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Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply

Not Rated.
Northern Brewer Homebrew SupplyNorthern Brewer Homebrew Supply
BA SCORE
98
world-class

61 Ratings
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.99%
[ Homebrew Store ]

1150 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55105-2628
United States
phone: (651) 291-8849

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @northern_brewer

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: ADR)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by scottum:
Photo of scottum
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%

I bought some wyeast, some hop pellets and 35 rhyzomes of various varity.... The root cuttings were in great shape. They even threw in 5 extra Saaz cuttings for free! I'll certainly buy from them online again someday. But now that I have 30 hop plants, why do I even need homebrew shops? More gear!!! They yeast survived the trip well too. Shipping was prompt and the package was on the doorstep before I even knew it. A nice website layout and function too. A good selection or all things homebrew like geargeargeargeargear and malts/hops/yeast/...

More User Reviews:
Photo of ohiobeer29
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Jimandhisbeerd
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of AmandaSchaefer
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of bbkreger
2/5  rDev -55.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2

They cherry-pick which reviews to show on their site. I asked them about this practice and they said they don't post "inaccurate reviews". I asked them how a review can be inaccurate when it's how the customer feels/thinks of their product. No response.

Don't trust them!

Photo of Wendigo
5/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best place to get homebrew supplies. The staff will be more than happy to assist with every aspect of homebrewing besides actually brewing it. It's a retail store but by no means are the staff pushy. They let you buy what you wanna buy but if you've got questions they'll certainly answer them for you. Product is always fresh and the place is always packed. I'll never go anywhere else

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Came here to buy all grain equipment. First time here. It's cozy. I didn't understand that you have to ask for things on the shelf and they'll get the boxes with new equipment down. It was 45 minutes before closing on a Monday night and the two younger people working seemed tired, but perked up when I asked questions about buying big pieces of equipment.

Lots of space on the shelves for extract boxed recipe kits. There was a large wine brewing space to the left and a slightly smaller homebrewing room off to the right. Hats and shirts hung up on the wall. More hops in one place than I've ever seen. I also have never been to any other homebrew shop as big.

Prices are comparable to Midwest Brewing as I looked up both online. Still haven't been to Midwest to make a judgement as to which is better.

Overall my experience was nice, I got the people to help me with specific questions, even though I had to use the display equipment to explain the attachment from valve to false bottom. Although, the young man did ask me if I wanted the nozzle. I would have missed that one. I got what I needed and they even helped carry everything out to my vehicle.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

One of my homebrew go-to's. The staff here is excellent. I cannot walk around the place for 10 minutes without half a dozen people offering help (in a good way, not car salesman-ish.)

The grain room is a joy and I am very thankful for the use of the grain crusher (free).

Selection is very good. Most everything you'd need for brewing or winemaking is on the sales floor. Some of the smaller items I have looked for (i.e. fermenter pail grommets) etc. weren't around but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

The kit selection is great, including the Surly, Townhall, anf Lakeshore clone kits. I don't tend to use kits these days but recently did their RyePA and was ver pleased.

Great place all around to stop in at and hang with the brew junkies!

Photo of syrupjoe
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I got my first kit from NB and have since learned a lot from their staff and their website! They've got a lot of great recipe kits, both extract and all-grain as well as a solid grain room. The store can get a bit cramped at times (it's pretty small), but that just encourages everyone to get their fellow homebrewers better.

My only complaint is that they could have a larger selection when it comes to certain supplies - they only have one color of caps, for example.

All of the employees are super knowledgeable, and many of them are a part of the local homebrewing scene (as opposed to just being there to earn money). I'm lucky to have these guys just 15 minutes down the street!

Photo of arboristfish
5/5  rDev +12.1%

This is an awesome home brew shop! They have a huge selection of malt, hops, and yeast. I havent been to a bigger home brew shop than this. The staff are friendly and more than willing to help you out with any questions you have about brewing beer. They carry all kinds of equipment for brewing beer, and for making wine and mead. They also carry equipment for creating a draft system. The prices are very reasonable. Ive compared prices with other major home brew shops and they are competitive. I dont make it over to the shop very often, I usually end up ordering my ingredients and any equipment I need. The shipping service they provide is excellent.

Photo of brow1901
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

Nice place, staff is helpful not only in finding everything you need but they also help in formulating recipes and suggesting/explaining equipment. They have a nice selection of equipment and recipe kits. However some places have better varieties of hops and additives. Although I don't have a kegerator, NB seems to have an extensive supply of everything you would ever need to turn your home into a bar. The quality of their ingriedients is good as far as I've seen, all the extracts I've purchased have been less than a month old, same with the yeasts. The hops are stored in the fridge in nice nitrogen sealed bags. I might be a bit concerned about some of the kits, especially the unpopular ones because the hops are stored in the kits, it says when the kit was made but it doesn't give the date of the ingridents within the kit.

They also carry supplies for wine and mead making.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

I too have never been to the store but like most others, have ordered from them on several occations.

I typically like my LHBS the best (More Beer) because of the easy and quick access to stuff and questions I have can be answered quick. Plus it's nice to just talk beer with the guys over there. But sometimes they don't have something I need or I want a particular brand they don't carry and that's where northern brewer comes in.

I have noticed that each home brew supply place has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to carrying certain products but I try and buy all I can from More Beer and then if there us something special I order it from northern brewer. Like Wyeast special release strains of yeast for example.

Shipping is fast and only $8 no matter how much you order.

Prices are pretty much the same as More Beer but just like a grocery store, they each have some things cheaper and more expensive than others. So if your gunna do an order any way and pay for the shipping, you might as well order the things you need that you know they have cheaper.

Overall I say always support you LHBS if you have one but if you need something special, you can't go wrong with Northern Brewer

Photo of Brettster
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%

First off, I have never been inside the store, but I have ordered homebrew supplies from Northern Brewer on several occassions. Typically if I am ordering supplies online, this is the first site that I check out before any others. I have found the ingreadients to always be fresh and good quality. They have a great selection of just about any ingredient or oddball part or tool that you need. I would recommend this store to anyone shopping online for supplies. Support your local homebrew shops if you can though.

Photo of beertooth
4/5  rDev -10.3%

I've ordered from this place a few times and haven't really had any problems except for the one time they forgot an oz of hops I needed. It would also be nice if they actually emailed me when my order goes through. I was a little worried the first time I ordered.

The website is very easy to use and the flat rate shipping is cheap and fast.
Everything I've ordered has been very fresh and packed tightly. They have a very wide selection of extracts, hops, grains, equipment. I think the equipment kits are more expensive than some other online shops though.

One of the better online brewing supply stores out there.

Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Just purchased my first homebrew kit from Northern this week. I went with the deluxe kit with glass carboys. Price seemed a little bit higher than another homebrew place, but word was this one kit is of a little higher quality. The store itself isn't huge by any means, but they have everything you need to homebrew. Tons of different brew kits as well. I went with an extra pale ale for my first brew. The guy who helped me was very knowledgeable and friendly. He made some nice suggestions and didn't pressure me towards more equipment. He stated my options and guided me on my new journey. Helped carry my purchase out to the car as well. They do crush your grains for you for free which was nice. Great, easy to use website and their catalog is very well laid out and easy to use. Online purchases have a standard $7.99 charge no matter the size of your purchase. Overall, great experience and I look forward to going back for beer #2.

Photo of mdwalsh
5/5  rDev +12.1%

No reason to rate this place anything but perfect, my favorite place to stop on Grand. Of course, the kits are simply amazing and taste great without being too difficult. I like the way its all laid out so simply right on the box. All the equipment they sell is good quality and clean. And they have pretty much any equipment one could need.

The service is great. I've gone in there just for quick stuff, known what I needed and been in and out. I've also gone in there with no idea what I need, and been talked through just about everything I would need to do in a very understandable way.

The owner is a great guy, and allowed us to use his store as a drop off point for our Homebrew Club's competition even though we're in St. Cloud and don't frequent the store that much. He also knows his stuff. As I understand it -he was one of my professor's college neighbor- he went to Scotland in college and interned at a brewery, came back knowing he wanted to do something with beer, convinced two other college friends to invest in him, and turned that into Northern Brewer.

Photo of GordonQuid
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Northern Brewer is my primary source for my home brewing supplies. You cannot beat the flat $7.99 shipping fee!

They have everything you can think of in regards to brewing! If you are just starting out or if you are an advanced brewer. Their respective wine making and mead making ingredients and equiptment are also exceptional.

Service is class A. I have called with questions and they are very knowledgeable and accommodating.

The selection of beer making kits is world class. kits for the beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Even with the hop prices going way up; Northern Brewer has kept it reasonable for the folks who make their own.

Northern Brewer has the ultimate respect for the art of beer making and beer consumption.

Buy from these guys!

Cheers!

Photo of unclejimbay
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%

I use Northern Brewer as one of my "two" primary online homebrew supply shops (Midwest Supplies being my other supplier). I have ordered beer kits, ingredients, wine kits, and brewing/wine making kits from this shop. I live in Florida. Shipping is always prompt and reliable. The Customer Service is great via email or by phone. Order/Shipping mistakes are corrected promptly with no hassles or loops to jump though. Ingredients are fresh and the staff is always helpful before or after an order for questions about brewing/winemaking.

I have found NB to usually be the best shipping vlaue @ 7.99 per order on *most* items, however the itmes may be a bit more expensive than MWS. As a result, most times MWS & NB total price with shipping is always very close. You can not go wrong with NB. You can always order with confidence, hassle free, with quailty prompt products.

FYI, since NB offers 7.99 flat rate shipping, it's always better to order "big/heavy" orders from them avoid expensive shipping. I have found heavy wine kits and malts to be a bit more expensive in price, but cheaper in the end since the shipping is a flat rate. Order the max you can at once to leverage the bargain of the flat rate shipping.

The new website with order history is a HUGE improvement. It tracks your order history and even lets you build a wishlist to help plan future brews/orders.

Photo of Ragingbull
5/5  rDev +12.1%

I have been to Northern Brewer on a few occassions as I have starting getting back into brewing my own now that my oldest daughter thinks its cool to help me. I thought that I was easily impressed by homebrew stores as I have only been in 4 different ones in my life and like them all, so I solicited opinions from other homebrewers. They are in agreement that Northern Brewer is pretty exceptional. That is not to say that their "home" stores aren't, but they simply say "that is a nice store you've got there." On to the review.

The size of the store doesn't do justice to just how much is there. I was looking for some oddball parts that I had misplaced and/or broken during my brewing hiatus and thought that I would be in trouble. They had every piece I wanted and more. I just didn't know where to look. They did, and found it for me very quickly. They seem to be well staffed at all times. If you are wandering around, they come and ask you if you need help within just a minute or two. Almost as if they are watching you waiting to see that "look of confusion" on your face. I have been impressed by the fact that the few times I have been I am never the only person shopping. The bustle is especially surprising since I go in during the weekday mornings typically.

They have a large number of prepackaged brewing kits to choose from. You can also order what you need for a recipe as I have overheard an employee taking a phone order and believe I saw him on a computer helping a caller calculate a recipe. They will even mill your grains for you, which is nice for a guy like me who has been in and out of brewing a few times over the years and investing in a grain mill seems silly given my track record.

The catalogue is perhaps my favorite thing about the store. I have been sitting around reading through it and dreaming and scheming lately. It is thorough, educational and organized nicely. I was able to peruse the catalogue and know exactly what I wanted to buy before walking in the store. Yesterday that was key because I had all three of my children with me. Normally one would want to linger in such a place, but I was in "get in, get out mode" yesterday. I paid my bill while they milled the grain and I was out the door. Super.

The only possible negative is that at times on street parking in this part of Saint Paul is dicey. You can usually do okay with all the side streets and what not, but it adds time to your evolution. If you are able bodied and not planning to buy a cumbersome amount of stuff, the parking is fine. If you are "stocking up" or doing your initial outfitting, then you want to get a good spot as Grand Avenue has a good amount of traffic. For my purposes, if I am crossing the busy streets with kids I will cruise on past and try later for a parking spot on the same side of the street. In no way do I want to diminish how great this store is by talking parking, but I wanted to give insight here for those for whom it might be a factor. Great store.

Photo of roadhouse
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%

I have ordered from their website many times, but just recently went to their store on a trip. The store itself was much smaller than I imagined, but amazingly it seemed to have pretty much everything available on display that their catalog has. Every time I order from them all the ingredients and parts are very high quality. No cheap brands, all the maltsters are specified, hops are always very fresh, etc. I've never had any problems with an order, even with a small piece missing which always seems to happen with Midwest. The service in the store was helpful if you asked them something, but they wouldn't really go out of their way. Someone asked me if I needed help after I was wandering around looking at everything for about 10 minutes. I have never had to deal with the customer service from an online order because everything is always perfect. The selection is massive here, and has just about everything that you would find at Midwest or some other huge homebrew shop. The only thing that kind of sucks is the prices compared to others. Everything is more expensive. A sack of Maris Otter costs $75 here and $60 at Midwest, a pound is $2 here, and $1.55 at Midwest. However, they do have flat rate shipping of $7.99 here (excluding massive stuff like sacks of grain) so it sort of equalizes out. Despite the price, the quality does back it up. Do not hesitate to order from these guys.

Photo of BetterDarker
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

I've only ordered online from this place, and I love it. Their website is easy and informative. Their prices are reasonable and shipping is cheap. Two stories as to why I love their staff:

1. I was getting ready to brew one of their kits and it came with a smack pack. After three days of apparently no action, I freaked out and called them for advice. What they told me is "Either wait one more day or we can send you a new one for free right now." I waited a day and viola the pack expanded and I brewed a great batch.

2. One time they sent me two kits when I ordered and paid for one. I called them and asked how to arrange a return and they said "Keep it, our bad, enjoy the free kit." I did.

Photo of spointon
4.55/5  rDev +2%

I visited this place on 5/12/2009 (while on a beer trip with BA roadhouse).

This place was very easy to find from the highway (we came in on I-94). Street parking was easy enough to find right out front.

Upon entering the store, the cashier is on the right and the door into the grain room is to the left. Beyond that the store is divided, with the right hand 2/3 being beer equipment and supplies and the left 1/3 being winemaking supplies. The grain room is a model of efficiency, with all of the specialty and base grains in labeled bins. There was a scale all set up and zeroed as well as an easy to use electric grain mill. Out in the main part of the store, the hops and yeast were kept in tall refrigerator/freezer units and were well labeled.

There was also a great selection of draught equipment and all of the little gadgets that make brewing easier.

Service was friendly and helpful but not pushy. Prices were fair (not high and not bargain basement either). I am consistently impressed with the freshness of the ingredients I get from this store (I am an online shopper too).

A great place to visit for sure if you homebrew and are in the area.

Photo of alphanon
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%

Only ordered from here online so I've never met the staff but every time I've called they have helped quite well with my problem. After saying that when there is a problem with my order I generally don't know that until I realize that my order has not shipped and I call about it, so it would bw nice to have a phone call or an e-mail. Other then that The selection has always been great for brewing gear and ingredients, prices are quite reasonable and the quality has always been really good. So I will keep ordering from them.

Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -32.7%

I am probably the only one that does not care for this place. I ordered a kit from them recently and I was not impressed with the contents. I use a lot of extract kits so when it was missing specialty grains and priming sugar I gave them a call. Not only was the guy snotty he explained to me that only some of their kits come with the grains and if I wanted priming sugars that it needed to be ordered separate. I would have had no problem with that had I just known that was the case I would have ordered it with the kit. I will give them there do they have a good selection of ingredients and brewing gear. I found a lot of stuff for my off the wall brewing.

Photo of poopypine
4.55/5  rDev +2%

I live in the Twin Cities area and this is the first brew supplier I ever went to. I have been going mostly here since I began brewing (7-8 years or something). I always find what I am looking for. The variety and quality of grains, extracts, yeasts and hops is outstanding. As others have stated they have a great selection of gadgets and equipment too.

There seems to be something similar with brew stores to auto part stores. No one seems to excited you are bringing your business to them, and they seem to lack enthusiasm for their job. But when I ask a question I always get a knowledgeable answer. I rated service average for them. They don't "bring it" until you ask them to. I guess that is OK. The overall quality of what they sell makes up for it.

Prices seem to be comparable to our other brew stores. I have not price checked them lately against the competition, but I have never felt wronged in this area.

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Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply in Saint Paul, MN
98 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.