The Original Home Brew Outlet

Your Rating: None
6 Ratings

Type: Homebrew

5528 Auburn Blvd
Ste 1
Sacramento, California, 95841-2954
United States

(916) 348-6322

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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by Callenak:
Photo of Callenak
2.1/5  rDev -28.3%

I too had a grand experience with the young guy that works there. I have a lot of friends and family that live in the Sacramento area. Since I don't have a shop within 60 miles of where I live, when ever I travel I pick up enough supplies to get me through a couple batches. I normally go to Beck's in Folsom, but he was on Christmas vacation so I was forced to go here.

When I walked in during the late afternoon, I was the only customer in the shop. I had a shopping list of what I wanted, so should be a quick deal. I asked the young guy working there were the first thing on my list was and he said "Let me eat my burrito, I'm starving". Very rude about it. All he had to do was point in the general direction, I could have handled myself.

So after he finishes his burrito, tell him I only want 1/2 lb of this and 1/2 lb of that (specialty's), he tells me it's a big hassle to measure it all out and I should just buy the 1lb pre-packaged bags. At this point I just said whatever, figured I'll use the extra chocolate malt, etc some day, finished my list and got the hell out of there. The whole time there he was rude, even when he was taking the $100+ from me. I've never gone back and never will.

If you are ever up in the area, and need to do some homebrew shopping, trust me, drive the extra 20-30 miles and go to Beck's in Folsom. Those guys are the best. Very friendly, good product, and great recipes too!!!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of caplone
2/5  rDev -31.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2

Go to BFD, of order online. This place has gone from bad to worse. Last time I went their hops and yeast weren't being refrigerated and the white Labs selection was all dates by a year.

 186 characters

Photo of Gabetax
2.8/5  rDev -4.4%

There's two shops available in the Sacramento area: Brewmeister in Folsom, and Original Homebrew Outlet, and all of the locals I've talked to have given me the same opinion I've arrived at. You go to Brewmeister if you want service, and OHO for convenience.

Here's what kills me about OHO, and it's indicative of there overall attitude: the malt. Grain is only available in one pound pre-milled bags. Only want 2oz of smoked malt in your beer? Only using 4oz of roasted barely to darken up your beer? Tough, you're getting a pound. I read about this in other's reviews of the shop, and felt surely that if I just asked they'd give me the quantity I needed. Surely enough though, "this is the only way we do it." Stepping around the fact that bulk bins would probably be less effort for them to setup, it reinforces the overall vibe I got of not caring about the customer.

I've seen other reviews complaining about their help, so I thought it's worth reinforcing what I encountered. When I've been, they've had a young guy named Randy working the register. Randy really doesn't know anything about beer -- he's never brewed a batch. However, I like Randy: he's really friendly, and is more than willing to help out with what he knows about. The rest of the people I've dealt with? not so much. Whenever I've tried to ask a question or get an opinion out of someone else that actually brews (like finding a substitute of something they're out of, or suggestions to refine a recipe you made), and I've gotten a vague, unhelpful answer with a bit of crankiness. I'd like to give the benefit of it just being an off day, but I've heard similar stories from other customers while in the store.

On to the goods:

Malt: As previously noted, the one pound bags suck. Selection is decent, but they tend to run out of the popular items because they only keep a few of those bags out at a time. LME is available in vacuum sealed pre-measured 6# bags, and is decently priced. I can't find my receipt for the place, but I remember it being cheaper than any other shop I've been to.

Hops: very good selection of pellet hops. You're stuck with 2oz bags, and similarly they won't break them into smaller quantities. That isn't too odd for an HBS, but Brewmeister WILL by contrast.

Yeast: No Wyeast! Whitelab is available, but I don't like it nearly as much.

Equipment: decent selection, but I haven't needed to buy any hardware. There seems to be a lot of wine related gear though.

Overall: I generally would prefer to go to Brewmeister, but Folsom isn't a convenient location for myself. OHO will do in a pinch, but I don't enjoy supporting this shop.

 2,643 characters

Photo of bosco7
3.85/5  rDev +31.4%

This is the only homebrew shop in town (not really in Sacramento either). Their quality is pretty good. Haven't had a problem with any of their ingredients yet. I however don't like how they pre package certain things such as the specialty grains pre-milled and in 1 lb. bags. If you twist someones arm you can get them to go to the back and get some un-milled malts. The service is pretty sketchy at times. This weekend I waited in line for 20 minutes for the young guy running the shop to get done with some yahoos buying kegs. Selection is very good.

I usually go to Brewmeister's in Folsom where selection is smaller but has much better service.

 653 characters

Photo of warmstorage
2.55/5  rDev -13%

I have to agree with the other reviewer, though I'll go quite a bit further: they are generally rude, period. The kid with the spiky hair who works in the front is much more interested in promoting his personal keg/CO2 service than doing a damn thing in the store.

When pressed, they'll sell you what you want, but sometimes you have to corral the employee to get anything, since a lot of things are randomly kept in a back/side storage area. They are located way out in the north area of the city, and from appearances, have some room to expand the shop, if they cared. Apparently, they don't.

The quality of the product, especially hops & specialty grain, was fairly strong the half a dozen times we used them. The yeast (WL liquid pitch) was suspect a couple of times, and we had to re-pitch twice. (This balance is why the 3 rating for quality.) The selection is reasonable to good, with a few surprises here and there, the prices are average to high.

Combined with the rotten service, I wouldn't bother going back. In fact, my brother and I were brewing a couple of batches a month, and we stopped going back, even though it was ostensibly our LHS: we started ordering though the mail, and were immensely happier with it (morebeer). We even toyed with the idea of driving to Stockton or Folsom to avoid this place, which, if you know the Sacramento area, is saying something.

Everyone says the owner is a great guy, but I only saw him wandering around a couple of times, and neither time was he the one helping people. (And he didn't bother to ask if he could help us, even when spiky-kid was energetically ignoring us.)

The whole "huzzah! another satisfied customer!" and bell-ringing when they complete a sale is, indeed, kind of amusing and cute, but ironic, since generally by the time we left, we were anything but satisfied.

I don't live in town anymore, but when I go back to brew with my brother, we'll continue to order through the mail. I genuinely hope this place gets its s&#t together, since it's really the only game in town, for the actual city of Sacramento, anyway.

 2,110 characters

Photo of mgdeth
3.75/5  rDev +28%

Overall, Original Homebrew Outlet is a quality homebrewing store. Their hops, yeast, and grains (and everything else) are fresh and well cared for, and the selection of ingredient items is fairly extensive. Their equipment selection is also very good. They of course carry all the basic stuff you expect a homebrew store to have – carboys, air locks, corks, etc. You’ll also find wort chillers, kegging systems (both CO2 and nitrogen set ups), and propane burners – pretty much anything you might need no matter what your level of homebrewing expertise.

They often have some sort of homebrew on tap – drop into the store and you might be able to grab a sample. Be sure to check out their all grain multi-burner system, which is often parked in front of the store. The staff is knowledgeable, and for the most part, friendly.

One drawback: I sometimes get the feeling that the employees are a little cranky. Second drawback: the store is a bit cluttered, but I seem to remember hearing something about the business expanding into additional space.

Complete your purchase and the store’s worker joyfully shouts “Huzzah, another satisfied customer!” while jangling some bells. It may sound cheesy, but it’s also fairly entertaining.

Just a small addition. I passed though Sac this summer (2004) and went to this store. They've mananged to hire a few un-knowledgeable and fairly inept people to work there. The owner still has a personality that makes me ask - why are you running a business where you interact with customers on a daily basis?

 1,561 characters

The Original Home Brew Outlet in Sacramento, CA
Place rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 6 ratings
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