 in (I had wanted to bottle condition. Let me tell you, I had nothing in my fridge but beer. Homer Simpson would've been proud!) but that was the only problem. Bottled and sampled. Nice buzz.
Traded off about 10 of my beers for about other different styles of other brewers. Enjoyed most of them. BUT, let me tell you, of the dozens of porters I've tasted, mine just may be the best! All my friends agree and everybody I've shared it with is blown away. Give brewing a try, you won't be sorry.

The Brewer's Apprentice in Freehold, NJ
94 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.