Went there just last week. Got a good deal on large wine kit. Half of on-line prices.
Doug was very personable and friendly.
I wonder why others don’t agree.
He was very helpful and Knowledable.
This is the right place if you want to brew,distill or make wine. The shop is small but organized and full of everything you would need.
dougs not the kind of guy that is a suckup for money,most people exspect this kind of service,its not a resturant were you make an order and want it now its just like if you went to the grossery store to buy food,you dont have someone there to kiss yous butt now do you,thats seems to be ok and you dont says they have bad service now do you?he leaves you to deside on your own what you want after all you are there to buy beer and wine suppies,he seems grumpy but hes not he is just a serious guy and knows his stuff,if you have a question just ask you will get a a detailed answer and i myself dont want to have someone there to hover over me and put on an act just for the money,i think doug is cool,great shop not overwelming,if you want to make beer and wine dougs homebrew heaven is the place to go.
Doug is a nice guy. Not pushy. I think some people expect to be jumped on when they walk in the door. Me, I like to have a bit of space. When I went in he greeted me pleasantly and didn’t say anything else until he saw me puzzling over the yeast selection. He asked if he could help and I told him I didn’t see the variety I was looking for. He, very enthusiastically, made some suggestions which eased my choice of an alternate. This shop is pretty typical of other homebrew shops I’ve been in over the years, just geared a little more towards the experienced brewer as opposed to the kit can brewer (not that there is anything wrong with those folks!) Also, in my case, he volunteered info about the local club. I’ll definitely do business here again
I think those that are saying Doug is grumpy shoud go ahead and shop somewhere else. Doug knows that most people that shop his store are regulars that come in, know what they need, get what they need, and if they have a question, get valuable, educational information from a man who knows what he is doing. I have been purchasing materials at this store for 5 years now and most times I walk in, Doug gives me a smile, and asks how I am on a first name basis. In my experience, homebrewers are a tight knit bunch and I’m sure Doug doesn’t have time to become everyone’s best friend the first time they come in to buy a start up kit. In fact, I bet half the people who buy those kits he knows he won’t see back in the store again. If you need help, you know where to find him. It would be annoying if he followed me around the place while I shopped asking if I needed help finding anything. His store is clean and organized for those who shop it regularly. I can see how it can be overwhelming for a first timer to try and find things in there, but come on, he has a limited space to work with and I think he does fine with what he has. Do us all a favor and quit Douggy bashing. If you don’t like the shop, don’t go.
The store has the materials for most brews and it is clean and organized. The hours are a bit short and the place could use a decorator. In regards to personality, I recommend you go to Applebee’s or Ted Haggard’s church if you want to pay someone to plaster on a fake smile.
I read the reviews about how grumpy Doug is to customers. Well, I don’t agree. No, he does not have an award winning personality, BUT when you ask him a question he will answer it, and very thoroughly at that. He has one competitor in town: Aycock Knives & Homebrew. Curt is a great guy, great personality, but his selection SUCKS. Doug’s prices can at times be a little high, but he has a nice selection. No he doesn’t carry everything. NO homebrew shop does. I have so far found 3 items he doesn’t carry: caryboy hauler, racking tube clip for the side of tuckets, and White Labs yeast. His store is not cluttered at all. If you think it is, you apparently have not gone to Curt’s store. His is a room in his home, barely any selection, and its CRAMPED. While not totally defending Doug, yes he has a very weak personality, he offers EXCELLENT advice. Right when you walk in he doesn’t start talking to you. Personally, I like to be left alone. If I have a question, I’ll ask. If you do ask him a question, he will fully answer it to the best he knows. HE KNOWS A LOT! I personally have never had a problem with him. If you don’t like him, go somewhere else. I have found his advice to be VERY worthwhile. I am willing to put up with some "grumpy" for his great advice. If he doesn’t carry an item, he might be able to order it for you. Overall, a good selection, decent prices, and great knowledge.
I agree with the other reviewers here, the owner is a bit of a grump. I’ve only been in once, but I was able to force the man into some conversation about his preferences for brands of various necessities, and I daresay he warmed up a bit after a few minutes of awkward conversation. The store is small, cluttered, and it is hard to find what you need in the mess, and this is further complicated by the grumpy man staring at you as you browse. His fresh hops were stored in permeable plastic bags, so I would not buy hops out of his fridge. He did have a good assortment of supplies and equipment, he was knowledgeable, but he could be a bit more friendly and this would be a decent store..
BrewDad (464) Olympia, Washington | February 13, 2006| Updated March 5, 2006
Friendly is not his word. How about just a grumpy old brewer that does not care to talk nor be a person of knowledge to share. He has tons of ribbons but I am sure they where not for being a fun go to guy. Homebrewing is all about the people, talking and giving advice. He was rude and just does not want you there. It feels like you are bothering him when in his shop. Time for a new HBS to enter Salem just be super nice and you will win over the town. The supplies are good but you can get that at any shop and a much much better customer service. This is the worst review I ever have written and hopefully will ever write.
Being new to the area, we thought dropping by would be a good way to get into the swing of things here. We walked in, and even though the person there was just sitting at the desk reading the newspaper, we barely got a greeting -- the mumbled acknowledgement to ours was all. We looked around the tiny shop which has the bare basics, and then asked if there was a homebrew group in town.
"Yeah, we got one," was the answer. We waited a moment, expecting additional information to follow. It did not.
No service, not much selection... now why would I bother to go here when there are fantastic places in Corvallis and Portland? Why... I’m not sure!