By August 26, 2019 Read More →

BrewView: Beer is the Great Unifier

BrewView: Beer is the Great Unifier
By Bill Coffey

Leaning back in a plush leather captain’s chair and sipping on a home-brewed light lager, I’m quickly transported back to the early days of homebrewing.  The Renegade Home Brewing Supply store in Turlock is a friendly, organized, and extremely clean facility where individuals feel very welcome and at home. Family owned and operated by Luke and Megan Henslick, the store has earned a well-deserved reputation for going beyond customer’s expectations. To say they would take the shirt off their own backs to help a customer is not much of a stretch. I personally witnessed a customer come in the store during this interview, on the one day that they are “technically” closed.  The item the customer was hoping to pick up was out of stock at the moment so Luke offered the customer his own personal version of the item.  “We want customers to feel like family and friends,” Luke said matter-of-factly.

The store has humble beginnings as The New Bern Home Brew Supply store from New Bern, N.C. When they took over the operations of the shop in 2013, the culture and growth of homebrewing in North Carolina were very different and considerably smaller than that of the California scene.  Luke was involved in Federal Law Enforcement at the time and the opportunity to move closer to extended family in California presented itself a couple of years later. Soon after relocating to Turlock, the Hemslicks pondered the possibility of opening a new shop and received such positive feedback that they pursued the opportunity shortly thereafter.

Around May 2017, the Renegade Homebrew Supplies Store was conceived.  Located in a small shopping area on Monte Vista Avenue in Turlock, the store carries the essentials needed to brew beer at home, make wine, mead, kombucha and soda.  The Henslicks create kits for beginners and advanced brewers.  The formulas for the kits are often based upon successful recipes the couple produced on their state of the art brewing system.  Customers are encouraged to taste a variety of the shop’s very own creations that are available on draught.  Surrounded by comfortable chairs and couches, it is common for patrons to sit, relax, have homebrew. and engage in a variety of topics from hobbies to family life, and more. “Beer is the great unifier.” Megan states.” People from all walks of life can sit, enjoy some beer and have engaging conversations.”

If the thought of producing your own beer at home is intriguing, yet intimidating, then you may wish to take one of the shop’s Saturday classes. At this time, Renegade offers 2 class levels, including “An Intro to Brewing, and “All Grain Brewing.”  The emphasis of the classes is to provide background on ingredients and techniques necessary to produce quality homebrew.  Special care is given to explain sanitation and it’s the role in the process.  Another great source of information and comradery are the local homebrew clubs.  Central Valley Brewers Guild and The Brewin’s Clubs are just two of the local clubs you may encounter at Renegade.  

So, what does the future hold for the Henslicks? They are excited about the possibility of expanding soon.  Luke and Megan are planning to eventually brew on their system and have those beers available for purchase on draught and in growlers to go.  “Nothing really big. We aren’t looking to distribute.”  The possibility of moving from their current location as they grow remains an option.  The couple says that many of the local commercial breweries have been very supportive and helpful as the explore their expansion goals. In the meantime please support this locally owned and operated family business. In their accommodating fashion, they have also been known to make home deliveries if you are not able to get to the physical store.



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