Princeton Homebrew

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Princeton HomebrewPrinceton Homebrew
19 Ratings
Princeton HomebrewPrinceton Homebrew

Type: Homebrew

208 Sanhican Drive
Trenton, New Jersey, 08618
United States

(609) 393-9399 | map

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Added by yen157

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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by ScrewyBrewer:
Photo of ScrewyBrewer
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Located just off of Route 29 in Trenton, New Jersey at 208 Sanhican Drive, is Joe Bair's Princeton Homebrew LHBS, easily recognizable by the long green hop vines that stretch from sidewalk to rooftop. On a beautiful Fall day you'll find the front door wide open just past the grain mill that sits center stage on the sidewalk as you walk in the door.

Once inside the store as you pass the grain bins, and large sacks stacked on the floor, you'll meet Joe Bair. Joe's been running Princeton Homebrew for over ten years (a long time since brewing was only adopted in New Jersey 10 years ago in 1991). Joe is a really great guy, he cares enough about his customers to make sure they find exactly what they need to brew that perfect recipe.

Princeton Homebrew is the LHBS for me and Joe is no doubt the most experienced brewer I've ever known. Whether he's teaching how to taste malts for raisin flavors, picking out the perfect ingredients for your great beer recipes or giving a short history lesson or two on the history of brewing, Joe Bair is the man you want know!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jamie_Wilson
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Johnwf110
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mweland
4.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of chalupa_batman
4.55/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Me and a buddy of mine stopped in here yesterday to get some supplies and this place is awesome. First off the owner looks like Albert Einstein and he is a complete nut job but hes incredibly knowledgeable and answered a few questions we had. Made a few suggestions to us about our supplies and he was pretty cool. Love the atmosphere of the shop very vintage and cool. The guy who rang us up had shared some info about brewing sours and in the long run saved us a few dollars. Shared some tips and tricks. Its glad to see people who have been in the business really trying to help some of us who are fairly new to the home brewing trade. I can't wait to go back when we brew our next batch!

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.14/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Drove up to Princeton homebrew when I found out the were the only store open nearby (philly) when I had the urge to brew over a holiday weekend.

Atmosphere is as expected for homebrew shop; a bit more room than the few that are right in Philly (Barry's, homesweet). He seemed to have most things in stock, from yeast, hops, malts, extract, bottles and books.

Service was great, one of my earlier homebrews so I had a few questions that he was able to answer and did not make me feel inferior. Milled up grains in a timely fashion and ensured I had everything I needed.

Selection was just right, he had everything I needed and appeared to have many kits, malts, yeast and hops for all types of brews.

value was reasonable, not overpriced. I hear he gets some more interesting yeasts than many other stores so I might need to pay attention to those offering in the future.

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Photo of jmel10
5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I have been using Joe's store for brewing supplies and ingredients for the short time I have been brewing. I entered Joe's store around a year and a half ago upon a recommendation from my cousin. Joe described the brewing process and then sold me everything I needed and I have been hooked since.

The store design is basic but there is a good selection and the ingredients are high quality. Joe is very friendly and is a pleasure to talk to. He seems to like when you bring a recipe because he will then proceed to help you find everything you need. He will also occasionally make suggestions without being pushy. Typically for me its that I probably don't need that much hops since I sometimes go a little overboard (I like hops).

There seems to be a large group of regular customers who use Joe's store which is a great indicator as to its quality. I definitely recommend the store to new and experienced brewers alike.

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Photo of LeftyEtc
4.65/5  rDev -2.9%

I have visited Princeton Homebrew 10-12 times. Mostly to pick up ingredients but two times just to ask Joe, the owner, a few questions. He has always been happy to give advice and make suggestions regarding my current recipe. It's a no frills store, just a simple well stocked homebrew shop with a good selection of equipment, books and ingredients for home brewers. It's an old building, so it's got some dust on the floor probably just from the grains he will mill for you. It's not very easy to find what you need in a hurry, but he is happy to help you get what you need.
Joe's friendly welcome and advice based on his years of experience will keep you going back. Last time I went in I met the shops cat that walked up to me meowed and laid on my foot while paying for a bag of specialty malts.
With this place so close i have no need to buy homebrew stuff anywhere else, awesome place, and awesome guy.

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Photo of beerdad
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Joe Bair is the owner of this store and has been doing this for probably close to 20 years if not more. He moved to this location after being edged out of the princeton location (on witherspoon) for condos, that never came. Their loss is our gain! This is a much bigger store, and more convenient, with better parking.

Hands down Joe has the best selection of malts, yeast and hops in any store I have been in. Joe is very good about making sure his yeast is fresh, unlike some stores (and carries wyeast and white labes). Great selection of equipment and books as well. Prices are very reasonable as well.

Truly the best thing is that Joe brews beer and knows about this stuff inside and out (ask him about solar brewing!), again unlike some store owners, who focus on wine and don't know that much about brewing. Visit here, and I guarantee you will be back again.

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Photo of Rguardian989
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Just took a visit over to check the place out. it was really cool to drive up and park in front of a bunch of hops growing out front.

Joe is an extremely friendly and knowledgeable man. he spoke to me at length about points i need to be aware of as i am about to start homebrewing. he really knows his stuff and so did the one employee that was setting things up around the store

the more i looked around the more i realized how many different and useful ingredients were around the store. everything you could ever need is within the walls of this shop

i would highly recommend this place to any one who homebrews or wants to get into it.

ill be going back next week and i cant wait!

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.39/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

I've visited Princeton Homebrew a number of times and found what I was looking for each time. It's a quaint small brew shop in an area you wouldn't expect to find it. This is the place I got my first batch of ingredients from for my first homebrew and recieved helpful tips from the Owner, Joe. He was very friendly and knowledgeable as well as enthusiastic to help. They seem to have a good stock of parts and ingredients. The place could use some better organization but that doesn't hamper the quality and my overall impression. I'm looking forward to visiting again.

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Photo of LuskusDelph
5/5  rDev +4.4%

It doesn't get any better than this. Joe (the owner) is a knowledgeable and dedicated brewer and offers great advice when asked. Prices are more than reasonable, and the retail markups (which ANY business is entitled to) are fair to the point of not even being a question (they are very open about this info).

The store is well stocked and in the unlikely event that what you seek isn't there, they will bend over backwards to get what you need.

I can't say enough good things about this place. The best.

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Photo of RuinationMan
5/5  rDev +4.4%

I love this place.

I never had the pleasure of visiting the old store in downtown Princeton, but this location in West Trenton is much more convenient anyway.

Joe, the sole proprietor, is a wealth of knowledge and extremely accomodating. He never pushes hard on a sell, often suggesting more cost effective alternatives, such as buying common products (like light DME) in bulk.

Despite having been literally flooded out twice in a three year span, the store is resillient, with a constantly growing inventory. Joe can get any piece of equipment you need and, more importantly, can coach you how to use it effectively.

Raw ingredients are top-notch, including Joe's own solar-roasted malts (ask him to roast them fresh for you!) and especially high alpha acid hops. I purchased a Cascade hop rhizome this spring from Joe and I expect it to yield close to a pound of cones in the first year.

You could probably get some things cheaper online or be in-and-out of other stores quicker, but there is no subsitiute for the knowledge and personality Joe brings to his store.

I am relatively young, but I expect to buy all of my homebrew supplies and ingredients from Joe until he closes his doors. As I graduate to more complicated equipment, processes and recipes, I know that Joe will be there to help me do it successfully.

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Photo of aledawg
4.85/5  rDev +1.3%

The best home brewing store around. I visit as often as I can and more than my wife can imagine :)

Joe has supported me tirelessly over the past 8 months with insight, (always the right) advice, humor, and supplies as I began with extract and now moving fast to 1/2bbl all-grain.

The customer service is exceptional: He opens the store at the drop of a hat to help you out and is always able to help out, whether over the phone or in the store - he takes the time to get to know his customers, and can talk brewing and other topics for hours.

The store may fool you by its outside and inside looks, but he always has, can get, or even directs you to the place where you can get (at no profit to himself!) the things you need.

Joe's resilient and enthusiastic spirit is what has made Princeton Homebrew a staple over many years, and I encourage all home brewers in the area to take advantage of what he has to offer. His connections to brewers, both large and small, and deep experience is something to be treasured for the community. This store will never push you to buy what you don't need, but will always make sure you have the things you do.

If you feel like brewing or learning about it, take the time to visit Joe - you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
5/5  rDev +4.4%

I drove here on a Saturday and almost blew right past it. As I walked to the door hops a growing on both sides of the door. Pretty badass. I purchased a corney keg and few other ingredient's for a pilsner I am making.

I knew nothing about how to keg a beer and Joe took the time to explain every little detail. I walked in to there not knowing anything and walked out confident enough to do this.

The selection looked amazing with everything the average or master brewer would need. I absolutely will tell everyone who brews or who is starting to brew to come as it is not far at all from my home in PA.

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Photo of vincemash
5/5  rDev +4.4%

Decided to stop in there today as I had a meeting in Ewing Twp., very impressive from the hops growing up the front of the store to the grain toasting in the parking lot with a giant Fresnel lens. Easy to get to right on Route 29.

Joe is a really nice guy, and he sure has alot of stuff. If your in NJ you definitely need to stop in, I'll def be back. I'm even getting the itch to break out my 1/2 BBL brewery after talking shop with Joe for a half hour today. He even came outside and took a picture of my 'brewing" related NJ license plate on my truck.

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Photo of 86sportster883
4.5/5  rDev -6.1%

I accompanied a homebrewing friend on a ride to the Princeton Homebrew shop last weekend and it was definitely worth the trip. Joe, the owner, makes all the difference and exudes a passion for brewing and all things related. A super nice guy, Joe is more than willing to help you with your choice of grains and yeast, give advice on recipes, and generally talk about anything else you might be interested in discussing with him.

My homebrew buddy has been here a number of times and has always been happy with the selection and quality of the supplies he's purchased. On this trip we picked up grains, yeast and hops for an Alt we plan on brewing this weekend. I also purchased a tub of dirt with Cascade hop rhizomes for my garden.

Although almost an hour away, I can see making this trip often in the future.

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Photo of beerorRIP
4.5/5  rDev -6.1%

A co-worker told me about this homebrew shop... but when it was in Princeton. Then a friend of this co-worker let me know that Joe was opening shop again, only this time in Trenton.
Anyhow, the selection isn't huge at this point, but it's only been open for 2 weeks! Plenty of glassware, bottles, and accessories, but not as much depth in terms of ingredients (ie grains, extracts, hops- but getting flooded TWICE will do that!).
The owner Joe is really a cool guy! Really takes his time with you, and can certainly talk brewing. And his cat is pretty friendly as well!

I was mostly a brewer's apprentice shopper (also a great place to shop), but i'll go local when i can!

edit 1/1/09:

the selection has only gotten better over time here. joe has proven to be more than just a cool guy who can talk beer! i've turned as many of my homebrewing friends to him as possible. i've avoided going anywhere else (including online) for supplies as i want to support small local business! and to that, joe is cutting up some keggles for me to make my all-grain transition, got me involved in the local homebrew club, hell, he even showed up at my O'fest party... i'm a convert.

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Photo of yen157
4.65/5  rDev -2.9%

Joe (owner) is an extremely nice guy and will give you advice, stories, recipes, whatever. His shop has everything that you would expect in terms of grains, hops, yeasts, and adjuncts. He also caries brewing hardware, beer kits, wine making supplies, books, glassware, etc. Very nice operation. I must make a trip down there again. A must-stop for a NJ homebrewer. Princeton Homebrew over mail order any day.

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Princeton Homebrew in Trenton, NJ
Place rating: 4.79 out of 5 with 19 ratings