Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions at The Brewer's Apprentice.
If you do not find an answer to your question on this page or elsewhere on our website, please use our Contact Us form to submit your question. Of course you can always call us during our Retail Store hours and we will do our very best to assist you with your question.
How much does it cost to make beer, mead, or wine at The Brewer's Apprentice?
We are very proud of our vast array of beer and mead recipes and wine styles to choose from. That variety, however, translates into varying prices depending on the ingredients.
A general rule of thumb for beer is higher alcohol content beers and/or recipes with a variety of ingredients (such as hops, fruits, spices, chocolate, etc.), the higher the batch cost is. That said, making beer on our premises (15 gallons) starts at $225 and can go as high as $300+ depending on how much "stuff" is in the beer. Bottles are not included with your BOP recipe. They are available at a wholesale cost of $54 for 6 cases of 22oz bottles. Please keep in mind, your bottles are reusable so this is a one time cost ... provided the bottles are cared for properly (e.g., cleaned after use). All said and done, first time brew with bottles is average $300.00.
A 15 gallon batch of traditional mead is $300 and Melomel or Metheglin is $350.00. Again, bottles are not included but it is a one time purchase as they can be reused. We have a wide variety of bottles to choose from. The most common bottle used for mead is a 750 ml bottle. They are available at a wholesale cost of $60 for 5 cases.
The average price to make 6 gallons of wine with us is $215.00. Our wine prices are all inclusive ... every batch includes the wine, 750ml bottles and blank labels. We also offer 3 gallon batches of Port and Riesling Ice wines for $190.00. The Port and Ice wine pricing is also all inclusive but includes 375ml bottles in lieu of the 750 ml bottles.
Do you have any discounts or specials?
We have a Frequent Brewer's Card. For each complete recipe purchased (i.e., enough grains and/or malt extract, hops and yeast for one 5 gallon batch) you receive one credit. Collect 5 credits to recieve $15.00 off your next recipe! Ask for a card during your next visit.
We have a Frequent Wine Maker's Card as well! Purchase 5 wine kits and receive $25.00 off your next kit.
TBA offers 10% off purchases to AHA, NJCB, and MCHA club members, as well as active military personnel. Proper and current ID required.
Where should I store my beer, mead or wine once I bring it home?
This is a question that many brewers neglect to think about! Where you store your beer is very important because its location will dictate the overall quality of your beverage and its longevity. The key that all of these beverages have in common is that none of them want to get hot and they don't want to be in an environment with fluctuating temperatures. You want to keep the product inside and consistently cool. If you have a cool basement, this is an ideal location to store your product as you want to keep your beverage in the mid-50°F range. Avoid storing it in a non-insulated space or outside. When selecting where to store your beverage keep in mind you do not want it to go above room temperature (68°) and definitely not below freezing (32°).
How long will my home brewed beer, mead, or wine last?
For beer, the shelf-life is dictated by its ingredients. The more alcohol and/or hops that a beer has, the longer it will be able to age. So, for instance, a Pilsner is relatively low in alcohol and hops... this type of beer, if kept ideally in the 50's, will last for about 6 months. A pale ale which has a bit more hops, would last a bit longer. Barleywines and Imperials (any style) have a large amount of everything, including alcohol and hops, so these beers last longer than almost any other type of beer... possibly for decades. Beer with heavy additions of aroma and dry hopping are recommended to be consumed "fresh" and are not recommended for long term storage. For specific aging times, please contact us.
Mead can age longer than almost any other fermented beverage because of its higher alcohol content and its main ingredient, honey. Honey is naturally antiseptic, fighting off bacteria and other infectious organisms. A batch of bottled mead can easily age for decades ... sometimes, in fact, not even hitting its true flavor potential for years. Most people, us included, agree that mead starts to taste its best after at least one year of aging in the bottle... but those who force themselves to behave and store some of it for longer are amazed at how much Meads flavor develops and improves as it ages.
For wine, the shelf-life is dictated by the style, the quantity and types of preservatives added, and alcohol content. At The Brewer's Apprentice we use about half of the amount of sulfates used in commercial wine. This provides a good balance between shelf-life and overall wine quality. Because we use less sulfates, your wine can be consumed younger while avoiding a lot of the "sulphate heat" that some wine drinkers feel. In general, white wine made on our premises can be consumed after about 3 months and it will have a shelf-life of about 2 years. For red wines, allow 6 months for aging and red wine will have a shelf-life of about 4 years.
In short, the aging of your beverage comes down to personal taste. You may agree with our suggestions or like it aged longer or you may like your beverage right out of the bottle the moment it is bottled. Go with your instinct and what makes you happy!
What do I do with my used bottles between brewing sessions?
Thoroughly rinse your bottles as soon as you empty it with warm or hot tap water. You want to be sure that all of the beer "remnants" are gone. Place the rinsed bottle back in its case upside down to allow for it to dry completely and prevent any dust or other debris from settling into it. TIP: line the bottom of the box with paper towels.
If you forget to rinse your bottles out and/or to store them upside down, soak them in a cleanser, such as One Step or B-Brite, per the manufacturer's instructions. For really dirty bottles with hard deposits, soak the bottles for a longer time and use a bottle brush to remove the hard deposits. This can take quite a bit of elbow grease... which is why we so strongly recommend rinsing your bottles immediately after use. Please keep in mind our machine is for sanitizing your bottles and is not a bottle washer. If you can not remove the deposits, the bottles should not be reused.
Note that while we stand behind the quality of our products, we will not guarantee the quality of any product bottled into unclean bottles.
Can I change one of your recipes or brew my own recipe at your store?
Yes! Many people like to tweak our recipes and make it more of their own. Start by selecting one of our recipes as your base and then discuss what it is you wish to achieve with our brew master to ensure your expectations will be met. Please note, that altering a recipe will affect the price of the recipe. Our staff will let you know what that change is prior to starting.
If you have recipe of your own you would like to make, we'd be happy to scale it to a 15 gallon batch. However, we ask that you provide us with a copy in advance of your scheduled brewing appointment so that we can ensure all the ingredients are on hand and we can price your recipe correctly.
Do you offer private or corporate parties?
Yes, we do both!
Visit our private party page
for more information. Private parties are best for events where you would not want any daily business of TBA to be a distraction for you and your guests. However, we have found that most times our customers large groups don't require a "private" party just a little pre-planning. We encourage you to contact us via email and give a brief over view of your needs; such as day of the week preferred, amount of people attending and budget. Include a phone number, we follow up by phone to discuss your vision in more detail.
What are the advantages of BOP (Brew On Premise) vs. brewing at home?
There are quite a few!
Experience. For many people the main advantage is instruction from our brew masters and with 20 years in the business, we have a lot of experience. Brewing on our premises is a great way to get a crash-course in home brewing. Our experience staff will take you through all of the basic steps and techniques. This is an opportunity to "get your feet wet" on our equipment and learn from the best before jumping into home brewing on your own.
Quality. We guarantee that you'll love your beverage ... period! We stand behind every batch of beer, mead, soda and wine that leaves our facility with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Our water. Our multi-step filtration process removes all traces of chlorine, heavy metals, and toxins ... making perfectly pure brewing water.
Batch size. When you brew on our premises you are brewing a 15 gallon batch... which is three times the size of a normal home-brew batch of 5 gallons! So you get 6 cases of delicious beer as opposed to 2 cases.
Convenience. Whether you know how to brew or not, brewing at The Brewer's Apprentice is just plain easy. We make sure you don't make any mistakes and we clean up after you... heaven.
It's Fun!! Brewing at The Brewer's Apprentice is a fun social experience! You will enjoy the time spent with friends and possibly make new ones while you are here!
Can I bring my children?
We are a brewery and retail store with many moving part not making it an ideal location for children.
Do you offer any food?
Unlike a brew pub, we do not offer food services. However, you are more than welcome to bring food with you or we can assist you by ordering from one of the wonderful local restaurants located in Freehold.
What should we wear?
No dress code, we urge you to dress comfortably. If you will be brewing, please keep in mind our kettles produce a good amount of heat, thus, we recommend layers so you can be comfortable. We also ask that you wear a solid sole shoe, flip flops are not recommended in the kettle and bottling areas (doesn't happen often, but a bottle or two has been dropped over the years).
Do I need a reservation?
Yes, we require a reservation for all On-Premises services. Reservation are accepted by phone during regular retail hours. A credit card is required to secure your reservation. Your card will not be charged at this time; however, credit cards will be charged $50.00 (per batch) for a "no show" or a reduction in the number of batches on the day of the appointment. You may change or cancel a reservation at any time provided it is 24 hours in advance of your reservation.
Can I be late for my appointment?
We rely on our customers to make every attempt to be as prompt as possible. We understand unforeseen "stuff" can happen. If this does, please call us ASAP and update us on your status. In most instances (but not all), we can make the necessary adjustments to accommodate you. However, we do have other customer reservations that must be honored and on weeknights we do not start any brews after 7:15pm. To avoid any issues, we strongly suggest that large groups plan to arrive 15 - 20 minutes early to ensure the whole group is present and ready to go at the reserved time. Please keep in mind our goal is to give you the most enjoyable experience possible and we therefore only say "no" when we absolutely have too.
Do you honor expired or lost gift certificates?
We will honor gift certificates redeemed within 2 years of date of purchase.
We may be able to assist with a lost gift certificate, but not always. You will need the following information amount, the purchaser's name, date of purchase and gift certificate number (if available) for us to track the certificate.
Do I need a permit to home brew?
A permit is not required to brew at home for personal consumption. However, a permit is required to make beer, wine or mead with us. The permit is issued by The State of NJ and takes approximately 2 weeks to receive. The application must be accompanied by a fee of $15.00 in the form of a check or money order payable to the Division of A.B.C. Please, fill in the approximate start date and finish date; allow one month for beer and two months for wine. You may download the application here. TBA's 12 Digit License Number 340-239-278-001. The ABC returns your permit directly to The Brewer's. We will record and file your permit number.