Beer & Wine Hobby

Your Rating: None
BA SCORE
3.73/5
Good
PLACE INFO

Type: Homebrew

155 New Boston St
Unit T
Woburn, Massachusetts, 01801-6297
United States

(781) 933-8818 | map
beer-wine.com

Notes:
None provided.

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
35
pDev:
22.52%
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 35
Photo of ThreeLeggedLager
1/5  rDev -73.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1

I like many other bad reviewers out there, purchased a groupon for this store. Before I bought the groupon, I went to their website and added items to the cart and did the math with shipping, to see if it was a good deal. While it wasn't a great deal, due to much of the inventory costs more than the bigger online stores, with less selection... in the end I would still be saving some money with the groupon. So I purchased the groupon, and entered the code at checkout. Low and behold the shipping prices magically changed (raised) once I entered the code! My measley 4 lbs of hops was going to cost me 17.00 in shipping! Are you kidding me? I ended up paying more than I would have than at other online stores with better selections.
This is no less than stealing. True shipping does not cost 17.00 for a tiny 4 lb box. I checked the fine print and it states nothing that shipping will cost more with the groupon. I am not sure why this company even offers groupons if they are just going to scam people in the end. The whole point of a groupon is to generate more business. Well it isn't working! What I should have done is contacted groupon and advised them of this and ask for a refund, I am regretting I did not.
On top of this, I had a friend who actually let me know about the groupon, where the exact same thing happened at checkout. However, even worse for him, he contacted them as he noticed after a while it still had not shipped. The person he spoke with stated that the higher quoted shipping actually wasn't correct and that he would need to pay even more because they had to ship it in two boxes! Again, stealing, plain and simple.
I hope more people share their experiences, especially regarding groupons. People, if you are buying online, you can get this stuff for so much cheaper and from companies that are not shady that have good customer service. For those that go to the store locally, I hope you get more options in your area soon or recommend you buy online elsewhere.

 1,998 characters

Photo of sfedorov
1.93/5  rDev -48.3%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2

Another victim of groupon 'deal' here.. I was unlucky to oversee when my groupon has expired, but hoped to used the value I spent on the groupon. First, although I paid $30 for the groupon (and therefore had $30 credit), they required me to spend $60. After that, they added $25 shipping on top of that, saying that cheaper $8 usps shipping is not available for my case. They argument was that I get a discount (although I didn't get any, since groupon was expired) and therefore should pay more for shipping. When I tried to explain, that I do not get any discount, they didn't listen. When I offered to pay a bit extra for usps shipping (it should cost $12, according to usps.com), they didn't listen. My solution didn't cost them anything extra, I didn't receive any discount, but apparently they get a cut from 'standard $25' shipping, so they we not interested. On my question if customer satisfaction is important for them, I didn't get a positive answer. Apparently what is important for them is ripping off customers and groupon deal is a way to do it.
As for the store experience: slightly higher prices than competitors have with very limited selection. MoreBeer or MidwestSupllies offer way better selection for same or lower prices.
Apparently the company gets a cut from each shipment which is already a red flag.
Groupon deals are a scam - don't go for it since you'll end up spending more money than groupon 'discount' offers.

 1,441 characters

Photo of Longstaff
2.4/5  rDev -35.7%

Just came back from Beer-Wine hobby and I have to say - worst homebrew shop ever. The service is crap - they couldn't care less if you shopped for your supplies there or not as long as they keep pushing mail orders out the door. Called ahead, to see if they would put together my order so I could just pick it up when it was ready. Lady on the phone with a slight accent said that I was better off coming in and getting the grain and crushing it myself. Ok - so much for service. Then I asked if other supplies I needed (yeast and hops) were available, without blinking an eye she responded "oh, yes we have plenty of the items you need." Guess what, they didn't have the freakin yeast I needed. Thanks for the help, now I have to delay my brew schedule so I can go find the yeast somewhere else. Not only that, 10lbs of grain and 4 ozs of hops ended up costing $30 - outrageous when compared to other places in the area. Then there was a little matter when the manager (same lady with accent) tried to rip me off. Called for a tank plug for my corny keg and gave the part number on the phone to make sure they had it on hand. Went to the shop, lady said I wanted something else on the phone which was $8. The tank plug was $25 - a number she picked off the top of her head. I pointed to the item on their website and lady refused to give me the advertised price (which was $12 and in line with prices at other online shops). Told her to shove it where no man would want to go.

You get much better service at a LOCAL homebrew shop. This place may be in the area, but I don't consider it to be a local shop. Hit up Modern Brewer in Cambridge or Strange brew in Marlboro for much better service and better prices.

 1,714 characters

Photo of bigman147
2.5/5  rDev -33%

I started a braggot last Monday before I was to travel out of town for Thanksgiving and I needed to pick up some supplies immediately (1 inch tubing for blowoff tube since this beer was extremely active). Needless to say I wasn't impressed. First off, when you enter the building, you have to guess were to go. The signage is poor and you feel like you are walking into someone's office.

The selection was great if you wanted prepared beer kits or wine supplies. The layout was confusing as both beer and wine are kindof mixed together illogically. I thought about buying some hops but after looking at the shelf of hop plugs that were brown and very old looking. I decided against it. They have a good amount of stuff if you have time to wander around and look in every nook and cranny. It took me a while to get anyone to assist in locating the tubing (they had run out of 1" tubing). Everyone seemed busy with the mail order side of the business and didn't really pay much attention to anyone in the store. I did hear a conversation between a customer and one of the cashiers and it did appear that they could be fairly helpful to new homebrewers but for more experienced homebrewers you will be frustrated.

Overall, if you are in a pinch and need something immediately, this place is a good option. Prices appear to be high to account for that convenience. If you want to make wine I think this store might be better for you than it is for homebrewers.

 1,464 characters

Photo of greenethumb
2.7/5  rDev -27.6%

i have been here a few times, and i don't think i will be going back, unless i need some emergency gear that i can't wait a week for, or that isn't available at another local shop.

As some others mentioned, this is primarily a mail order shop. It has a huge selection of ingredient kits, equipment, and special herbs/spices but it does not cater to the all grain crowd.

Last time i was in there, I bought about 20lbs of grain, and the women there did not want to let me use their mill ('its for our mail order customer's only'.. what?!?!) So i kindly told her I would not be purchasing anything if i could not mill the grain. After a conference with her co-worker, she allowed me to grind.

Then came the hops. I was a buying a meager 4oz to go along with my 20lbs of grain. Resistance again. 'I have to make sure our mail order customers get what they need'... Again, I said no deal without the hops so eventually she folded. I can understand if I was just showing to buy hops or were buying a ton of them, but 4oz for 20lbs of grain?!?!

So I most likely won't be going here again, I much prefer Modern Brewer in Cambridge.

 1,128 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

I should have thought about the fact that this shop is tucked away in an industrial park a bit more before making my trip out to this warehouse. When I say warehouse, I don't mean it in a good, or even big box store type of way where there would be miles of shelves of ingredients and toys. This is a warehouse first, and a retail outlet as a second or third priority. Their retail space is poorly organized, and requires the attention of staffers who may or may not be tied up with shipping obligations.

Of course they do take phone orders for customer pick up. That feature might be nice if the shop is on your way home from work.

The prices match their catalog, so browse that to evaluate the prices. You might save yourself a trip to Danvers.

Other reviewers have mentioned that they seem more focused on wine than beer, which is true. They ought to rename their business Wine and Beer hobby.

 906 characters

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%

This is my primary destination when I need supplies, because I know they'll probably have what I need (except yeast), and it will probably be fresh.

The place is pretty big and decently organized. A lot of their ingredients are individually factory packed. Nothing bugs me more than hops and grains repacked at the store, especially if not in vacuum bags and then dated. A great deal of their hops are locally packed--I avoid those.

Service is hit or miss; if you rub them the right way, they're very helpful, but if they get outsider vibes from you, they're cold towards you. They used to have a nice electric mill, but it broke and they pulled out of the box one of the cheaper hand mills in stock instead of a premium unit (i.e. high volume and calibrated adjustable crush).

They don't carry much yeast, in particular they seem to favor White Labs over Wyeast. But they'll order whatever you want if you give them a call a week in advance. The hops selection is only fair, in both breadth and quantity. I often can't find what I want, or else find just 1 or 2 oz when I want 4 oz.

Prices are notably higher than mail order shops. There isn't really much bargain in their kits. OTOH, their kits are good recipes.

Re-review:

I've been there several times recently. They still don't have an electric mill after almost a year (this is absurd--I can't even imagine cranking 20 lbs of grain by hand!), and they've got bizarre restrictions on buying hops. Shortage or not, other places don't tell you how much you're allowed to purchase. No change in scores, still not impressed, yet I go back ~50% of the time because except for hops and Wyeast they've got everything I need.

 1,680 characters

Photo of stephenpcowan
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%

I was in the Woburn shop this past weekend and it was not a very good experience to be honest. I'm sure this is a great mail order operation and I may very well order bulk from them, but I can say for sure that I don't want to go back in person.

The heavy emphasis on mail order is a big drawback on the service end. All of the specialty grain is prepackaged so you can't just weigh out what you want. For the grain that isn't prepackaged, the process of weighing grain is medieval. The staff isn't really into helping out since they are busy with the mail order side of things. That didn't really bother me since I knew exactly what i needed, but if I was a novice brewer I imagine I would have been lost.

However, the deal killer for me was the prices. You should expect to pay about 15% more for comparable items at B&WH over the Modern Brewer, my normal homebrew shop. Modern Brewer is right in the middle of town and located by the T--why are their prices more reasonable?

In summary, if you are an all-grain brewer you should expect to take about 50% longer than you would expect to get your ingredients and get out. You should also expect to pay a premium for that privilege.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed, but i must say that the grain wasn't stale, the yeast fermented, and the hops were in good condition. Overall their products are of good quality.

 1,367 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%

I have used this store on several occasion. when I picked up the ingredients for my first brew, I thought that this place was pretty darn good. they had everything I needed and pointed me in the right direction for items I needed to pick up. Since then I have gone to online ordering. I have compared orders I have made, and I usually end up saving well over 30% by ordering online and paying shipping. this place is a warehouse, with downtown boutique prices. the service is ok, but the savings from online buys far outweighs any benefit of face to face transactions.

 568 characters

Photo of IHC
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%

I've been here many times and service is usually good. The staff is knowledgable. They've helped me develop better recipes and saved me from numerous trial and error batches. They're also honest with equipment purchasing; for example when I was thinking of purchasing a mill I asked which would be best? They recommend the barley miller as opposed to the corona. They told me that frankly the corona is cheaper but i'd be happeir if I waited and paid more for the better crusher! I couldn't agree more especially after having used both.

The store is a little pricey on some ingriedents like hops for example but they are really the only store within a reasonable driving distance for me! Compared to the place in cambridge this store has way more supplies and ingriedents.

 774 characters

Photo of BetterDarker
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Great selection of grain, okay selection of White Labs yeast, though what they do have is fresh. Checking out can be a bit of an ordeal as it seems like the guy I always get doesn't know the SKU's very well. A little pricey on the DME, but I love the warehouse type atmosphere. No frills here, just what you need and plenty of it. If you're into making wine they also have lots of kits, and each fall they get fresh, pasteurized with no preservative cider. The staff if is unobtrusive and friendly.

 498 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Since it is located a couple of miles from my office I tend to pick up supplies here often. The store is very clean and very well lit. They normally have a very nice selection of fresh hops and yeast which is plus to say the least. The service can be hit or miss, depending on how busy they are. They have more wine making equipment and supplies than I have ever seen in one store. The one bonus of doing business here is the frequent buyers card.

 447 characters

Photo of joebrewer
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Based on visits to Barleycorn, the homebrew shop in Cambridge, Walpole Wine and Spirits, and Beer & Wine; Beer and Wine stands out as the most well-rounded homebrew shop.
Grain, extract, hops, and yeast selections are superior to all other shops, but prices are higher.
Beer and Wine also has a larger selection of other items: brewing equipment, other ingredients, books, and winemaking equipment. Help at Barleycorn's is good, but they don't have the equipment selection that Beer and Wine has. However, Barleycorn's a fair amount cheaper for everyday stuff like yeast.

For brewing ingredients, I find that Beer and Wine is as close to a sure thing in the greater Boston area for having everything I need.

They would be a much better store if they lowered the price on a few items (hops, yeast). $8 yeast vials!

 815 characters

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

The shop is located only a few miles from my house so it serves as the place I stop by if I need anything last minute. It's basically a warehouse from which you are allowed to shop. Most of the business looks to come from mail order clients. They stock the usuals: a number of varieties of malts, specialty grains, yeasts, and hops. Also LME and DME and a number of starer kits, and lots of accesories. Prices seem a bit high, but the staff always offers to help.

You are likely to find better shops, but it's good to pick up last minute needs. Price is the biggest turn-off for me.

 585 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

I've been getting my homebrewing supplies from Beer & Wine Hobby for almost as long as I've been homebrewing. They have a good selection of equipment, beer making kits, fresh ingredients and other supplies. Prices are resonable. The owners are friendly and knowledgable, but seem to cater a bit more towards wine makers. On occassion, their supply's may be low or out of stock.

If you live near Boston this is one of the better shops to find fresh homebrewing ingredients. I would recommend Beer and Wine Hobby to any homebrewer or wine maker.

 546 characters

Photo of LynnHomeBrewer
4.14/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Beer & Wine Hobby has helped me any question i asked them. The staff there has good knowledge and great advice. Kindest employees you could ask for. They don't try and push you to buy extra things or to spend more money. Very laid back warehouse Atmosphere and everything you need from growing hops or grapes to brewing beer, wine and tonics (soda)

Prices... seems like some people are concerned with high prices here. I really don't know how anyone can compare buying product here from another site online. Small example could be the price of Gasoline, might be expensive here but cheaper in another state (another example, Cost of Living). Playing devil's advocate here with pricing. Doesn't seem fair to compare a Boston based price with Texas, Ohio or Florida. I have no problem paying for good ingredients along with knowledgeable help.

I'd like the thank Beer & Wine Hobby for helping me along the way of one day being a Master Brewer.

 944 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

Now this is what I like - a warehouse operation...

Good ingredients, carefully organized with a decent selection.

Service was quite helpful - for a noob they provided good insight into lengthening the life of LME for me and gave words of encouragement as I face the daunting task of my first batch.

Prices aren't bad for the area - hop prices a little cheaper than I've seen; other stuff maybe more expensive than mail order but with shipping it's a wash, so no big deal. Only beef is that prices aren't consistently marked on the shelf.

Barring mail order this'll probably be my most visited place for stuff within the 128 area. Good, solid supplies with a helpful team.

 675 characters

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

This is my main stopping point when I need materials for brewing. They have a good selection of all the essentials - malts, yeasts, grains, hops, and a large variety of equipment, including more specialized things. It's basically a warehouse that is open to the public, and it seems that most of their sales come from mail order, but the staff that works in the front are incredibly helpful. I've had lengthy discussions with them about brewing certain styles of beer, about types of yeast to use, types of hops, and so on. Incredibly helpful and friendly service, and one of the biggest reasons I'll go back to a place. Price-wise, they're on par with any home brew shop.

 672 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

Tucked away in an industrial park, this is an outlet store for their on-line operations. As such, there isn't a proper storefront, but as I ventured in, I was welcomed by a friendly voice. I found a small store jam-packed and stacked high with kits, ingredients, and supplies. I had the sense that more goods stretched away behind the shop. Set to one side are a few carboys of wine the staff are making on site. Not beer, there's no place to boil anything.

The refrigerator is redolent with the smell of hops. I know that's not necessarily the right storage, but it still smells wonderful. The bags of whole hops looked green and fresh. I had lots of liquid yeasts to choose from. There's a variety of bagged malts and grains.

Way too easy to spend a lot of money here.

 776 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

From what I gather, it's a nice little homebrew store for beer and wine making. Very small place located in a industrial section of the town, but they seem to make the most of it. Everything in the store is as organized as they can be I think, some of the items are impossible to keep straightened out just based on what they are and everything seems to be in good working order. The service was good, my wife got me a groupon for a beer making class that I finally cashed in and we went for the class. The manager teaching the class was very passionate about it. He was good at answering questions and was very patient. After the class he of course offered a "one day only" coupon to buy more stuff in the store if you purchase a specific amount. I did anyway, I'm new to homebrewing, but really want to make the most of it. It was tough getting out of there at the end because most of the people in the class wanted to buy stuff and there were only 2 employees to help out. They had a lot of ingredients, supplies and cleaning products to get you going and plenty of selection. I don't have too much to go by on the prices, but it's cool that they do groupons, so that made it worth it. Kind of a hike for me to get there, but if I had time and was in the area, I would go back.

 1,280 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%

I've only been here a couple times but I order online a lot. The place is not far from me but if I am really busy shipping is not that expensive and it is usually here the next day.

They have a great selection of grains, hops, and yeast. If they don't have what you need they are really good with giving you the best substitution.

As far as equipment goes they have everything a homebrewer would need. I've purchased almost all of my equipment through them and have never had a problem. They have great beginners kits for under $100.

They offer a wider variety of brew kits as well and if you are a part of the newsletter they usually let you know about new kits at least twice a month.

 691 characters

Photo of HillcrestBeer
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is my "go to" homebrewing supplies store. Things that they don't have in house, they can order for you. They always seem to keep their ingredients inventory very well stocked. They also have a great selection of beer kits of all styles to choose from. They are partial grain/extract kits. They also have a High Gravity series of kits that come out almost monthly. The Staff there are all very friendly and knowledgeable.

They also have a class for beginner homebrewers that's reasonably priced and worth checking out.

 523 characters

Photo of Norica
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%

Went here today to pick up some supplies. Yes it's tucked in an office park, yeah it probably caters more to the wine side and internet sales. I don't care. I love when sevice people greet you when you walk into a store, ask if you have if you any questions or need help, and then leave you alone to browse. It sounds simple but it's the little things that count in retail. I got what I needed (I'm not an expert homebrewer so my demands are simple), signed up for the newsletter and frequent buyer program and headed for the door. Bonus points for being easily accessible in the Boston area and for ample parking.

 614 characters

Photo of abartke
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%

This place is great. I used to go to Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge, but this store is far and away better. They have a good selection of grains, a lot of different yeasts, plenty of kits (some put together by one of their employees), and a fair selection of hops. In addition, they also sell quite a few books and wine supplies. Everything has to be fresh -- they seem to have a very high volume mail order business as well. The employees are pretty good too. Every time I've gone in someone has asked me if I needed help. Good place to go if you are in the area in need of supplies.

 584 characters

Photo of warchez
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%

The people who run Beer-Wine are always very pleasant and happy to see you. They work real hard to please the quick run ins during the weekely lunch hour. On the weekends, you can really get some questions answered.
HUGE variety of in house ingredient kits. Probably the shining point of this store, as their All-Grain section is not as vast as others. (but you'll still find" most of what you need).
Great place for beginers because of that kit variety. The service is very helpful too. They man their email support line quite well as well if you have a last minute question before you brew at home.

This is a great store and I frequent it often. They also do an extnsive mail order business. They also seem to have plenty of wine related items as well, as its always very busy during grape season.

A perfect place to get supplies.

 840 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn, MA
Place rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 35 ratings