Friday 30 August 2013

HomeBrew Shop: La Chope à Barrock

Today we bring you deeper into the world of homebrewing by introducing you to our favourite homebrew shop, La Chope à Barrock. We have been homebrewing for almost three years now, and it is thanks to Stephane Laroch - proprietor of  La Chope à Barrock - for his guidance that we made it this far.

We still remember our first time entering the shop. We were nervous. We did not know what we wanted. And worst of all we did not know a thing about beer. But, what we did know was that we were going to dive head first into this thing. When we entered the shop it was packed full of homebrewers waiting for orders. So, we waited patiently until it was our turn. Our turn had come and Stephane walked right up to us and asked us what he could do for us. We responded by saying we wanted to make beer....yeah, he probably found that quite amusing. He started getting into the methods of brewing beer, e.g. extract, partial, or all-grain. We said all-grain, though we obviously had no clue what that entailed. Then he went into the different beer styles, e.g. IPAs, Stouts, Ales and Lagers (generally). Well, we knew that we liked IPAs, so went with that. 

From there on he took care of the ingredients, and even wrote out a step-by-step recipe for us, which included: mash time, mash temp, boil time, hop additions, yeast addition, etc. But before we left the store carrying a lot of who-knows-what, he suggested we buy Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing - that book saved our lives on many occasions. He went as far as to show us exactly which chapter to read, the chapter discussing everything all-grain. So, we went back home and starting reading that chapter. To make a long story short, we never ended up making that all-grain batch, though we did use all the ingredients in subsequent partials (extract and grains). In fact, it was not for another year and half before we took the leap and built our DIY brewing equipment. It was a couple months after that before we brewed our first all-grain batch, a belgian ale with orange peel and coriander.  

That was our first experience in a nutshell, but that did not stop us from going back. We have been back for every batch of beer we make, every homebrewing question we have, and generally anything/everything beer related. La Chope à Barrock carries everything you will need to start homebrewing, with the exception of all-grain brewing equipment i.e. mash/lauter tun and boil kettles (at least not visibly within the shop). Update: As of about a week ago (Sept. 7, 2013) he received stock pots ranging from 5-20 gallons with false bottoms, he even has weld-less ball-valves which he can install personally (with a surcharge of course). He has a varied range of malts, hops, and yeasts. You can see those ingredients in our brew posts. He does not only carry homebrew stuff, but he also carries ingredients and other necessities for wine making, though we cannot say we know much about that. What is most exciting is his recent acquisition of two new 5 gallon barrels, and if that is too expensive or you do not have the room, he carries 5 inch honeycombed woods for infusing beer. Most every miscellaneous item you may need for brewing such as: sugars, sanitizers, hydrometers, flavour essences, etc.,  he has.

If you want to know more just drop by the store, he is situated on the corners of St-Dominique and Villeneuve Est. For his contact information check out this link La Chope à Barrock.  

We hope you all enjoyed this post so much you decided to pick up homebrewing and why not send us a message and we can give you some pointers on how to get started! Keep posted for more fun articles.


- Jean

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