The Brewer's Coop

Your Rating: None
The Brewer's CoopThe Brewer's Coop
9 Ratings
The Brewer's CoopThe Brewer's Coop

Type: Homebrew

30W315 Calumet Ave W
Warrenville, Illinois, 60555-1565
United States

(630) 393-2337 | map

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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of Zuidman
2.84/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 2

Photo of Forestdruid
3.53/5  rDev +24.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Over the last year or so, the quality of the brewers coop has improved markedly. Once an "extra room" sort of place, they now stock the basics for most of my brewing needs. The decor has even been spruced up - complete with beer merchandise. Not the place to go to purchase that $400.00 mash tun, but the selection of yeast is respectable and they have had reasonably priced grains and extract. The hop selection was the one weak point. For whatever reason, they had a lot of a rare slovenian hop which I had never heard of, but no saaz or fuggles?

Anyway, they are open the same hours as the brew-pub, so the brewers coop is the single best place to go for that 'oh-crap' last minute purchase.

By the way, the food next door is pretty good and the people are more helpful than most brew-shop owners I have met.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.35/5  rDev +18.4%

I checked this place out while visiting Two Brothers and waiting for the pub to open up. Pretty small place with a decent selection of grains but the malt selection was pretty lacking. The help was good, a woman who not only was friendly but knew a lot about brewing and was not pushy to sell anything. They have a bunch of brew kits they make themselves that seem to be good for beginner brewers. The malt is half grain half extract which scared me off, just don't want to deal with malt extract. Overall a decent place, maybe its good for the area but living downtown they don't have anything that would have me drive 30 minutes to get there.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.1/5  rDev +9.5%

Interestingly, Two Brothers has a small homebrew supply store attached to the building which we went in during our trip there. The small room was generally open with shelves lining the walls and a small shelf-like wire rack in the middle. From a quick browse around (as I was swimming in anticipation for the brewery) I saw just about everything a brewery could want or need. Plenty of specialty grain, malt extract, and a good level of kits. Some of the more "unusual" things, or things that a brewer only needs to buy once, like bottle cappers for example, were in short supply.

While the selection there isn't outrageous, it has what a local home brewer might need at any given time, especially if it's grains. The problem that I can see here is that no one is available to help a customer out. They'd have to go into the brewery then wait for someone that actually knows about home brewing as opposed to a cashier. Regardless, it's a convenient stop especially if you're already at the brewery.

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Photo of Florida9
2.55/5  rDev -9.9%

To put it bluntly, the Coop is run as an afterthought.

From what I've been told, when the location of the brewery moved, one of the brothers wanted to let the homebrew store fade away and one didn't. So, what results is a rather poorly staffed and stocked store. Shelves are rather bare and items are regularly out of stock. Given the lack of interest in the store, you've got to wonder if they're ever really going to restock the shelves or just let the place die a slow death.

With that said, I come here fairly often because of their very convenient location only a few miles from where I work, though I will concede I come here only when I am in need of a regularly available item or two (yeast, DME, bottle caps). There really isn't much in the way of specialty equipment or ingredients. They only carry a small selection of hops, all in pellet form. Prices are fair for the products they actually have on hand.

Service tries to be helpful, but every time I've been in, there is someone new working the counter, not surprisingly, resulting in inconsistent levels of brewing knowledge. (The "new guy" listed in the review below is gone - went to school) However, the most upsetting aspect with the service is that no one ever answers the phone. Knowing how little they have on the shelves, I often call to see if they have what I'm looking for, so it would be helpful if someone would answer the phone before driving over there just to learn they don't have it.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
1/5  rDev -64.7%

I, too, had some bad experiences with the Brewer's Coop during the Ebel Brothers transition to the new location and their opening of the brewpub.

They have been my go to place for supplies for many years. I never had a complaint. Then they moved. Service took a nose dive, the kid they had working the shop was transitioning to the brew house and couldn't give two sh*ts about the homebrew shop. And the available stock was down to next to nothing. I went there a couple of times during week on my lunch break hoping that I could get my supplies and get back to work in an hour. They were still closed and no one was sure when it would open up that day.

I had vowed to either go mail order or drive an hour each way to my old shop in Beverly (Bev Art). On a whim I tried them about a month ago. They had a new guy working in the shop and it looked like they had just received a large shipment of supplies to stock the store. The guy was very helpful. I will try them again.

My ratings are based on my original experiences and where I hope they are now. If the Ebel Brothers let this place fail, it'll be a shame considering they started as one of us.

Edit: August 13, 2010 "visit" - attempted to make a stop after work to pick up a few things. Store was closed and no one at brewpub (in the same building) could be bothered to help me. I'm through supporting the Coop. I'd give service a "0" if it was available. Too bad my overall score is so high, because quality and selection were pretty good. I'll take my homebrew business elsewhere. But I'll keep supporting the Two Brothers brand as my local.

Edit: February 10, 2011 "visit" - last attempt to make a stop. Sign posted said renovations would be complete and store would open at 3 pm. I didn't know they were still renovating (mainly the brewpub). Tried the door, it was open. Went in. Staffer in the Coop said they wouldn't open until 3 pm (I was there at 1:45 pm). Refused to help me or even apologize. I'm done.

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Photo of dagburks
1.85/5  rDev -34.6%

The Brewer's Coop has always been pretty bad service-wise, leaving "we're closed today" messages at arbitrary times, and being aloof and apathetic when they actually decide to open their doors for business. The selection and availability of products has always been hit and miss.

Since their move to the new space, this has become an even worse problem. Stocks of even the most basic supplies are non-existent, the store is badly lit, and to top it off, the attendants are dividing their time between the store and the new restaurant. Obviously very unhappy about it as well, as they can be snappy and pretty unhelpful on top of it.

Because of the reasons above, and especially because it seems like the store is hardly ever open any more, I've had to shop online, even though the Coop is a 10 minute drive away. Just too disgusted and have ruined too many brewing days with the expectation that they are the friendly neighborhood homebrew shop.

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Photo of malcontent
3.7/5  rDev +30.7%

This is an all-or-nothing type of shop. As the previous reviewer has noted, the brewing side of things has (rightfully) consumed most of the Ebel brothers' attention. As a result, there are occasions when almost nothing is left in the store. However, when stocked, the selection is excellent and you be hard-pressed to find better help than the likes of two professional brewers.

I've found the prices here to be far superior to those at Brew and Grow in the city and, if you don't mind the trek out to Warrenville, the hours are more accommodating as well.

No word on what the impact of the Two Brothers move will have on the Brewers' Coop. Hopefully a smooth transition is in the works.

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Photo of MillRat
3.55/5  rDev +25.4%

One of the more established homebrew shops in western Chicagoland. Jim and Jason Ebel run this shop and Two Brothers Brewing (TBB) out of the back section of the same light industrial building, and the businesses share staff. Jim and Jason are highly knowledgeable and helpful, and actively work to educate their staff. The degree of helpfulness of particular staff members correlates to their length of service. The startup of TBB has split the brothers' attention, and the craft brewing shows and competitions seems to be getting the lion's share of their extracurricular attention.

Prices are competitive with on-line shops, and better than nearby brick & mortar places, though grains are sold only in 1 and 5 pound bags. Freshops selection, pellet and whole, is good. Wide spectrum of WLP yeasts. Reasonable selection of brewing equipment, adjuncts, books, sugars, DME, LME, sanitizers and cleaners. Very fresh and pampered TBB brews are also sold.

First Saturdays of the month are TBB brewhouse tours. Nothing organized, really, but you can wander around all the equipment, the staff on hand is happy to answer your questions, and you can sample some wonderfully fresh TBB products from the tap box.

EDIT: store has moved to 30W315 Calumet Ave., which is one two blocks north and two blocks west in the same industrial park sort of area.

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The Brewer's Coop in Warrenville, IL
Place rating: 2.83 out of 5 with 9 ratings
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