By Deb Jackson, Editor Beer & Brewer
The winner of the Beer & Brewer Best Homebrew Shop for 2017/18 is Melbourne’s iconic Grain and Grape.
In 1990 John Preston opened a homebrew shop in southeast Melbourne called Southern Home Brewing with his friend Laurie Cahir. Over the following 27 years, Preston has become a stalwart of the homebrewing industry.
Since 1990, not only has he opened Grain and Grape, but he was instrumental in starting up the Australian National Homebrewing Conference.
But this isn’t about Preston, we’re here to talk about Grain and Grape, so we asked Preston what he thinks it is that makes his the best homebrew shop in the country.
“Being named the Best Homebrew Shop is very satisfying and I think it’s something that my staff deserve more than anything,” said Preston. “They are the ones who spend most of the time in front of the customers and they really put a lot into it and they are very pleased.
“One thing that’s unique or unusual about us is the number of our staff who have gone on to work at breweries. So it’s sort of seen as a bit of a career path for staff. Probably the most notable is Dan Dainton who won the Best Beer Award at the CBIA Awards this year, but lots of others have come through the place.
“From a customer service point of view, everybody knows everybody in the industry, so you’d be absolutely crazy not to be good to everybody because they are going to talk to somebody else and you’re going to end up with a bad reputation out of it.
“For most homebrewers it’s a hobby, it’s a fun thing, and it could be something that they’re going to do for the rest of their life.”
Grain and Grape specialises in all grain brewing and caters to beginner homebrewers right through to professional craft brewers and microbreweries. It even holds weekly brewing demonstrations and has its own bottle shop.
The winners of all 12 awards can be viewed in the Summer Issue of Beer & Brewer which is available at independent bottle shops, homebrew shops and newsagencies nationwide. To subscribe, click here.
The Best Homebrew Shop Award was sponsored by: BOC
BOC wishes to congratulate the winner of the Best Homebrew Shop award, Grain and Grape from Yarraville in Victoria!
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