One of Australia’s leading home brew stores has echoed the recent findings of industry heavyweights Coopers and Dan Murphy’s, that COVID-19 has had a “dramatic increase” on sales.

Following Beer & Brewer‘s report last week, that Dan Murphy’s had seen a 30 per cent increase in home brew equipment sales while Coopers DIY beer sales were up 280 per cent in recent months, now Yarraville home brew store Grain & Grape has witnessed the renaissance in the hobby.

They have seen both an uptick in sales to people new to the hobby as well as the more serious hobbyists taking their past-time to new, more advanced levels.

Yet, while they are grateful for the support, Grain & Grape’s founder John Preston said: “We are well aware that the independent brewing sector has been hard hit by COVID-19. Forty per cent of our sales are to breweries and we talk to them every day, so we feel their pain and we all look forward to a return to getting out for a brewery fresh beer in the near future.”

Grain & Grape, a two-time winner of the Best Homebrew Shop in the Beer & Brewer Awards, said COVID-19 lock-downs had handed people more time at home and naturally they’ve been searching for things to do. The fact pubs and brewpubs have been closed or restricted had added to this.

Grain & Grape’s John Preston

“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people beginning their brewing journey. Our fresh wort kit sales have also been hugely popular,” Preston told Beer & Brewer.

“We’ve also seen a definite change in the home brewing realm, with many people stepping up their brewing. People who have traditionally brewed from can kits and fresh wort kits have taken their first steps towards all-grain brewing.

“Others who already brew from scratch have grown or improved their brewing systems. We’ve seen an increase in the sales of kegging systems, signalling a desire for more romance in the hobby.”

Preston said, due to the fact restrictions were easing and that many pubs and brewpubs were re-opening, he was uncertain if these trends would continue.

“However, the signs are good,” he said.

“The enthusiasm since we re-opened the shop has been very high as new brewers, who started brewing during the pandemic and had never visited before, dropped in for the first time.

“Our first live online brewing demo last Saturday was very successful and we plan to do them on a regular basis. We’re not even sure if we’ll return to in-store demos.”

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