Brew & Grow
Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tapman:
3.55/5 rDev +5.3%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Okay, so yea, its more bent towards home growing than brewing, but they have enough stuff for the avid begginner to intermediate/advanced home brewer. Didn't see anything exceptional. They have all the grain you could want, though I don't think in bulk. Prices are the same as a couple places I went to in the 'burbs, so I don't think its so bad.
Had the pleasure of getting there when the brewmeister (the local guy who comes and brews a couple of brews for in store sampling) and had a pleasant chat with him while I got to try a couple of their house brews (a schwartz bier, a fruit-flavored wheat, a dunkelweiss, an American amber ale). That was pretty cool, as he gave me some tips on home brewing. Had a good time.
02-22-2008 06:40:42 | More by tapman
More User Reviews:
2.05/5 rDev -39.2%
quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | $$
I've have taken to ordering all of my supplies online from Midwest because the service is so bad. That's right...I'd pay shipping and handling rather than deal with the staff.
- Would much rather hold conversations than ring out customers.
- I attempted to place a special order for yeast and they didn't even bother to get my name or number.
- Don't bother to ask for help. If they even know anything about brewing, they treat you like you're an idiot for not knowing the answer.
-Every time I've visited I've felt as if I was bothering them.
-The last time I was in I purchased a new auto-siphon and some tubing. I pointed out to the clerk that I didn't think the tube was the right size. His response was that it was the only one they carried and that he was sure it was the right one because it was what everyone purchased. I should have sized it up in the store (my fault), but I didn't. I got home, it didn't seal, I tossed it and went to Home Depot.
I will only return this store to purchase bottles, due to the high cost of shipping and chances for damage. I just hope that I don't end up on some DEA watch list.
PS. I don't care if they've now post signs asking for negative feedback in store. You should have taken steps to higher the correct people in the first place. One or two bad apples is expected with any business...an entire staff is another thing. My suggestion to the owner, instead of putting up signs...do an online search for "interview worksheets", higher people who aren't ---holes and make sure they understand the customer matters. The customer isn't alwasy right and is usually a complete douche, but they matter none the less.
01-07-2010 15:18:02 | More by MayorAdamWest
4.5/5 rDev +33.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
The name says it all here. I love walking in and the first thing you see is bat guano. While the name lists beer first I think the priorities are in other areas with most of the store dedicated to "growing". Having said that what it does have for brewing is great.
There is a huge selection of ingredients and supplies that are very reasonable priced. Additionally, they have tons of brewing books, that I've never seen before.
The staff is extremely knowledable and helpful. They know there stuff and offer great suggestions and hints. They are also always brewing, and they've had some great stuff, especially a red sour.
They also have parties and give away food and beer. Great place to go.
12-27-2009 01:59:18 | More by jrallen34
3.75/5 rDev +11.3%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
When I started all-grain brewing I got most of my supplies online. But I'd been to Brew and Grow a number of times when I began brewing and recently have tried to shop locally and get ingredients here.
They have a nice selection of brewing books and most of the basics that you'll need in terms of equipment. My biggest complaint is that they are sometimes out of certain malts. Hops, I understand; they're not always easy to get but their hops selection actually has been pretty good over the last year. But be prepared to adjust your recipe based on what's available or call ahead to check what's in stock. Also, I have been buying 50# bags of 2-row here and saving a fair amount of money on base malts. Buying at that kind of bulk isn't an option online.
My other complaint used to be service. There were a couple of employees who looked disinterested in being there and not very helpful in general. However, there has been some staff turnover and I've found the new crew to be helpful and somewhat knowledgeable with suggestions for substitutions when necessary. And yes, if you go on the weekend, you'll likely get a free beer or two and good brewing advice from the owner.
12-07-2009 23:55:56 | More by saugbrewer
3.8/5 rDev +12.8%
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
This place is, as previously mentioned, definitely geared towards growing vs. brewing. The brewing selection is reasonable, however. Good selection of malts, and the selection of hops is decent. They recently started stocking White Labs and Safale, and their Wyeast selection is very good.
If you are a newbie, and have questions, don't go any day other than Saturday. The extremely friendly brew-guy is there only then. He will offer you a beer and answer the dumbest of questions you could ever muster with only a smile and a helpful response.
Otherwise, the weekday guys, although knowledgeable, aren't falling over themselves to help you out. They're much more interested in growing, or doing whatever it is they do with whatever it is they grow.
It's a little more expensive than the usual online sources, but once you factor in shipping, it's about the same. They can be a little short on grain or extract late in the day on Saturdays. Calling ahead is a good idea, but don't expect enthusiastic answers.
Apparently, the owner must be reading BA and/or Yelp. He's put up a bunch of signs asking the customers to call with negative feedback, and the staff has become much more friendly and helpful. I changed my service rating from a 2 to a 4.
Their hop selection is quite good now, and they've added some equipment too.
They're opening up a new store somewhere around 2600 N. Kedzie in the future. Hopefully the new store will have even more brewing ingredients/equipment.
03-20-2009 05:01:53 | More by kleinstadt
2.85/5 rDev -15.4%
quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$$
This was the first home-brew shop I went to. I actually went there to buy a kit, but I realized that they were quite a bit more expensive than the online vendors I had been looking into. I would have been happy to pay the extra dough to support a local shop, but they didn't have an wort chillers to offer with their kits, and were missing a few other pieces.
After buying my kit elsewhere, i returned to get some ingredients... ok, selection. They keep the hops on lock-down and tend to be out of many varieties. It took some prodding to get help on decent substitutions. The staff was hit or miss, more often then not they seem more interested in socializing amongst themselves than answering customer questions, which as a newbie can be daunting.
Overall, ok selection, ok price, ok service.
I am a big supporter of patronizing your local shop, but this is not the best place for complex grain bills, hop schedules, or getting your questions answered.
03-04-2009 02:47:09 | More by greenethumb
3.7/5 rDev +9.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Went here the other day to pick up some hops, as I had forgotten to get some with my other brew supplies. There is a good amount of different types of brew kits, and it looked like they had a decent selection of hops even though there is a shortage. They also had some other random malts and honey. I think that the store on the whole is more into growing plants and such, which could explain the random assortment of brew equipment and supplies. It was a little out of the way for me, but the guys behind the counter helped me out a lot. I'll go here again in a pinch.
09-20-2008 20:10:27 | More by tedsox31
4.35/5 rDev +29.1%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I thought this place was great! Although after reading reviews it seems to me that it would be wise to call first to make sure they have what you need. I had a nice long chat with the brewmaster, who is there every Saturday, and he was very helpful. They seemed to have everything we could have needed, and were able to provide good reading material, and advice that helped in making our first ever brew of a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Make sure to grab lunch 3 blocks west at the Riverside Cafe at 1656 Cortland just up the street (Killer Sicilian Italian Beef!). While you're at it there's at pretty good selection of beer at the Bucktown Pub next door.
04-09-2008 16:55:43 | More by floatingpancake
3.7/5 rDev +9.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $
Went to this place the other day. It is moderately difficult to find, but easy to get to if you Google directions, and when you get there is a good amount of signage so you can find the store itself.
The guys were helpful, though I didn't talk to them much because I was there on my lunch. They had a good selection of equipment at good prices. I bought a carboy, bung and airlock for less than the cost of just a carboy from Midwest Supplies (and that's before shipping).
I'll definitely be going back again.
01-30-2008 16:57:01 | More by KnoxBrew
3.7/5 rDev +9.8%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$$
Stopped in here with a friend before a homebrewing session. We were immediately offered an in-house rye beer, after browsing the brewing supplies.
They have a rack of brewing books, including Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher of the Chicago Beer Society. There was a small rack of unusual ingredients such as orange peel, and other herbs and spices. We came for malt, yeast, and hops, and left with what we needed. Yeast and hops were refrigerated behind the counter.
It was specified that they will only sell you hops if your recipe calls for it, so don't expect to stockpile here. They had the basics, and offered advice if asked. We were there on a saturday, and the beer guy was there. Your mileage may vary...
01-15-2008 16:51:50 | More by emerge077
Brew & Grow in Chicago, IL
82 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.