Home Beer, Wine, And Cheesemaking Shop
Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 22
4.39/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
This place is a diamond in the rough as you say. When you walk in the place itself is very tiny and feels a bit crowded but the good this is they have exactly what it is you are looking for at great price. The service is just so so everytime I have been in there the younger guy is always in the back preparing other orders and doesnt care much for interacting with the customers maybe I'm just not that important. Anyway overall this is a wonderful little store and I am happy to keep shopping here over and over again
02-11-2012 08:28:35 | More by DarthKostrizer
4.94/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I had been planning to check this place out for years. I've always heard that this place is amazing for brewing. It completely blew my expectations out of the water. I haven't brewed beer in a while and now Ive been here I can't wait to get it going again.
This place has absolutely anything and everything you need as a homebrewer. Home brew equipment from low end beginner stuff to crazy mass producing home-microbrew operation stuff. A huge range of malts. A huge selection hops and yeast. Barrels for cask aging. Conversion kits. Even wax to seal the tops of bottles.
I'm so excited to have this place at my disposal and bring my brewing ideas to the table after a long departure.
06-13-2011 05:39:51 | More by MrVonzipper
4.55/5 rDev -0.9%
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
This shop is a little bit tucked away but it's not all that hard to find. It's a fairly small shop, but they have just about everything that the homebrewer needs, from a complete beginner kits and ingredients up to pretty advanced stuff.
Malts, Hops, DME, LME are all sold in bulk, you weigh it out yourself, it comes out cheaper this way and also allows you to buy just enough for your next batch or to stock up for a while. The prices are the same if not better than the online retailers.
The clerk came over and showed me how to weigh everything, package everything, and use the grain mill. They have anything you could want to make beer, with one exception, they didn't have Nelson hops which I was looking for, so I just substituted Citras for them.
I talked to the same guy both times i've been there, he's to the point, and very helpful. I no longer will be buying any of my brewing stuff online, this place is cheaper and it's also kind of fun to go weigh your own stuff out.
12-10-2010 17:22:29 | More by tjensen3618
5/5 rDev +8.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I moved to Encino, Ca from Reno, NV about two years ago. As a homebrewer, you could not ask for a better place to by goods for brewing than the Home Beer, Wine, and Cheesemaking Shop. I have been here more than 20 times since I have been in Encino. Every time I come in, I am greeted in a friendly manner, and if I ever have any questions about where I can find something in the store, the people here are always very helpful. I can ask them any beer questions I may have, and they never hesitate to give me advice on homebrewing. They have been doing it for a lot longer than I have and I trust their advice. The selection is huge! They have all the ingredients you need for just about any beer you can think of. And if they do not have what you are looking for (which I doubt), they will tell you where to find it.
Reno had a great homebrew store, but I would have to say this one tops it. If you are looking to make good beer check this place out.
03-06-2010 19:23:23 | More by Alex80
4.7/5 rDev +2.4%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been to the shop 3-4 times now over the past few months to pick up this and that.
The selection is very good and it is clean. I truly value this fine shop and its owner for providing an invaluable resource. I was a bit clueless the first time I went in. More curious than anything and was advised to pick up some reading material and do some research before I spent $600 on a ssteel conical fermenter.. good advise as I ended up using that money on other items.
I just like the feel when I go into the shop[, they ask if they can help you but don't feel pressure if you just want to brose around and check stuff out.
06-14-2009 00:52:00 | More by Moose777
4.85/5 rDev +5.7%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Basically anything and everything a bran new brewer through someone with a 1bbl+ system will ever need, excellent selection of malts, DME, and LME, all VERY fresh and well stocked, there is alot of turn around of product so perishable items dont sit on the shelf very long. John the owner has his moments but for the most part is very knowledgeable and his employees are all experienced brewers who really enjoy helping with even dumb questions (ive asked a few!). Overall I recommend anyone who is within a decent radius to use this shop because it really is the best. Oh and he is fully stocked on most hops right now as well, so that is great.
09-21-2008 01:54:45 | More by SShelly
5/5 rDev +8.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This is the only beer shop I buy from. Forget your online web site with gosh knows what kind of stuff. John keeps the place clean and only carries what you need, his been doing this forever! Homebrewing should only start with this man.
There is always someone who knows how to help or answer your question. No stupid extras laying around, all the basics and great quality. Only the best books on the subject at hand.
Basics kits to hard core pro equipment. Always fresh yeast, barley grain, and hops!!
06-07-2008 08:26:37 | More by SolsticeDreamer
4.05/5 rDev -11.8%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
So I've been back thrice since then, largely upon the recommendation of Drewbage... and am glad that I've done so.
In all subsequent trips I've had the good fortune of dealing with John (the gentleman from my first time to the store). One weekend to special order some Brett and pick up an erlenmeyer for a starter, later that weekend for the rest of the recipe ingredients with a buddy of mine who I am introducing to homebrewing, and the following weekend to go back for the Brett (unfortunately, it hadn't showed, yet) and to drop off some homebrews for the Pac Brewers Cup.
Whether it's simply recognition, a better mood, or what, but my customer service experience has been much better with each subsequent trip. I would officially change my position from "severe reservations" to "pretty comfortable."
My original review is below, I'm sure I'll update again someday as for now, I'm going to keep this my regular HBS.
A mixed bag, with a very disappointing recent experience.
In general, there's a great vibe to the environment, a superb hop selection, solid yeast selection, an expansive but slightly odd collection of extracts (very few dry, quite a lot of liquid... but not comprehensive) including 5 barrels to pour your own with...
It seems like the kinda place that is run by experienced homebrewers that have cut out the chaff that they themselves will never use... which is great, if the environment were conducive to dialogue. Which it hasn't been.
I went once as a newb with a base recipe I was trying to modify and the service was curt, if not impolite, and terse. There was no one else in the store, nothing going on, and very much carried the vibe of "if you don't know what you're doing, why are you here?" with an added old-guy-at-the-convenience-store glare as if i was going to make a dash for the door with a can of malt extract or topple a stand. Finally, at check-out, the guy warmed up, gave some suggestions, and left me, despite my initial experience, reasonably pleased.
Went back there again after a handful more brews under my belt, with some specific questions about a saison recipe I was trying for with my first mini-mash, and got no answers. Even to very specific questions. Example:
Q: "I'm trying to avoid getting too much spice-y character (my recipe has no adjuncts in it) from this, but I really want to bring out the funk, even to the point of maybe some sour notes... any suggestions?"
A: Well, the yeast is going to give you your funk.
Really? Ya think?
Q: "I see that you have the platinum series White Labs seasonal Saison Yeast, can you tell me what kind of characteristics this has in comparison to their "regular" saison yeast, and if there's any difference between theirs and Wyeasts?"
A: "You want this one" - grabbing the most expensive of the three... the Platinum Series yeast.
Now, it was the way I was leaning, if only because it was a fresh seasonal yeast, but I know/knew nothing about these. And it may seem like I'm exaggerating... but I'm not.
Just a terribly frustrating experience, and a place that seriously gives off the vibe that if you're not part of the clique, you should find another homebrew shop. Well, I have, and I will, and I'll enjoy the savings (this place is just a tad pricer than some) and occasionally be disappointed at my limited options for fresh, well-maintained hops, but at least I'll be supporting some people that give a damn.
Obviously I'm in minority here. I don't know if I just got really unlucky, if I threw off some really negative vibes to the proprieters (I don't know if I've met John either time, but both were older gentleman that I dealt with), if I'm too sensitive, or what... but I've had nothing but great experiences at the two other shops I've been to. I can live with surly attitude, without forced congeniality, but without even helpfulness?
09-07-2007 00:39:09 | More by errantnight
3.6/5 rDev -21.6%
quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
Editing this review due to the fact that I had merely perused the shop prior to reviewing it. My second time there (when shopping for a new batch of ingredients) it was surely more of a downer.
Whilst the selection is good (malts/hops/adjuncts) I do believe the customer service was lacking. I did get great help from various Falcon members but on more then a few occasions I had horrible service from the owner? or manager?
It's a great homebrew supply shop but the main thing that is stopping me from returning here was the customer service. I do not appreciate being barked at for asking a question
05-15-2007 07:35:38 | More by Brewlore
4.85/5 rDev +5.7%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I haven't been to a lot of homebrew shops. Maybe half a dozen. this one is by effing far, the best I've seen.
The shop is ancient. The owner is no spring chicken either. What that means is, you get old world charm with the attitude of Richard Prior. That's right....we bad....
John Daume, the owner, is allegeldly cantakorous and abrupt. He is actually probably one of the most friendly (if not sarcastic) people you are likely to meet. In addition to being incredbibly helpful, his knowledge of home-brewing is damn near encyclopediac.
Better yet, the shop is like a damn Fry's electronics store. If the guy in the shop can't answer your question (a real rarity), there are generally 4 or 5 customers ready to pounce in and give you what they think is the right answer. And they are right on the money about 95% of the time. Wish my proctologist had that kind of track record...
The shop is also the sponser of the Maltose Falcons, the oldest homebrewing club in the US. John takes care of the Falcons, and the Falcons take care of him.
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't point out how fanatical John is about taking care of his brewing (and vinting) ingrediants. I can't tell you how many times I've visited shops where they don't refrigerate the hops, or grind an entire sack of grain when it will take 6 months to sell it. You don't see that at HBWC. John takes care of YOUR future ingrediants to the point of giving you a not-so-friendly growl if you leave the hops or yeast freezer doors open to long. And that is why John's prices are "reasonable" instead of "inexpensive". He doesn't sell stuff past it's shelf-life. He puts a lot of effort into making you get the freshest ingrediants possible. That means he occasionaly has to toss stuff out or give it away. I'll gladly spend the extra 5 or 10 bucks to get a really exceptional batch of beer instead of some funky concotion and wondering which one of my ingrediants was 4 years old.
05-02-2007 05:27:57 | More by theopholis
Home Beer, Wine, And Cheesemaking Shop in Woodland Hills, CA
98 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.