Northern Brewer

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Northern BrewerNorthern Brewer
12 Ratings
Northern BrewerNorthern Brewer

Type: Homebrew

1306 S 108th St
West Allis, Wisconsin, 53214-2437
United States

(414) 935-4097 | map

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Added by Pauly2X on 11-17-2009

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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by BeerFMAndy:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
5/5  rDev +8.7%

I heard this place was in town from someone when I was talking about going to a local shop for stuff. They recommended I take the drive to this location. It was well worth it both times around and will be my main stop for anything homebrew from now on.

The location seems rather new with how crazy clean it is inside and how well everything is organized. Aisles of equipment had me glossy-eyed with things I only wish I could buy and utilize! In the back was an enclosed room with large racks holding buckets of grain at an angle for weigh-your-own grain. So much selection!

I had come with a mission though, grab what I need, and nothing more. I went through and got a giant anti-splash funnel, a brew-kettle thermometer, stick-on fermenters for carboys, a carboy drier, an auto-siphon clamp, a carboy cap, a carboy handle, and Amber malt extract.

I found all of this easily while still browsing the shelves for things I had in mind for future purchases. I went to the counter to check out and while I was doing so, I asked for some advice on a project I have coming up. Not only was the clerk nice, but he spent well over five minutes walking me through some different things, helping me with yeast, and talking about the process.

I ended up being there until they closed (15 minutes or so -arrived late) and none of the employees were in any hurry to rush me out. Since I was driving to Illinois, I didn't get my yeast or hops but made the return trip the next day and picked up the other things I needed. The yeast quality was exceptional. Mfg 13 Sept 10 and I got it on the 26th. If their turn-over isn't high, the remove the old product. Awesome!

Not only did I get great service but I noticed they actually have a back room where they hold classes on brewing! For $25 a class it could really add up, but it's definitely something I looked into.

The only tiny issue I had was that my catalog said I could receive a DVD on brewing with any purchase. They didn't have them because their shipment had not come in yet, but that's not really their fault. I'm not even worried about the drive. For the stuff I can get there with that selection, cleanliness, quality, and service, I'll gladly make the drive down!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of adamranders
4.04/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Hendrick24
4.17/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of puftdank
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of RJB66
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of BoilerUpNavy
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of jubie921
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of lakeviewmike
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is a great store. They are well organized and stocked. When I go there to shop they generally have everything on my list (I think once they were out of a specific hops but they had plenty of others to substitute). The staff is friendly and helpful. They are usually pretty busy so you know they are turning stock over and most ingredients are fresh. The prices are very reasonable. They have a huge amount of equipment in stock. Even my wife likes shopping there. I have also called in orders and they have picked them for me and had them ready for pickup. Nice.

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Photo of crossovert
4.14/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Usually order from them. Didn't feel like paying for shipping on a carboy so went here to get one. It is only about 50 minutes from me. There are certainly other homebrew stores closer but I wanted to check this one out.

It was actually the first time I had ever been in a homebrew-only store.

The store is clean, but sparse. It makes everything easy to find. It seems like most anything that you will see online is here. The hop cooler was impressive, far more varieties than online. The yeast selection was large but weaker than the online selection.

Overall a nice place.

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Photo of spointon
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I had been buying stuff online from Northern Brewer off and on for years before I visited their original store in St. Paul. Then recently I had a chance to visit their store in West Allis and it was better than the St. Paul store by a mile.

This place is located in the suburbs of Milwaukee, just off the highway that runs around the whole city. Tons of parking n the NB lot right out front makes things convenient as well.

The store basically has ingredients in the back half and equipment in the front. They must have a warehouse or some other storage space hidden away somewhere because there was only 1 or 2 of many of the equipment items on the sales floor. Pretty much everything in their catalog was in the store though. The grain room was something to behold, with everything you can imagine just waiting for you to buy and crush right there on their mill. Honestly my only complaint was in how the White Labs yeast was presented. The vials were in a refrigerated case, but they were not organized in a way that was intuitive. It took me 10 minutes to find the one I wanted! Other than that though, thi splace was a great experience.

I will visit every time I am in the Milwaukee area for sure!

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is absolutely amazing! I've been into craft beer for a few years and I finally made the plunge to start brewing at home a few months ago.

I had no idea what I was doing or looking for when I stopped in beyond what I had looked at online and they were so helpful. Everyone there is really into the home brew scene and a couple of them make their own wine as well. Beyond that, they're offering classes for beginners and experts all of the time, so it's not just the place to stop for supplies.

I've probably been there a dozen times since I started brewing and every time the service is great!

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Photo of Birchgrove77
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Visited the West Allis, WI location on 11/18/09.

Location: Very easy to locate from 894. The building has ample parking and is located on the right hand side of 106th street. As you walk in there is a large cashier/service counter directly, the grain room is a nice sized room off to the right, and there appears to be a very nice three-tier system in a seperate workshop/training room off to the left of the service desk. All the stock is very well organized and thought out. There actually appears to be plenty of floorspace for more aisles if necessary.

Quality: The grain room was very nicely laid out with large tubs on scales waiting for use. I would have to say there were approximately 50 different grains/adjuncts ready to be milled. All the grains were laid out in a logical manner: base, crystals, roasted, adjuncts, and specialty and all seemed to be very fresh. The mill was setup for a nice crush and added a couple extra points to my efficiency.

Service: Excellent service. I was unfamiliar with milling my own grain, my LHBS only sells the prestocked Briess bags, and one of the guys gave me the lay of the land, suggested some different grains to try, and kept checking in on me to see if I needed help. Very friendly. Another customer had used one of the other mills and when he went to checkout, the employee noticed his crush was to coarse. He went back, reset the mill, and recrushed the grain for him.

Selection: Everything I imagined they would have was available. The website might not be indicative of the hops on-hand, but for being open a short-time was impressed with the selection of malt, hops, and yeast. In addition, the equipment area had all the products I expected and then some. Some very nice pots and burners in the front window.

Value: From an all-grain perspective, the prices were significantly cheaper and fresher than my LHBS, which is why I rated it as inexpensive. For the money, I thought it was very well worth it as I picked up two batches, stout and saison, of moderate gravity recipes and some side equipment for right around $50. Combine that with the easy to get to location, friendly service, and a great selection and this is a must see destination for the homebrewer when in the Milwaukee area. If it wasn't 100 miles away, it would be my new LHBS.

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Northern Brewer in West Allis, WI
Place rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 12 ratings