Brewers of San Francisco: What do you think about BrewCraft?
I've had some difficult conversations with Griz in the past. I think he's taken the RDWHAHB philosophy too far. Sometimes, you do need to worry about strike temperature, or mineral additions, and on. However, everyone else there is great and fun to talk to.
How do the prices compare to other places you may have been? They seem to be on the pricey end, but don't have too much experience with other supply stores.
I found them to be a bit pricey too and my experiences there have been a bit hit and miss. A friend of mine was complaining that he felt the grain there wasn't the freshest but i honestly have never had any trouble from there; its just a bit of a long drive for me to go there so i tend to only drop in if i'm passing.
The store is really tiny and cramped for space. Almost every trip I make over there I find myself having to make substitutions because they don't carry a particular hop/grain/yeast. The last time I had them mill my grains they did an awful job and I had a significant portion that wasn't crushed. I don't think I'll trust them to do my milling in the future. If you want a comparison, you should check out the Oak Barrel in Berkeley. They're on the pricey side too, but it's a completely different shopping experience.
I shop at brewcraft because it is convenient but whenever possible I prefer to make the trip out to Oak Barrel. They seem to have a better selection and the staff is a bit more willing to share knowledge.
I learned to brew from the guys who owned it before the current crew. They opened up Speakeasy. The current crew can come off as dismissive, but overall I think they are knowledgeable and have helped me out many times.
They are knowledgable and pack a lot of stuff in a tiny shop. Griz is a strange, strange man. I used to frequent the store regularly, but have since moved to Oakland. I like Oak Barrel more, even if I can't find everything. The absence of that easy chair rates a ++.
I order more online than I buy in stores these days.
I used to live in the city and I found it to be a kick to go into BrewCraft and listen to Phish while discussing brewing. But I will agree with the poster above about ingredient freshness. I know it is a hike but Beer, Beer and More Beer is a ton of fun to go check out - especially if you are into the gadget side of brewing.
My main problem with More Beer is that the staff seems to brush you off if they do not recognize you as a "regular". I have gone up there 3-4 times and they always seem to be having a great time with one or two customers while ignoring those of us that may need/want a little more guidence or just dont come into the store every week.
Has anyone tried out Hoptech in Dublin since they changed ownership? I went in there twice before it changed hands and was very under impresed. I keep meaning to stop by and see how things have changed, but have not yet had a chance.