Gift the budding brewmaster or winemaker on your shopping list with the tools to become a DIY doyen.
Novice mixologists, as well as accomplished foodies, know that their resource for do-it-yourself beer and wine making is Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn. Started in 1972 to sell both products and supplies, the store was purchased two years ago by passionate spirits lover Gennaro Cataldo, whose family roots are anchored in Avellino, Italy. Gennaro was introduced to beer making on his 21st birthday by his forward-thinking parents, who gave him a home hobby kit. From these humble beginnings, Gennaro has reinvented himself from corporate CIO to cutting-edge purveyor of ingredients for anyone interested in making their own beer, wine, or cheese.
In the Beer & Wine Hobby warehouse or online patrons can purchase hops, grapes, flavors, juices, and other natural ingredients to customize their perfect libation and snack. Fresh, seasonal ingredients from around the world complement year-round packaged items. Both the increasing sophistication of consumers concerning food and drink and a desire to save money keep the store on its toes, always seeking out distinctive ingredients and developing daily recipes that range from traditional to downright trendy. Organic hops, grapes, and flavors sourced globally make year-round creation possible, with the range of products offered based on growing trends. At any given time, grapes from popular Washington and California vineyards might be available together with less-familiar varietals from Italy and Chile, while grains might originate from Germany, England, or Belgium.
The store also sells all supplies that one would need for an at-home spirits enterprise, from bottles to corks and caps. Complete recipe kits feature traditional Belgian and German beers, as well as popular novelties, such as Terrill Mead’s Award-winning Jalapeño Cream Ale. Seasonality is important, too, with recipes pairing hops from Germany with local ingredients like blueberries and pumpkins to create fresh brews that encourage creativity and experimentation.
“Our customers often come to the store to take one of the many classes we give, buy one of our recipe kits, and then invite friends to a beer- or wine-making party at their home. Some of the more adventurous folks even crush the grapes with their feet,” Gennaro notes. Students can also learn how to make easy cheeses, like mozzarella. Supplies and ingredients can be shipped globally or picked up.