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redbaron24

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I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good homebrew shop in the area. Id like to be able to go away from internet orders when I switch to AG
 

Rhoobarb

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Perfect Brewing is probably your best bet, depending on how far north you are.
 

lmg95

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that wiki certainly doesn't have Brew and Grow in roselle, IL

359 W Irving Park Rd
Roselle, IL 60172
 

conpewter

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Added Brew and Grow and a link for Perfect Brewing in libertyville

Brew and grow is nice, my favorite so far is the one in St. Charles.
 

mklawz

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I'm biased towards the Homebrew Shop in St. Charles. Mainly because it's a really good store but also because the employees are a cool bunch. :cross:
 
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hate to thread-jack, but anyone know a shop on the north side, bucktown area? i taught a couple buddies how to homebrew when i was home over thanksgiving and they live up there and have been unable to find anything.
 

heinz57

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hate to thread-jack, but anyone know a shop on the north side, bucktown area? i taught a couple buddies how to homebrew when i was home over thanksgiving and they live up there and have been unable to find anything.
Isn't Brew & Grow right there in or around Bucktown? Plus, Piece is nearby, you could ask Jonathan if he'd help some home brewers out with some ingredients.
 

GonzoIllini

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just tossing in my .02 as well...

Homebrew Shop | Beer And Wine Making Supplies, St. Charles Illinois

this is the place where i went to get started and Ed the guy who runs the place was great. My only complaint is the price of his kits (Brewers Best), i can get them down at school (University of Illinois) for about half of what he charges.

I guess that just means i need to start making my own brews and not using kits or go all grain...

Cheers!
 

kjung

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Brew and Grow in the city isn't worth the effort, except POSSIBLY on a Saturday. I've been there six times, and only twice was able to find what I needed, one of those times for bottles. their hops supply sucks, and their yeast isn't far behind. I've also heard from others that their in-store grain mill doesn't do a very good job, either.
All that aside, I was able to go in on a Saturday, the only day that their brewer apparantly works, and had a nice talk, and got some good info, along with a couple of samples of his stuff.
 

SkewedBrewing

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Brew and Grow in the city isn't worth the effort, except POSSIBLY on a Saturday. I've been there six times, and only twice was able to find what I needed, one of those times for bottles. their hops supply sucks, and their yeast isn't far behind. I've also heard from others that their in-store grain mill doesn't do a very good job, either.
All that aside, I was able to go in on a Saturday, the only day that their brewer apparantly works, and had a nice talk, and got some good info, along with a couple of samples of his stuff.
I feel like every 3 or 4 posts I write its saying something less than nice about the Brew and Grow in Chicago...

Edit: And, yet, that's pretty much the only place I buy supplies...
 

kjung

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I feel like every 3 or 4 posts I write its saying something less than nice about the Brew and Grow in Chicago...

Edit: And, yet, that's pretty much the only place I buy supplies...



You have much better luck than the rest of us. I was there a couple of weeks ago, on a Monday, and couldn't find anything that I was looking for. They only thing they had an abundance of was grain. They were even down to maybe eight cases of assorted bottles.
My neighbor went with me, and couldn't even find a kit that he wanted, which might actually turn out to be a good thing, as I'm trying to get him to step up to recipes and mini-mashing.
 

RandalG

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Another vote for Perfect Brewing.Billy has been very helpful getting my feet wet and know that I'm here it's full steam ahead.:mug:
 

OLB

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I've only been to Perfect Brewing and Chicago Winemakers. I prefer PB because of the selection and Billy was very helpful when I had a bunch of basic questions.
 

kevinvalet

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There is also a little shop up where I live called Crystal Lake Health Food Store. Crystal Lake Health Food Store
Its a health food store but the owner got into home brewing. They made the upstairs a home brew heaven. Its not as big as St Charles but has a good selection of ingredients and supplies. And on the Extract Kits, they are almost $5 cheaper than St Charles.

But, I still like to make the drive South along Rt. 31 to St Charles.
 

Aguirre

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When I first went to Brew in Grow (in Chicago) the woman who assisted me was very pleasant and helpful. However, when I was bottling, my capper broke, and I had to leave town the next day for work. So, my girl went to B&G to get a new capper so she could finish the rest of the bottles and she said the guy was a total prick.

Think I might make the drive to place 100 blocks South on Western Ave. next time.
 

SkewedBrewing

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You have much better luck than the rest of us. I was there a couple of weeks ago, on a Monday, and couldn't find anything that I was looking for. They only thing they had an abundance of was grain.
Believe me, my luck isn't that great with the place. I've had to "come back in a few days" more than once because their shipment was coming in and then they would have everything I need...


There is also a little shop up where I live called Crystal Lake Health Food Store. Crystal Lake Health Food Store
My girlfriend's parents live in Crystal Lake so I stopped in there once when I was visiting them. That place is great, smaller selection and a little higher prices, but it is definitely better than B&G Chicago...
 

Irish1225

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on topic, but looking for south chicago locations:

i currently go to fox valley brew supplies, but it's about a 30 mile drive from my house in lagrange. anyone know any nice spots not yet on the wiki in southwest suburbs? or at least closer than st. charles or aurora?
 

Whisler85

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i live a mile from perfect brewing- i've been to brew and grow, but their selection sucks- they expect you to buy 1 pound pre-packaged specialty grains

go to perfect brewing, Billy will give you what you want down to the ounce of specialty grain, mill it for you, seal it in a plastic bag, read to put in mash tun!

my impression of brew and grow was that it was much more heavily supplied for growing...
 

SkewedBrewing

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i live a mile from perfect brewing- i've been to brew and grow, but their selection sucks- they expect you to buy 1 pound pre-packaged specialty grains

go to perfect brewing, Billy will give you what you want down to the ounce of specialty grain, mill it for you, seal it in a plastic bag, read to put in mash tun!

my impression of brew and grow was that it was much more heavily supplied for growing...
Haha, ya I've definitely noticed that as well. Plenty of hydroponic equipment for growing herb(s)...

I will definitely try Perfect Brewing in Mt. Prospect, I live no more than ten minutes from the Brew and Grow but if Perfect Brewing like you say it is then it will be worth the extra thirty minutes of driving time.
 

SkewedBrewing

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on topic, but looking for south chicago locations:

i currently go to fox valley brew supplies, but it's about a 30 mile drive from my house in lagrange. anyone know any nice spots not yet on the wiki in southwest suburbs? or at least closer than st. charles or aurora?
I don't know about the suburbs as much, but I went to Bev Art on S. Western once in a pinch to get some yeast.

They are the only HBS that I've ever seen open past 7:30 on a weeknight...
 

Pappers_

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+1 for BevArt Fyi, it's at 101st and Western. Small, but carry a good selection. Laid back, helpful attitude. Good selection. Classes available, too.

Jim
 

Eves

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The Fox Valley store in Aurora is my favorite in the Chicago area. The prices aren't as good as some places or what can be found on the internet but every single employee there is knowledgable or at least will admit their lack of knowledge on a particular area and get someone else to handle a question. Their supply is quite good as well.


The Bev Art place on the south side in the Beverly neighborhood is OK at best. If you look at their website the few items they do list they are priced really well. But those are online prices. Go into the store and the prices are higher (sometimes way higher). Personally I hate it when stores do that. Their staff is nice but not nearly as knowledgable as many other HBSs I've been too. And sadly they've often been out of stock of common ingredients. Even though Bev Art is way closer to my home than any other Chicago HBSs I've decided not to frequent them anymore. The longer drive to other locations is worth it IMO. OH...lets not forget the nasty sales tax (IL + Cook + Chicago = way bad).
 

Irish1225

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The longer drive to other locations is worth it IMO. OH...lets not forget the nasty sales tax (IL + Cook + Chicago = way bad).
ahh, exactly why i prefer to drive out to dupage for just about anything (i live about .25 miles from countyline rd.). and, yes, i do love fox valley home brew, and some of their items are competitive to online prices, but kits are what i've found to cost too much there. very nice people, great brewing club anyone can join.

my father, back in his brewing days, mentioned going to elmhurst, but visiting their website, i don't see a mention of brewing supplies; any comments?
 

Halaster

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On the few times I have been passing Savoy, I have stopped at Friar Tucks. Their supplies are erattic, but they usually have great prices on kits. I've picked up some of their Brewers Best IPA kits for $27, it's not $32 and the Brewers Best Scotch ale kit for $22 from there. Best part is they charge only food sales tax since it's not beer yet.
 

chirs

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I hate to add in on the Brew and Grow bashing...but it's good for people to know what they're getting into. Like someone said earlier, the master brewer is friendly and pretty helpful...if you happen to catch him on a Saturday.
I've had a succession of terrible experiences there. I could get into details...but let's just say that when someone comes in to buy their first kit and brew their first beer it's probably a good idea to NOT recommend a lager beer and NOT treat your customers like they shouldn't be considering brewing in the first place. :mad:
 

Glasfeena

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That sucks dude. They're probably more eager to get you to buy your first hydroponic kit for home growing. Silly stoners.

I really do wish there was an alternative in Chicago proper, and I'm not about to spend my Saturday sitting in traffic on 90/94.

Has anyone been to the Two Brothers HBS? A friend works at Fermilab right across the street, and I can always have him pick stuff up for me.
 

slimer

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It's alright for the basic stuff. Very small. I did get my funnel there and it's awesome (with a strainer built-in).
 

WheeledGoat

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I'd love to be able to recommend Two Brother's - it's the closest to my house... but for anything but the most basic, it's not worth the trouble. Plus, the hours are pretty limited.

For me, that leaves St. Charles or Elmhurst Winemakers... it's pretty much an equal drive for me to either one, but the drive is nicer out to St. Charles so I've been leaning that way. No more! I've now made my 3rd and final wasted trip out there to St. Charles. Their hours seem spotty to me. I think it's Wednesdays that their hours are shorter (or they're closed all together) so I'll take the responsibility for not checking their hours before heading out... but 2 other times I showed up at their door during their posted business hours to find them closed for a 4-5 days stretch. Maybe I'm just unlucky; everybody's entitled to a vacation, but I'm done making wasted trips.

I like the guy that just bought Elmhurst Winemakers anyway; plus, there's a good barber shop right next door. Kyle at Winemakers always makes me feel welcome, offers me a homebrew while I mill my grain, and always has at least a good, if not great selection of hops and yeast.

Unfortunately he doesn't do bulk specialty grain yet, but he said he's looking at moving to that. Currently you have to buy your specialty grains in 1-lb bags.

Plus, his hours are predictable and reliable!

I haven't checked out Fox Valley yet - might give them a whirl since I work in Geneva...
 
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