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$$ - reasonable
[ Homebrew Store ]
246 Main St
phone: (203) 452-7332
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vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
With nearly 7,000 square feet, this is hands down Connecticut's largest home brewing and wine making shop - if not the largest on the east coast!
An amazingly helpful staff, great selection always in stock and nearly 600 clone beer recipes available in either extract, mini-mash or all-grain versions.
They always have two of their beer recipes on tap, as well as wines on tap made from either concentrate kits, fresh juice or grapes.
Nearly every month they offer classes in their store to learn to make wine & how to home brew, to learning how to make your own meads and hard ciders. They even offer an occasional cheese making class!!
The will ship any where in the US, and in many cases over seas. They are about to launch a new online store so you can order any of their great recipes kits all ready to brew, as well as the equipment that you need. There's even a micro brewery in the works to open the next 18 months!
The even stay in touch with their customers through their Facebook page!
11-18-2012 18:57:47 |
More by cjpala
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | $$$
Edit: I just found out that they've reduced their grain prices to $1.60, so take that into account.
I'm not thrilled with how much people are absolutely praising this place despite some serious drawbacks, so I decided to post.
First with the good: Maltose Express is the absolute best homebrew store in the area (possibly all of CT) and easily the best homebrew store I've ever gone to in my life. The owners are so unbelievably friendly and knowledgeable and the selection of hops/yeast/grains is really mind blowing for such a small operation (compared to large online retailers). Yeast seems to move very quickly as well, which is great. They also host a variety of different classes on beer and wine making, which is always a great service to have.
I'm only posting this because they do have some serious problems, and I think it's irresponsible of people to not mention them.
1) The place is expensive, there is no doubt about it. You will get everything cheaper online even after shipping. Hops are all priced at a flat rate regardless of type so if you were to buy 2 oz of low alpha american bred noble (ish) hops you would pay the same for 2 oz of high alpha proprietary american hops (citra, simcoe, etc). Malt is also a flat rate, which isn't quite as bad, but the $2 / pound is pretty ridiculous if you're buying 10 lbs of american 2-row that should be priced no higher than $1.35. You'd have to be insane to buy any equipment at this store - wort chillers that retail for $150 are sold here for $230.
2) Hops are bought in bulk and split in store into little ziplock bags and then stored in a bulk fridge that doesn't seem to stay very cold. This wouldn't be too great of an issue if they vacuum sealed their hops or kept them in a cooler fridge, but they don't. I understand buying hops bulk to try and save costs, but this cost saving still results in $4 / 2 oz hops so I'd hate to see how much it would be if they bought and resold hops by the packet. Also, I have yet to see any hop selections in packets less than 2 oz, which can be frustrating.
3) In addition to being just plain expensive across the board, they up charge you to crush grains if you choose for them to do it. They do have a mill available for public use that is free (hand operated, I believe), but if you want them to do it with a motorized mill, it costs something like $.35 per pound. This is a service that is pretty universally given for free.
4) Finally, and this is a minor thing, the location is very confusing. It's not really close to anything at all, so I can't imagine it's very convenient to anyone.
Again, I can't stress how great this place is, it just has a few things that rub me the wrong way.
08-09-2012 15:45:03 |
More by TasteTheWaste
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Maltose is a great place in the middle of nowhere, CT, with an extensive selection of brewing equipment and ingredients, and more importantly, with a helpful and knowledgeable staff. It's run by Mark and Tess Szamatulski, and husband/wife team of homebrewers.
When I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the number of clone brew kits they had...just about every style is cloned, and its' easy to find both unique and commonplace beer kits, from Sierra Nevada PA to Bass Ale to Green Flash and Old Rasputin. The best part? They brew in the back and have their most recent clone on tap. Next up is Heady Topper. They also sell individual ingredients, and have quite an extensive selection (extract, all grain, or anything in between). If you need a kit or parts, they have that too, and even some expensive-looking professional home brew machines.
I just started home brewing a couple weeks ago, and I am incredibly lucky that this store is so close to me. Mark helped me for a solid 15 minutes - sold me a kit, recommended a good clone brew for my purposes, and talked shop about general brew techniques. After Mark had to leave, he passed me on to Tess, who explained the brewing process to me for another 10 mins or so. When brewing, I called to ask a question about volume for the bittering, which was quickly and clearly answered.
Prices are fairly reasonable; perhaps a bit pricy. But what you lose in $ compared to the internet is worth all the advice they give...I just wonder if they teach classes. A great place; makes it easy to start brewing on your own or improve upon your current techniques. Highly recommended!
01-29-2012 06:06:23 |
More by tylerprince
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was the first home brewing store I ever went to when I first began to brew. They have excellent starter kits and professional advice for beginners, intermediate and expert brewers. While I would like to see some more gadgets in the store for home brewing I appreciate that so much of the home brew experience comes from the DIY projects and I suppose they don't wanna take away from that. Excellent variety of ingredients. They will have everything you need before you will outgrow this store. They also have a large assortment of wine making products and mead making knowledge available.
03-23-2011 01:07:30 |
More by Messiinnnaaaa
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
This is THE store for homebrewing and winemaking in the greater Connecticut area. I first found Maltose at their former location during a beer tasting, four years later I'm an active home-brewer.
The employees are always helpful and knowledgeable. Buying my first clone kit, the employees answered any questions I had, as noob as they might have been. Still today, any question I have is answered without any pretentiousness.
Above all, Maltose Express wants you to succeed and enjoy the process of home brewing. Their style of customer service builds a solid devotion from it's customers.
03-14-2010 04:52:26 |
More by ThreeDimesDown
quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been to this place two times while in the area. The good thing about this place is there are always different homebrews on tap in the store. Everything was very good, so whoever made them has some talent. The place is also gigantic. It's maybe 20 times the size of the place I usually go to. They have a really good selection of hops. The equipment selection is incredible. They have any equipment you can think of, including kegging equipment and carboys. They also have a ton of clone kits put together in the store.
The service was alright. They have a hand cranked barley crusher there and you have to crush your own grains. The staff wasn't very conversational, probably because the place is so big. I'm used to getting more advice and conversation with my store, which is part of the fun. Still a great store selection-wise, so it's a very worthy store.
02-26-2010 01:59:32 |
More by jeffthecheff
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
My wife and I buy homebrew supplies for beer and wine here and I've been coming to this store for about three years now. We've never been disappointed. The staff is always friendly and knowledgeable no matter what time of day or day of the week I have been there. The owners, Mark and Tess, as well as the rest of the staff are just terrific. I often send in questions about products or brewing procedures by e-mail and usually get a response within 24 hours. If I want a particular recipe packed I can call ahead and it will be waiting for me when I get there. Whatever the need, the staff is ready to help.
There aren't really any other HBS stores close by so it would be easy for these guys to take their clientele for granted - but they don't.
01-16-2010 23:42:05 |
More by 12puebloyankee
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This place is easily overlooked - we drove by it a few times before realizing it's attached to Ace Hardware.
The place is big, and they had a lot of empty space when I went there. I went to buy bottles and a few odds-and-ends (it kills me to spend half the total price to ship heavy bottles).
I found their kits a bit on the expensive side - although I wasn't entirely sure of much hops/extract/grain went into every one, there were several dozen styles in the $44-55 range that I would usually see more around $35-$40.
I tried out two of their new beers they had on tap - banana stout and smoked maple. Smoked maple was way too smoky, but the banana stout was very nice (if you like banana).
The guy at the counter had a few helpful tips when I asked, and I wish I took up their sale on Witbier kits.
09-09-2009 15:13:48 |
More by Squints
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
First off, I'm not a home brewer. Maybe someday, but there is just too much out there on the market to try already, that i like, and there ain't enough time in the day to do it all. But I went to this place during a recent "Open House" beer tasting event with a few friends. The event was a complete overload, people packed everywhere, lines, exasperated employees looking like deer caught in headlights unsure of which direction to push next. A real mad house and not the most pleasant beer tasting type event I've ever attended. But then I realize that this was an extra special occasion and one that doesn't really apply to the day-to-day purpose here, serving the home brewing community. What I can say is that the place is very large compared to most home brewing centers I've encountered in the past. It is now in a fairly new & improved location with access to generous free parking (if you're not there during a special event) and inside is very new and clean (from what I could surmise under the circumstances). Although I am no expert in home brewing ingredients and equipment, I understood from one of my more knowledgeable friends that there was an excellent selection of ingredients. I know I was getting a case of the drools just eye-ing the stacks of hops and "pre-mixed" brew packages available. So I'm not entirely qualified for this review but I thought I would chime in to say that it is quite an impressive facility and I thought the idea of their Open House was a grand one. It just needs some rethinking given the crowd control issues that resulted in March. Having Captain Lawrence & BruRm there as high end local representatives of the craft was great, if only the beer didn't run out half way through. I have also seen Maltose represented at some local beer fests where they had samples of stuff they made on premises, and some of it was fine, and they did seem like very friendly folks. I wish them well and will give the next open house another try (next time I drink first and ask questions later!).
04-08-2009 23:19:59 |
More by Durge
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This is a great place to pick up some of the necessities of homebrewing, as well as browsing for specialties.
I will say that I was not overly impressed by the selection available, but I was not let down either. For basic recipes, they have a good selection of grains available (with an on-location grinder available for use), as well as a great selection of hops and liquid yeasts. I was pleased to see that they properly cared for their hops - vacuum packed in the refrigerator.
What got to be on the expensive end, was their equipment. A lot of homebrewing hardware can be purchased online for cheap, or home built for cheaper. Same for ingredients that can be bought at a local grocery store (honey, treacle, sugar, etc.) Maltose does provide everything you could possibly need (from books and recipes, to bottles, kegs, wort chillers, siphons, etc.), but at a bit of a price.
The service is helpful and friendly. They are willing to answer any questions you have and can guide you to what ever it is you are looking for.
My favorite part of Maltose Express is that they always have two homebrews on tap to sample for free, equipment for wine and mead making, prepackaged "beer clone" kits, and a couple of very cute dogs.
04-07-2009 15:02:01 |
More by dbmcrorie
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Maltose Express in Monroe, CT