For I can raise no money by vile means. William Shakespeare I do believe that the quote by Mr. Shakespeare addresses Alex cited Feb 1, 2012 below...since I do believe he is trying to drive business away from the best brew shop on the west side ...and probably to his own that he's been nursing along...but alas, the teet must be running dry if he's resorting to negative reviews of Main Brew. I've been in Main Brew when it was absolutely FILLED with customers and while I was a beer-making-baby compared to the Maestros of Mead behind the counter, they took the time with ALL my questions. Yes they were busy, but never once did I feel rushed or pushed out of the way for a "larger order to fill". I saw the owner furiously helping WITH his employees; answering questions, filling orders (big and small), and recommending yeasts right and left...All the while treating EVERY customer as though their question was important, regardless of their level of brewing ability. "Money Hungry"....I think a money hungry owner would've kept BOTH shops open and done a mediocre job having two stores to run. however, the wise choice to close one and put all energies into another is a business savvy move that probably cost more money....but has made for an outstanding brew shop. "Won't name other brew shops"...Really? Why should you? They truly don't hold a candle to main-brew...most are limited selection and their owners are hacks that have lost their jobs and thought it would be "easy" to start a home-brew shop...granted some are legit brewers. However Main Brew has the HISTORY to back it up...it's staff (including the owner) are knowledgeable and WILLING to share that knowledge truly putting the customer first with classes, tastings, AND quality help when they're slammed. Listen, this is a brew shop you can TAKE YOUR FAMILY to and not worry about it being all about beer. Lets be honest, some women don't want to go to a brew shop. This shop is different and it's better than some shops where you come in and they have over priced products to pay for their fancy over priced lighting they thought could distract you from their chincy shop. At Main Brew you can have your kids hang while you enjoy some quality beer and supplies. "converse with one another, learn together, and grow together."....well darn! Let's just sit and sing Koombaya together! After his bashing of Main Brew he says this... BOTTOM LINE: If you want a family friendly, knowledgeable brew shop, GO TO MAIN BREW....no i don't work here
Main Brew has a great selection of grain, yeast, equipment, and cold beer ready to drink! However, I went to this establishment to buy ingredients for a 3 gallon batch and was at one point talking to an employee about the diversity of grain and yeast, the conversation got pretty in depth, and we talked a while, roughly 20 minutes. That is until the owner or manager (don't know which, but my gut says owner) comes over and right in front of us (no discretion at all!) basically says "forget this guy, he is only buying a 3 gallon batch worth of grain and one packet of yeast... so stop talking to him. We got orders to fill" at this point the worker is clearly in trouble, hangs his head low, and gives me the cold shoulder from thereafter whereas prior we were really clicking, he was imparting vast knowledge on me, I was very grateful, and really digging Main Brew. So basically I feel that this place has great selection, great staff... but unfortunately a money hungry, let's move lots and lots of grain, but disregard community, and disregard the art of the brew type of boss. The soulless feeling of â??all that matters is the moneyâ?? emanating from the owner hit me hard and has been really bothering me for weeks now. I won't name any of the other brew shops around town but at these other places I have always felt a part of a community that appreciated the art of the brew first and was happy to make money only second. Keep Portland Weird, keep people like the boss man at Main Brew from bastardizing our diverse and vibrant brew community where we look out for each other, converse with one another, learn together, and grow together. I partly came to this city for the beer culture, years ago. It has since grown vastly which is awesome but let us please push back against those who want to rob it of its genuine worth and corporatize our beer!
Main Street Home Brew is the Best.
I have been a regular customer of Kevin's for the past 4 years - and plan to continue as such. Both Kevin and Doug are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. They take their time with every novice and make sure they feel comfortable with the process before they leave the store - he has instruction sheets he will hand out with every recipe if you need one. I have been to the other homebrew shops around the Portland area and have never seen this kind of service. And if you need help getting the ingredients together, they will take your recipe and put it together for you. Kevin has several hop connections and we never felt the sting of the shortage. He also goes the extra mile by selling hop rhizomes very cheap. My back yard is now loaded with healthy hop plants. Another positive for Kevin and Doug is they tell everyone to give them a call at anytime if they get stuck or have a question - they also will sample batches and give excellent advice. It is easy to see why Kevin and Doug have been in business for so long and why they get so crowded.
As far as their prices - I would say they are competitive - no complaints. These guys are great!!!
Regarding the negative rating below - I have never seen anything untoward coming from these guys - I totally disagree with those comments - and I visit their store on an average of a dozen times a year - this over the past 4 years - I would say my information is reliable. They are truly nice friendly people.
Great Selection, Service and Open on Sundays!.
When I first started out brewing, Doug at Main Street was very helpful in getting me (my wife actually, the brew equipment was s gift) pointed in the right direction. Since then I've returned many times to restock, get new recipe ideas and ask stupid questions... all of which were politely answered.
It's not the biggest shop, but if they don't carry something Doug and Kevin will try to get it, or find a logical workaround. Their shop is 40 miles from where I live, but service and selection is good enough that I'll gladly make the trip anytime.
Kevin at Homebrew knows his stuff!.
I have known Kevin for over 10 years. Our relationship has been consumer/supplier. Never once have I heard him talk to a customer the way the previous reviewer described. I could certainly understand if Kevin got short with the reviewer if he displayed the "rudeness" that came across in his review.
Just as a side note...... Kevin has a PHD in Chemistry ,so he should know alot about his products. His philosophy is grounded in educating the unlearned. If you want a pure product that's safe to drink and tasty too, than he's the man to talk to about homebrewed wine and beer.
Kevin was very rude to myself and a few others, very opinionated, very arrogant.
I visited Kevin last summer after being recommended by another brewer. When I first walked in, I found his selection to be outstanding. He had a little of everything. The more I wondered around, the more things I found without prices. I guess customers are supposed to be psychic.
He was helping someone else, so I picked up some yeast and wondered around. When it came time for me, I threw some questions by him. I immediately got the impression that he feels he is the world's greatest brewer, he knows how to brew better than Widmer, and is always right. He stated something about how McMenamins brews their beer (I forget the statement) which I knew was wrong, because I have talked to some of their brewers.
He just kept forcing his opinion on me. I asked him about a certain type I wanted, but he didn't carry, so I asked if he could order it. His reply and almost exactly like this: "Maybe you just need to go somewhere else if that's what you want." What kind of store owner cops an attitude?
I asked him some questions about Widmer, and he went started on a long story about how he knows their brewing method, how their operation works, and the story behind their Hefeweizen. The entire time his tone of voice was "I KNOW how everything works". I doubt that.
Next I asked some questions about his carboys. I never complained about his prices, I simply asked why he was a little higher than others, were his a better quality? He effectively said what he carries, this is the price, and if you don't like it, find another store. So my questioning his prices must give him the right to have an attitude with a customer.
Since my interaction with Kevin, I have met at least 5 other brewers who also said Kevin was rude, arrogant, and talked down to them, so it definitely is not just me. To those who say "he has never talked that way to customers", I beg to differ. Yes he has, and other brewers have told me the same thing.
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