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Strange Brew

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BA SCORE
87
very good

17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 20.63%
[ Homebrew Store ]

416 Boston Post Rd E
Marlborough, Massachusetts, 01752-3605
United States
phone: (508) 460-5050

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HeavyDandtheGirls
5/5  rDev +32.3%

HeavyDandtheGirls, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of run4beer2112
4/5  rDev +5.8%

run4beer2112, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of geocool
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

geocool, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of JKV96
4.5/5  rDev +19%

JKV96, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of mtchaput
4.78/5  rDev +26.5%

Oh Man, Have you seen the new shop? I just moved back to the area and went to check it out and i was blown away. This place is huge! Far better than the little house that they use to occupy.

Quality - The Quality really varies, and i don't mean that in a bad way. They have everything, New or Used. So maybe you feel like going for the high end brand new, or maybe the same thing, only used. They stand behind all of their stuff. While i was there, a guy came in with a leaky keg that he had bought there... Not only did they replace it on the spot, but they pressure tested it, and cleaned and sanitized it before he left. The Quality of the store overall is awesome, while it may look disorganized at times, that seems to be from the sheer volume of supplies they bring in for their customers.

Service - The service is something that you really don't see anymore. When i walked in, everyone popped out of all these places to say hi to me. They offered me assistance, but weren't pushy - and when i did need help, it was like talking to an old friend. I'm only an extract brewer, but these guys didn't talk down to me, or make themselves seem elite, they really just seemed like they wanted to help me make a good beer.

Selection - They really do seem to have everything; From newby stuff like "True Brew" all the way up to the coveted "Blichmann". They make up their own recipe kits, which may not seem impressive - until you see the beer menu with HUNDREDS of options. I did a quick count in the hops fridge and i came up with about 85 different varieties from all over the world. The yeast fridge is equally impressive. Every Wyeast you can imagine, from the common to the seasonal, and all fresh within 2 weeks of manufacture date. The Grain/Grain room is amazing. Offerings from all the classic countries, in all the classic, rare, and new varieties.

Value - I bought a few recipe kits, and some new fermenting equipment, but i feel like the experience of Strange Brew is really what made it worth it. I spent quite a bit, but i actually left there feeling like i had an ally in the brewing world. As cheesy as it sounds, it was like i had a Big Brother that i could go to for help when i needed it with my Brews. That feeling alone makes me think that the value far exceeds the cost.

Overall - Go Check this place out. The store is massive, but its very apparent that they still live by the principles of a good family business. There's only 4 guys running the whole show, but boy do they really put their all into making sure you're going to succeed. Sure they may seem a bit rough around the edges, but they LIVE beer. That's what these other home brew shops are missing. These guys are in it for the beer.

mtchaput, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of ActonBrewer
2.49/5  rDev -34.1%

I have shopped at Strange Brew dozens of times, with this past weekend being my last. I have been teaching my brother-in-law to homebrew and using commercial beers as a style selector. He wanted to make a hoppy red ale (think Pursuit of hoppiness) and asked one of the employees what he might suggest to get a recipe together. The employee's response was a pointing finger to his "Fight the system" tattoo as he told us that he doesn't drink commercial beers and couldn't help us. We politely asked for a red ale kit, and I added two extra ounces of hops to tweak it ourselves. While the store was open, we felt unwelcome - almost as if we were inconveniencing them.

An elitist attitude in a messy and disorganized store is not the way to win new customers. While browsing, I felt like something was going to fall on me or crash to the floor. If you were well stocked and welcoming to new home brewers, you might be able to pawn off over-priced equipment. While I like the owner and have worked with him in the past for brewing demos, something needs to change drastically for me to do any more business with them.

The bottom line is that if you want to charge higher prices than your competition, you need to employ excellent staff with quality ingredients in a well organized and comforatable atmosphere.

ActonBrewer, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.54/5  rDev -32.8%

Strangebrew is located in a house on a retail dominated section of the post road, and is adorned with a few dead bears. It's hippie and welcoming, and pretty much decked out as your run of the mill homebrew store with a little too much stuff for the space.

The grains are annoyingly pre-packaged in 1 - 10lb increments. The variety doesn't run too deep. They are the standard grains that have been in play for the past 10 years with cara-bohemian and marris otter (but no golden promise). Grain is pretty steep. Thirteen pounds ran over $33 and that included a 10 Lb bag of base malt.

The hops are stored in a drinks cooler which isn't very cool and has no door so it ends up being a hair less than room temp. The variety here is solid, but that's pretty standard in this day in age. Hop prices are fair ($3 oz).

This place won't tempt me to drive somewhere other than Modern in Cambridge, or Jaspers in Nashua.

yeah, it's cool that they have lots of taps for sampling kit brews. I'm not sure that's legal. I also haven't bought a beer kit in 5 years. I like recipes and self formulation. This shop is not optimized for those interests.

AllThingsNinja, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of kegwizard
4.7/5  rDev +24.3%

I have been shopping here for years. They are very nice people and always try to make sure i leave with what i need to make my beer. Ever since they moved to their new store they have so much more stuff. All the hops and yeast are refridgerated. Im always so happy with the selection of yeast its usually very fresh but sometimes it sells quick so if you want a special kind call first, they recently started carrying white labs (they always had wyeast) They have a huge selection of all kinds of brew equipment for me to drool over. they have a full kegging section that could get beer to the moon if needed. They always have some sweet homebrew to sample while shopping.

kegwizard, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of MaliciousBot
3/5  rDev -20.6%

I have only been to two homebrew stores in my life. One is Blackstone Brew supply and the other is Strange Brew. Compared to Blackstone brew which recieves high grades by others, this place competes pretty well with ingrediant selection. Lots of variety, great selection of yeasts, great selection of hop varieties and great LME and DME selection.

I just went in for some yeast and something to strain hops with. Paid 4 bucks for the yeast and opted not to purchase a really cool strainer that would have been ideal for me because it was about 30 bucks. Sorry, maybe im cheap but thats way to much for something like that. I can buy an extract kit for that kind of money. I was offered An IPA made with columbus hops. It was delicious. Yum.

MaliciousBot, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of dirkchivers
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

I have not been to many other homebrew stores so my ability to compare is rather limited, still i like going here. The people have generally been rather personable, but i would have liked more help as a beginner to brewing; I want to be told exactly how to do such and such, not about your years of experience or "how easy it is" - i am past the point of it being "easy." It seems as though they have finally gotten comfortable in their new location and there stock is sensibly arranged, though it is very much a place where one must know what they are looking for. I would echo other BA's comments about the prices of equipment, i would not and did not get my equip from them because 56$ was (ahem) rather steep for a plastic bottle with a handle. As for their brewing stock, it was enough to overwhelm me, though probably enough to underwhelm the experienced. I think the store could also use a good dusting and some music.

dirkchivers, Apr 28, 2009
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Strange Brew in Marlborough, MA
87 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.