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Maltose Express

Not Rated.
Maltose ExpressMaltose Express
BA SCORE
95
world-class

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
[ Homebrew Store ]

246 Main St
Monroe, Connecticut, 06468-1171
United States
phone: (203) 452-7332

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @maltoseexpress

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HamdenHector
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

HamdenHector, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -7.8%

DrunkinYogi, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of dogglebe
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%

I don't think I've ever gone to this homebrew shop and not find what I wanted. The place is huge and extremely well stocked.

I've always found the staff friendly and knowledgeable. Each have their own little fortes and will direct you to a more knowledgeable co-worker if it's called for.

The owners, Tess and Mark Szamatulski are the authors of 'Clone Brews' and 'Beer Captured,' two great recipe books. And they will make kits based on their recipes.

dogglebe, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of TasteTheWaste
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%

Edit: I just found out that they've reduced their grain prices to $1.60, so take that into account.

I'm not thrilled with how much people are absolutely praising this place despite some serious drawbacks, so I decided to post.

First with the good: Maltose Express is the absolute best homebrew store in the area (possibly all of CT) and easily the best homebrew store I've ever gone to in my life. The owners are so unbelievably friendly and knowledgeable and the selection of hops/yeast/grains is really mind blowing for such a small operation (compared to large online retailers). Yeast seems to move very quickly as well, which is great. They also host a variety of different classes on beer and wine making, which is always a great service to have.

I'm only posting this because they do have some serious problems, and I think it's irresponsible of people to not mention them.

The bad:

1) The place is expensive, there is no doubt about it. You will get everything cheaper online even after shipping. Hops are all priced at a flat rate regardless of type so if you were to buy 2 oz of low alpha american bred noble (ish) hops you would pay the same for 2 oz of high alpha proprietary american hops (citra, simcoe, etc). Malt is also a flat rate, which isn't quite as bad, but the $2 / pound is pretty ridiculous if you're buying 10 lbs of american 2-row that should be priced no higher than $1.35. You'd have to be insane to buy any equipment at this store - wort chillers that retail for $150 are sold here for $230.

2) Hops are bought in bulk and split in store into little ziplock bags and then stored in a bulk fridge that doesn't seem to stay very cold. This wouldn't be too great of an issue if they vacuum sealed their hops or kept them in a cooler fridge, but they don't. I understand buying hops bulk to try and save costs, but this cost saving still results in $4 / 2 oz hops so I'd hate to see how much it would be if they bought and resold hops by the packet. Also, I have yet to see any hop selections in packets less than 2 oz, which can be frustrating.

3) In addition to being just plain expensive across the board, they up charge you to crush grains if you choose for them to do it. They do have a mill available for public use that is free (hand operated, I believe), but if you want them to do it with a motorized mill, it costs something like $.35 per pound. This is a service that is pretty universally given for free.

4) Finally, and this is a minor thing, the location is very confusing. It's not really close to anything at all, so I can't imagine it's very convenient to anyone.

Again, I can't stress how great this place is, it just has a few things that rub me the wrong way.

TasteTheWaste, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of tylerprince
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%

Maltose is a great place in the middle of nowhere, CT, with an extensive selection of brewing equipment and ingredients, and more importantly, with a helpful and knowledgeable staff. It's run by Mark and Tess Szamatulski, and husband/wife team of homebrewers.

When I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the number of clone brew kits they had...just about every style is cloned, and its' easy to find both unique and commonplace beer kits, from Sierra Nevada PA to Bass Ale to Green Flash and Old Rasputin. The best part? They brew in the back and have their most recent clone on tap. Next up is Heady Topper. They also sell individual ingredients, and have quite an extensive selection (extract, all grain, or anything in between). If you need a kit or parts, they have that too, and even some expensive-looking professional home brew machines.

I just started home brewing a couple weeks ago, and I am incredibly lucky that this store is so close to me. Mark helped me for a solid 15 minutes - sold me a kit, recommended a good clone brew for my purposes, and talked shop about general brew techniques. After Mark had to leave, he passed me on to Tess, who explained the brewing process to me for another 10 mins or so. When brewing, I called to ask a question about volume for the bittering, which was quickly and clearly answered.

Prices are fairly reasonable; perhaps a bit pricy. But what you lose in $ compared to the internet is worth all the advice they give...I just wonder if they teach classes. A great place; makes it easy to start brewing on your own or improve upon your current techniques. Highly recommended!

tylerprince, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Messiinnnaaaa
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

This was the first home brewing store I ever went to when I first began to brew. They have excellent starter kits and professional advice for beginners, intermediate and expert brewers. While I would like to see some more gadgets in the store for home brewing I appreciate that so much of the home brew experience comes from the DIY projects and I suppose they don't wanna take away from that. Excellent variety of ingredients. They will have everything you need before you will outgrow this store. They also have a large assortment of wine making products and mead making knowledge available.

Messiinnnaaaa, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%

This is THE store for homebrewing and winemaking in the greater Connecticut area. I first found Maltose at their former location during a beer tasting, four years later I'm an active home-brewer.

The employees are always helpful and knowledgeable. Buying my first clone kit, the employees answered any questions I had, as noob as they might have been. Still today, any question I have is answered without any pretentiousness.

Above all, Maltose Express wants you to succeed and enjoy the process of home brewing. Their style of customer service builds a solid devotion from it's customers.

ThreeDimesDown, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

I've been to this place two times while in the area. The good thing about this place is there are always different homebrews on tap in the store. Everything was very good, so whoever made them has some talent. The place is also gigantic. It's maybe 20 times the size of the place I usually go to. They have a really good selection of hops. The equipment selection is incredible. They have any equipment you can think of, including kegging equipment and carboys. They also have a ton of clone kits put together in the store.

The service was alright. They have a hand cranked barley crusher there and you have to crush your own grains. The staff wasn't very conversational, probably because the place is so big. I'm used to getting more advice and conversation with my store, which is part of the fun. Still a great store selection-wise, so it's a very worthy store.

jeffthecheff, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of 12puebloyankee
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%

My wife and I buy homebrew supplies for beer and wine here and I've been coming to this store for about three years now. We've never been disappointed. The staff is always friendly and knowledgeable no matter what time of day or day of the week I have been there. The owners, Mark and Tess, as well as the rest of the staff are just terrific. I often send in questions about products or brewing procedures by e-mail and usually get a response within 24 hours. If I want a particular recipe packed I can call ahead and it will be waiting for me when I get there. Whatever the need, the staff is ready to help.

There aren't really any other HBS stores close by so it would be easy for these guys to take their clientele for granted - but they don't.

12puebloyankee, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of Squints
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%

This place is easily overlooked - we drove by it a few times before realizing it's attached to Ace Hardware.

The place is big, and they had a lot of empty space when I went there. I went to buy bottles and a few odds-and-ends (it kills me to spend half the total price to ship heavy bottles).

I found their kits a bit on the expensive side - although I wasn't entirely sure of much hops/extract/grain went into every one, there were several dozen styles in the $44-55 range that I would usually see more around $35-$40.

I tried out two of their new beers they had on tap - banana stout and smoked maple. Smoked maple was way too smoky, but the banana stout was very nice (if you like banana).

The guy at the counter had a few helpful tips when I asked, and I wish I took up their sale on Witbier kits.

Squints, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%

First off, I'm not a home brewer. Maybe someday, but there is just too much out there on the market to try already, that i like, and there ain't enough time in the day to do it all. But I went to this place during a recent "Open House" beer tasting event with a few friends. The event was a complete overload, people packed everywhere, lines, exasperated employees looking like deer caught in headlights unsure of which direction to push next. A real mad house and not the most pleasant beer tasting type event I've ever attended. But then I realize that this was an extra special occasion and one that doesn't really apply to the day-to-day purpose here, serving the home brewing community. What I can say is that the place is very large compared to most home brewing centers I've encountered in the past. It is now in a fairly new & improved location with access to generous free parking (if you're not there during a special event) and inside is very new and clean (from what I could surmise under the circumstances). Although I am no expert in home brewing ingredients and equipment, I understood from one of my more knowledgeable friends that there was an excellent selection of ingredients. I know I was getting a case of the drools just eye-ing the stacks of hops and "pre-mixed" brew packages available. So I'm not entirely qualified for this review but I thought I would chime in to say that it is quite an impressive facility and I thought the idea of their Open House was a grand one. It just needs some rethinking given the crowd control issues that resulted in March. Having Captain Lawrence & BruRm there as high end local representatives of the craft was great, if only the beer didn't run out half way through. I have also seen Maltose represented at some local beer fests where they had samples of stuff they made on premises, and some of it was fine, and they did seem like very friendly folks. I wish them well and will give the next open house another try (next time I drink first and ask questions later!).

Durge, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of dbmcrorie
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%

This is a great place to pick up some of the necessities of homebrewing, as well as browsing for specialties.

I will say that I was not overly impressed by the selection available, but I was not let down either. For basic recipes, they have a good selection of grains available (with an on-location grinder available for use), as well as a great selection of hops and liquid yeasts. I was pleased to see that they properly cared for their hops - vacuum packed in the refrigerator.

What got to be on the expensive end, was their equipment. A lot of homebrewing hardware can be purchased online for cheap, or home built for cheaper. Same for ingredients that can be bought at a local grocery store (honey, treacle, sugar, etc.) Maltose does provide everything you could possibly need (from books and recipes, to bottles, kegs, wort chillers, siphons, etc.), but at a bit of a price.

The service is helpful and friendly. They are willing to answer any questions you have and can guide you to what ever it is you are looking for.

My favorite part of Maltose Express is that they always have two homebrews on tap to sample for free, equipment for wine and mead making, prepackaged "beer clone" kits, and a couple of very cute dogs.

dbmcrorie, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of OatmattStout
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%

They moved into a new facility next to Ace Hardware and it was my first visit. Nice place and plenty of room.

The selection was solid and ingredients were extensive. I liked their own boxes for clone brews, great brew choices and all in one kits.

I was not however satisfied with the service. It wasn't very warm. I was asked if I needed a hand but other than that can't say much. When i asked a few questions at the counter I got really short answers. Not what I was expecting as most people I meet who are beer enthusiasts seem to have more passion and interest in talking about craft beer and brewing.

I will go back again as I was not at all offended but just not impressed with my service interaction. Maybe he had a bad day, which we can all relate to. Hell this economy is enough to make anyone a curmudgeon.

OatmattStout, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%

Recently moved to new bigger digs just down the road in Monroe, CT, and what a difference the new place makes - significantly more space, all of their selections are spread out, allowing a lot of space and time to browse. Big selection of wine making supplies as well.

The staff is very friendly and helpful - definitely don't make you feel rushed.

Store owners have written 2 (soon to be 3) books on cloning popular beers. They have some of the kits pulled together in the store - or if there is one you don't see, they'll make it for you (assuming all of the malts, hops, etc.) are in stock. Or call aheads and they'll tell you what they can pull together.

They always have some of their own homebrews on tap, which is always a good thing.

Prices very reasonable - I don't have a lot to compare to, but I always feel like I am getting good value for my dollar at Maltose.

Highly recommend for beginners and experienced home brewers.

KTCamm, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of TwoCanSam
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%

I've only visited a few B&M homebrew shops in the area, but I've got to believe what other reviewers say about ME is correct: great service, knowledgeable staff, and a good selection of equipment, raw materials, books, etc. Their clone kits are a simple way to get started in homebrewing, but they have the grains & hops to make almost any beer you can think of. They always have 2 clones on tap (which rotate pretty quickly) so one can get a pretty good idea how well the clones match up to the real thing. Some are closer matches than others, but they're always pretty good, which may be the reason why there's now a sign on the taps stating a "one-cup sample policy".

TwoCanSam, May 15, 2008
Photo of pittvkyle7
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%

I choose to get all my ingredients from maltoes mainly because of there refrigerated hops and yeast, and because they have a grain mill that you can use for free. It's probably not the most efficient but it's better for me because I don't have the money to buy one, and other places charge for the crush. (I've gotten 72% on my last two batches...so not bad at all) Well I got some great help at this place right from the second I walked in, and the place wasn't slow either. Great time spent here and I will go back for my ingredients again. Oh you can also taste some of their homebrew which was quite good!

Well I went back a couple more times and this place is just great! I always get great help, and they always have all the grains I need for my recipes. I will continue to use this place even though it is not close to me.

pittvkyle7, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%

I have searched homebrew shops around the state of connecticut and this one is my favorite. The owners really know their beer and are knowledgable about every aspect of it. My favorite part is the sampling the beers they have on tap. I went once a week during the summer and there was a new beer every time. I got alot of helpful hints about the whole homebrewing process which really improved my homebrew. One of my friends came with us one day and he wanted to do one of their clone brews on the black chocolate stout by brooklyn brewer. There was no kit, but they went in the back and 10 minutes later came out with a kit for him. This place is worth your while.

erosier, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of Jbino34
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%

I have been to a lot of homebrew places and none have been as good as maltose.

The owners are the authors of CloneBrews and BeerCaptured. They are extremely knowledgeable. Email them for advice on recipes and the brewing process.

The store usually has a few samples available to try. Selection is excellent and the staff is helpful as I mentioned. They are also very friendly.

What I enjoy the most is their prices. I figured that their prices would be high but after research and trying to find things cheaper, I learned how good prices at the store actually are. Try finding a kegging system under 165...

Maltose is definately recommended by me.

Jbino34, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
3.55/5  rDev -18.2%

I've got mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, they have an excellent selection of stuff for brewing beer and wine. The owners have written a couple of books on cloned beers they've brewed, and they'll assemble all the ingredients for you for any of those beers, which is nice and convenient. And they've got some cool dogs.

On the other hand, the service here has been mixed for me. There's one guy who works there in particular who makes shopping for beer ingredients feel like a root canal. They also sold me a recipe book that they knew had a bunch of recipes in it that are incomplete... which is pretty bogus, if you think about -- how much use is a recipe book whose recipes may or may not be correct? (They did take it back for store credit, thankfully.)

On the neutral side of things, the prices are OK. Some are a bit high (probably a function of geography more than anything), but some are on the low side. Overall, I'd say this is a decent homebrew store, but a better one for savvy homebrewers who really know what they're doing, and also for those who observe the principle of "caveat emptor".

geexploitation, May 16, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%

I've never brewed anything before. This place had good reviews and it's really close to me. Also, I had heard that the owners wrote of few books on brewing and had clone-brew-kits for some really great beers...and recipes for the more experienced.
The store was easy to find in Monroe on rt 25.
The first thing I noticed was the boxes lined up with clone brews...lot's of selection right there...but they actually have lot's more. I chose Petrus Tripel for my first attempt. I also bought their basic brew kit with carboy,lines, capper, fermentation container, hydrometer...etc..everything I would need. The store is full of everything you might need as a beginner or an expert.
The employee who helped me was very knowledgable and friendly...gave me some good advice to get started.
I e-malied them with a list of questions and they responded promtly with more good advice.
I'm glad such a great beer/wine brew shop is so close by.


Just a quick update: as a first time brewer...I had lots of questions on just about every aspect of the process. Nervous about each step....I have really pestered them with questions...by phone, by email and at the store. Tess, the owner, told me to start my brew during their business hours, and to call as often as needed. She said she didn't care if I called 10 times ! Now that's support. Good people, good shop....check it out. They are online too :www.maltose.com

Hautacam, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%

As I havent brewed in a few years I was a little antsy to get to this store. I wanted to make sure I would be able to make some brew with what I walked out with.
The store is on the left hand side of route 25 in Monroe. Only real complaint is they could use a larger sign on the road so it is not missed by first time customers. The employees were very helpful and explained how their clonebrew kits work. I ended up bringing one of these home today and hope to enjoy a tasty brew in a few weeks. It was also cool to actually be able to taste a brew that they made using their kits.
There was a great selection of beer and wine making ingredients and equipment. I saw mostly extract brewing stuff but I wouldnt be looking for anything else right now. I am sure that the staff would help you find whatever you would be looking for when you arrive at the store. I will definitely return to this store to get my future batches of ingredients.

sulldaddy, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of paceyourself
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Drive by to fast and Maltose Express is easy to miss being located behind a shed and playscape business. Although it looks small they are very well stocked in both brewing and wine making equipment. Many of their extract clone brew kits are on the shelves and ready to go, but if your looking for partial mash or all-grain kits it's best to call ahead. There are a few closer homebrew shops to me but i still go out of my way for their friendly and helpful service.

paceyourself, Aug 01, 2003
Photo of far333
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Unfortunately, there are very few homebrew shops in CT. Fortunately this one is excellent. The owners are experts in the craft, gurus even. And if they're not in the store, their employees are extremely knowledgeable as well. They of course sell their two clone brew books, but they also sell all of the standard home brew books, like Papazian's well-known titles. They don't seem to have much in the way of bulk ingredients, unless there was more in the back room that I didn't see. There is a huge selection of premade recipe kits based on the recipes in their clone brew books. Plus they'll put a kit together for you while you wait, and they'll ship anywhere. Their clone brew recipes are good replications of well-known beers, and they will gladly answer any questions you have on brewing either in person at the store, or on the phone while you're in the middle of the brewing process.

far333, Jun 21, 2003
Maltose Express in Monroe, CT
95 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.