Grape and Grain http://www.grapeandgrain.ca/
726 Osborne St.
This one is my favourite. Open late, great prices, and helpful (when someone is available). On the other hand they do not have all the neat gadgets, their layout is a little disorganized, and they are also a busy roleplaying & collectables store so it can be difficult to find help.
They have a lot of a lot of beer brewing equipment, lots of odd and end, kegging supplies, beer and wine kits, bottling apparatus, cheese cloth, cheese presses (I’m thinking about using for pressing apples), a lot of wine and beer additives, a great selection of yeasts, and I seem to find new stuff every time
b]Francee’s Brew Hut[/b] http://franceesbrewhut.com/
1838 Grant Ave.
This shop is great too. Francee really seems to know his stuff, is friendly, and is always ready to help. However, the place is almost always closed when I need something (see the website for hours, open to 6:00 pm weekdays) and they are a bit more expensive for some things then Grape and Grain. (significantly more for an identical hydrometer)
Since I have only been there a couple times (due to early operating hours vs. late brewing hours) I don’t know much about what they carry. They DO have yeast, beer & wine kits, starter kits, and hydrometers but I am not sure what else. I am excited to make a real visit and see everything they have to offer. I’ll update this when I get that chance.
Wine Sense http://www.mywinesense.com/
115 Vermillion Rd., 2609 Portage Ave., 1919 Pembina Hwy., 2211 McPhillips St., & 686 Springfield Rd.
I have only been to the Portage location, but now that I look at it, the Pembina location is closer and if there are any differences I’ll update my review. This is where all the cool gadgets are. I bought racking equipment, and cleaning equipment from them. They have a very neat and organized store where everything is easy to find. I have not priced the difference of equipment costs because the Portage location was inconvenient, but not that I have found a nearby location I will investigate it further. Their yeast is the one thing I priced out and it is more expensive then Grape and Grain by a noticeable amount.
Other than the cool gadgets they have, their supplies are very basic. I can get racking wands, fermenters, primary buckets, kits and a small selection of yeasts. Their wine and beer kits on the other hand are plentiful and if I used kits (I’m mainly a cider, mead, and fruit wine brewer), I would probably buy from them. My biggest criticism of Wine Sense (Portage location) is that I am not impressed with the storage practices for their yeast, they keep them all at room temperature. The one time I bought their yeast (out of necessity) was the one time I had a yeast fail on me. Fortunately I had bought two packets (I must be a little psychic) and the second did the job.
Conclusively, each HBS has their pros and cons, but all have a lot to offer, and between the three shops I find a way to maintain my brewing hobby!
I hope this write up helps any Winnipeg brewers out there. If anyone has comments on my review please feel free to share. And if I have missed any Winnipeg brew shops, I’d love to hear about it!
I like G&G, the Brewer's Direct chain is getting better, have been sold shoddy stuff and given bad advice at a few Wine Sense outlets.
I do most of my brew shopping at G&G, pick up stuff I need but forgot to buy at G&G at Brewer's Direct on the way home from work, and make a few semi-annual pilgrimages to St. B's The Wine Baril.
Primary: Irish Red Ale, Cream of Three Crops, PrairieTimer Ale, Swankey
2ndary: Skeeter Pee
Bottled: Lower Fort Garry Improved Scots Ale (Fire Boiled), Mead of Many Adventures, Mocketoberfest Ale
Moonshiner's in St. B is a place I want to check out, they list all of their prices on the website which I really appreciate. Prices seem pretty good as well.
I went to Brewer's direct once and the service was terrible. They didn't even have nottingham yeast in stock. Their hops were reasonably priced though.
Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Warszawa, Poland