Photo: familynight, Flickr
Growth in the craft beer market has naturally increased interest in the process of brewing beer, and recently, more and more people are making their own brews at home. New homebrew shops are popping up and existing homebrew mainstays are seeing new customers.
For the past 10 years, San Antonio, Texas has been home to one of the country's more unique brewing supply shops -- the aptly-named San Antonio Homebrew Supply and Bar. Those last two words are what give this store its character.
"When we moved to this space it had a long bar already in it," said owner Todd Huntress describing the former restaurant that became his homebrew store. "It just seemed like the perfect fit."
As Huntress explains, though homebrewing is a growing hobby, running a homebrew store still leaves you with "a lot of downtime." Instead of spending the days staring at "little packages," why not enjoy a pint? So this supply store also maintains three draft lines with a regularly rotating selection of noteworthy brews.
However, having taps isn't just a novelty or a refresher for shoppers wandering around the store. As Huntress explains, he definitely earns the "bar" part of the shop's name. "We also get a lot of folks as regulars at the bar who don't make beer," he chuckles. "It makes for interesting conversation." On any given day, the bar can be split amongst serious brewing discussion and more typical bar fodder like politics and religion.
But homebrewing is still central to his business, and Huntress seemed excited about the recent rise in interest. "There seems to be a growth in almost any homespun thing people can do," he notes. "It's a mind-clearing thing." Kind of like having a beer while shopping.
Currently featured on San Antonio Homebrew Supply and Bars taps are Pilsner Urquell, Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB and Lagunitas WTF.