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Beer & Wine Hobby

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BA SCORE
86
very good

35 Ratings
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 22.52%
[ Homebrew Store ]

155 New Boston St
Unit T
Woburn, Massachusetts, 01801-6297
United States
phone: (781) 933-8818

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @beerwinehobby

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by AllThingsNinja:
Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

I should have thought about the fact that this shop is tucked away in an industrial park a bit more before making my trip out to this warehouse. When I say warehouse, I don't mean it in a good, or even big box store type of way where there would be miles of shelves of ingredients and toys. This is a warehouse first, and a retail outlet as a second or third priority. Their retail space is poorly organized, and requires the attention of staffers who may or may not be tied up with shipping obligations.

Of course they do take phone orders for customer pick up. That feature might be nice if the shop is on your way home from work.

The prices match their catalog, so browse that to evaluate the prices. You might save yourself a trip to Danvers.

Other reviewers have mentioned that they seem more focused on wine than beer, which is true. They ought to rename their business Wine and Beer hobby.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tjm9173
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of WoostaBia
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Std73
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of sfedorov
1.93/5  rDev -48.3%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2

Another victim of groupon 'deal' here.. I was unlucky to oversee when my groupon has expired, but hoped to used the value I spent on the groupon. First, although I paid $30 for the groupon (and therefore had $30 credit), they required me to spend $60. After that, they added $25 shipping on top of that, saying that cheaper $8 usps shipping is not available for my case. They argument was that I get a discount (although I didn't get any, since groupon was expired) and therefore should pay more for shipping. When I tried to explain, that I do not get any discount, they didn't listen. When I offered to pay a bit extra for usps shipping (it should cost $12, according to usps.com), they didn't listen. My solution didn't cost them anything extra, I didn't receive any discount, but apparently they get a cut from 'standard $25' shipping, so they we not interested. On my question if customer satisfaction is important for them, I didn't get a positive answer. Apparently what is important for them is ripping off customers and groupon deal is a way to do it.
As for the store experience: slightly higher prices than competitors have with very limited selection. MoreBeer or MidwestSupllies offer way better selection for same or lower prices.
Apparently the company gets a cut from each shipment which is already a red flag.
Groupon deals are a scam - don't go for it since you'll end up spending more money than groupon 'discount' offers.

Photo of ThreeLeggedLager
1/5  rDev -73.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1

I like many other bad reviewers out there, purchased a groupon for this store. Before I bought the groupon, I went to their website and added items to the cart and did the math with shipping, to see if it was a good deal. While it wasn't a great deal, due to much of the inventory costs more than the bigger online stores, with less selection... in the end I would still be saving some money with the groupon. So I purchased the groupon, and entered the code at checkout. Low and behold the shipping prices magically changed (raised) once I entered the code! My measley 4 lbs of hops was going to cost me 17.00 in shipping! Are you kidding me? I ended up paying more than I would have than at other online stores with better selections.
This is no less than stealing. True shipping does not cost 17.00 for a tiny 4 lb box. I checked the fine print and it states nothing that shipping will cost more with the groupon. I am not sure why this company even offers groupons if they are just going to scam people in the end. The whole point of a groupon is to generate more business. Well it isn't working! What I should have done is contacted groupon and advised them of this and ask for a refund, I am regretting I did not.
On top of this, I had a friend who actually let me know about the groupon, where the exact same thing happened at checkout. However, even worse for him, he contacted them as he noticed after a while it still had not shipped. The person he spoke with stated that the higher quoted shipping actually wasn't correct and that he would need to pay even more because they had to ship it in two boxes! Again, stealing, plain and simple.
I hope more people share their experiences, especially regarding groupons. People, if you are buying online, you can get this stuff for so much cheaper and from companies that are not shady that have good customer service. For those that go to the store locally, I hope you get more options in your area soon or recommend you buy online elsewhere.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

From what I gather, it's a nice little homebrew store for beer and wine making. Very small place located in a industrial section of the town, but they seem to make the most of it. Everything in the store is as organized as they can be I think, some of the items are impossible to keep straightened out just based on what they are and everything seems to be in good working order. The service was good, my wife got me a groupon for a beer making class that I finally cashed in and we went for the class. The manager teaching the class was very passionate about it. He was good at answering questions and was very patient. After the class he of course offered a "one day only" coupon to buy more stuff in the store if you purchase a specific amount. I did anyway, I'm new to homebrewing, but really want to make the most of it. It was tough getting out of there at the end because most of the people in the class wanted to buy stuff and there were only 2 employees to help out. They had a lot of ingredients, supplies and cleaning products to get you going and plenty of selection. I don't have too much to go by on the prices, but it's cool that they do groupons, so that made it worth it. Kind of a hike for me to get there, but if I had time and was in the area, I would go back.

Photo of bszern
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is great, and (kind of) local. It is brightly lit, clean, and well organized. My only problem with the place is the hours. I live in North Attleboro, and trying to get there before they close during the week is a pain...anyone who commutes on I-95 Northbound knows what I'm talking about.

I would much rather shop here then the bigger online stores, and the large selection and personable customer service allows me to do so. The only hole in their inventory is a lack of strange Australian/New Zealand hops...but I haven't had to use those yet, so no big deal.

Photo of HillcrestBeer
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is my "go to" homebrewing supplies store. Things that they don't have in house, they can order for you. They always seem to keep their ingredients inventory very well stocked. They also have a great selection of beer kits of all styles to choose from. They are partial grain/extract kits. They also have a High Gravity series of kits that come out almost monthly. The Staff there are all very friendly and knowledgeable.

They also have a class for beginner homebrewers that's reasonably priced and worth checking out.

Photo of BrittEBurke
4.44/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

As most everyone else has stated, the storefront is a warehouse, sort of like a mini-Costco for home brew supplies. Much like a Costco, they don't have absolutely everything under the sun, but you are sure to find what you need. I have only ever purchased via the storefront, so I can't speak to online ordering. I've always found the staff to be friendly and helpful without being overbearing. When I don't have a plan, I tend to walk in and stare at the ingredient kits for a good long while. They will usually ask once if I need help finding anything, but never get pushy or try to sell me anything I don't want. For those who shop in store, they have a Frequent Buyer Program. They keep track of how much you spend in the store, and once you reach $500, you get a $20 gift certificate. A nice perk.

I purchased my startup kit (an Ultimate Beer Brewing Kit with Ingredients) from these folks about three years ago and all of the equipment has proven itself to be durable and high quality. I have stuck to brewing with extracts, so aside from purchasing a brew kettle, the startup kit contains everything I've needed.

I have brewed four batches with their "Recipe of the Month (ROM)" Kits and have been very pleased with the results. They contain high quality ingredients at a reasonable price. I've done the math, and you don't have a specific recipe in mind, you'll definitely save a few bucks buying a kit as opposed to purchasing all of the individual ingredients separately. The instructions that come with these kits could be a bit clearer, but are still very easy to follow.

Overall, a good store with quality ingredients and equipment and friendly staff. A short drive from Boston (provided you don't get stuck in traffic) and complete with ample parking. This is my go-to home brew store.

Photo of LynnHomeBrewer
4.14/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Beer & Wine Hobby has helped me any question i asked them. The staff there has good knowledge and great advice. Kindest employees you could ask for. They don't try and push you to buy extra things or to spend more money. Very laid back warehouse Atmosphere and everything you need from growing hops or grapes to brewing beer, wine and tonics (soda)

Prices... seems like some people are concerned with high prices here. I really don't know how anyone can compare buying product here from another site online. Small example could be the price of Gasoline, might be expensive here but cheaper in another state (another example, Cost of Living). Playing devil's advocate here with pricing. Doesn't seem fair to compare a Boston based price with Texas, Ohio or Florida. I have no problem paying for good ingredients along with knowledgeable help.

I'd like the thank Beer & Wine Hobby for helping me along the way of one day being a Master Brewer.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%

I've only been here a couple times but I order online a lot. The place is not far from me but if I am really busy shipping is not that expensive and it is usually here the next day.

They have a great selection of grains, hops, and yeast. If they don't have what you need they are really good with giving you the best substitution.

As far as equipment goes they have everything a homebrewer would need. I've purchased almost all of my equipment through them and have never had a problem. They have great beginners kits for under $100.

They offer a wider variety of brew kits as well and if you are a part of the newsletter they usually let you know about new kits at least twice a month.

Photo of IHC
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%

I've been here many times and service is usually good. The staff is knowledgable. They've helped me develop better recipes and saved me from numerous trial and error batches. They're also honest with equipment purchasing; for example when I was thinking of purchasing a mill I asked which would be best? They recommend the barley miller as opposed to the corona. They told me that frankly the corona is cheaper but i'd be happeir if I waited and paid more for the better crusher! I couldn't agree more especially after having used both.

The store is a little pricey on some ingriedents like hops for example but they are really the only store within a reasonable driving distance for me! Compared to the place in cambridge this store has way more supplies and ingriedents.

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%

I have used this store on several occasion. when I picked up the ingredients for my first brew, I thought that this place was pretty darn good. they had everything I needed and pointed me in the right direction for items I needed to pick up. Since then I have gone to online ordering. I have compared orders I have made, and I usually end up saving well over 30% by ordering online and paying shipping. this place is a warehouse, with downtown boutique prices. the service is ok, but the savings from online buys far outweighs any benefit of face to face transactions.

Photo of CavePainter
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%

This is the way it is done - warehouse style. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Measure your own grains. Search the shelves for kits. Great selection of hops. Lots of beer brewing guides. Buy kits, tubes, wort chillers, bottles, yeast...you name it and they've got it.

Staff is friendly and helpful.

I wish that there was a place like this on the south shore. I willingly went to Beer and Wine Hobby from Plymouth, Ma when I needed supplies. There were a lot of places closer and on the way, but this is the place to go. Now that I am in the Boston area, I still make the trek or order online.

Photo of BetterDarker
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Great selection of grain, okay selection of White Labs yeast, though what they do have is fresh. Checking out can be a bit of an ordeal as it seems like the guy I always get doesn't know the SKU's very well. A little pricey on the DME, but I love the warehouse type atmosphere. No frills here, just what you need and plenty of it. If you're into making wine they also have lots of kits, and each fall they get fresh, pasteurized with no preservative cider. The staff if is unobtrusive and friendly.

Photo of greenethumb
2.7/5  rDev -27.6%

i have been here a few times, and i don't think i will be going back, unless i need some emergency gear that i can't wait a week for, or that isn't available at another local shop.

As some others mentioned, this is primarily a mail order shop. It has a huge selection of ingredient kits, equipment, and special herbs/spices but it does not cater to the all grain crowd.

Last time i was in there, I bought about 20lbs of grain, and the women there did not want to let me use their mill ('its for our mail order customer's only'.. what?!?!) So i kindly told her I would not be purchasing anything if i could not mill the grain. After a conference with her co-worker, she allowed me to grind.

Then came the hops. I was a buying a meager 4oz to go along with my 20lbs of grain. Resistance again. 'I have to make sure our mail order customers get what they need'... Again, I said no deal without the hops so eventually she folded. I can understand if I was just showing to buy hops or were buying a ton of them, but 4oz for 20lbs of grain?!?!

So I most likely won't be going here again, I much prefer Modern Brewer in Cambridge.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

Now this is what I like - a warehouse operation...

Good ingredients, carefully organized with a decent selection.

Service was quite helpful - for a noob they provided good insight into lengthening the life of LME for me and gave words of encouragement as I face the daunting task of my first batch.

Prices aren't bad for the area - hop prices a little cheaper than I've seen; other stuff maybe more expensive than mail order but with shipping it's a wash, so no big deal. Only beef is that prices aren't consistently marked on the shelf.

Barring mail order this'll probably be my most visited place for stuff within the 128 area. Good, solid supplies with a helpful team.

Photo of mkabull
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%

This is the place where I got my start at homebrewing . With their recent expansion they are even better than before . They carry a wide variety of extracts , malts , adjuncts , yeasts , hops , and equipment . The biggest thing they offer is great service never to busy for a question always time to find an item and information for everyone from beginner to expert . They have been a key component for my transition from extract to partial grain to all grain brewer . Good selection great service excellent place to go for whatever your brewing needs .

Photo of abartke
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%

This place is great. I used to go to Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge, but this store is far and away better. They have a good selection of grains, a lot of different yeasts, plenty of kits (some put together by one of their employees), and a fair selection of hops. In addition, they also sell quite a few books and wine supplies. Everything has to be fresh -- they seem to have a very high volume mail order business as well. The employees are pretty good too. Every time I've gone in someone has asked me if I needed help. Good place to go if you are in the area in need of supplies.

Photo of joebrewer
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Based on visits to Barleycorn, the homebrew shop in Cambridge, Walpole Wine and Spirits, and Beer & Wine; Beer and Wine stands out as the most well-rounded homebrew shop.
Grain, extract, hops, and yeast selections are superior to all other shops, but prices are higher.
Beer and Wine also has a larger selection of other items: brewing equipment, other ingredients, books, and winemaking equipment. Help at Barleycorn's is good, but they don't have the equipment selection that Beer and Wine has. However, Barleycorn's a fair amount cheaper for everyday stuff like yeast.

For brewing ingredients, I find that Beer and Wine is as close to a sure thing in the greater Boston area for having everything I need.

They would be a much better store if they lowered the price on a few items (hops, yeast). $8 yeast vials!

Photo of jneiswender
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%

I have been using this place for the better part of a year now mostly through online transactions. The sales process is very smooth and the selection is probably one of the best I have ever seen from one homebrew company.

On a few occasions they have had trouble filling my order (hop shortage worldwide) but for the most part my orders have always been filled and on occasion they have substituted very good products to replace what I have asked for.

The website is easily navigable for the most part. However, I think they could use some work on the products catergory. Things seem misplaced at times.

I also have problems finding other small ingredients kinds of things like sterilizer, Irish moss or corn sugar. They don't seem to be in the most intuitive places.

All that said, the prices and selection are probably the best on the web unless you ebay your ingredients/equipment.

I also get my stuff VERY promptly. Usually only a day or two after I order it.

Photo of bigman147
2.5/5  rDev -33%

I started a braggot last Monday before I was to travel out of town for Thanksgiving and I needed to pick up some supplies immediately (1 inch tubing for blowoff tube since this beer was extremely active). Needless to say I wasn't impressed. First off, when you enter the building, you have to guess were to go. The signage is poor and you feel like you are walking into someone's office.

The selection was great if you wanted prepared beer kits or wine supplies. The layout was confusing as both beer and wine are kindof mixed together illogically. I thought about buying some hops but after looking at the shelf of hop plugs that were brown and very old looking. I decided against it. They have a good amount of stuff if you have time to wander around and look in every nook and cranny. It took me a while to get anyone to assist in locating the tubing (they had run out of 1" tubing). Everyone seemed busy with the mail order side of the business and didn't really pay much attention to anyone in the store. I did hear a conversation between a customer and one of the cashiers and it did appear that they could be fairly helpful to new homebrewers but for more experienced homebrewers you will be frustrated.

Overall, if you are in a pinch and need something immediately, this place is a good option. Prices appear to be high to account for that convenience. If you want to make wine I think this store might be better for you than it is for homebrewers.

Photo of stephenpcowan
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%

I was in the Woburn shop this past weekend and it was not a very good experience to be honest. I'm sure this is a great mail order operation and I may very well order bulk from them, but I can say for sure that I don't want to go back in person.

The heavy emphasis on mail order is a big drawback on the service end. All of the specialty grain is prepackaged so you can't just weigh out what you want. For the grain that isn't prepackaged, the process of weighing grain is medieval. The staff isn't really into helping out since they are busy with the mail order side of things. That didn't really bother me since I knew exactly what i needed, but if I was a novice brewer I imagine I would have been lost.

However, the deal killer for me was the prices. You should expect to pay about 15% more for comparable items at B&WH over the Modern Brewer, my normal homebrew shop. Modern Brewer is right in the middle of town and located by the T--why are their prices more reasonable?

In summary, if you are an all-grain brewer you should expect to take about 50% longer than you would expect to get your ingredients and get out. You should also expect to pay a premium for that privilege.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed, but i must say that the grain wasn't stale, the yeast fermented, and the hops were in good condition. Overall their products are of good quality.

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Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn, MA
86 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.