Sunday, September 3, 2006

Von Kopp Brew Shop (Pine Island, MN)

I've been driving by Von Klopp for years since the sign along Hwy 52 says wine kits and cheese curds, I've never stopped. Only when a fellow homebrewer pointed it out as where he gets all of his supplies did I realize that it's a brew shop.

I needed a few incidentals and didn't want to drive the 10 mi to my own brew shop, so stopped here on the way back to the Twin Cities from Rochester. Not bad. A very eclectic shop, but a good supply of beer making materials, and so far, all of my friend's beer has been good and he's received sound advice from the shop.

The kits are commercial, which was interesting since I had never seen onemy shop makes its own. It seems to be a much better wine store, including a small field of grape vines planted to the north of the shop. Also, it has lots of specialty cheese, nic nacs, touristy trinkets, etc. And, a lot of traditional German beer steins, including the "world's largest" which held 9 gallons or something and an inscription that read (in German) that "he who can drink all of this is a real man." Sorry, that was the only one not for sale, but lots of very nicely crafted drinking vessels if you're into that sort of thing.

Friendly help, but not pushy. I rated selection low for beer; however, if you're looking for wine-like things for beer—like french oak wood chipsthis might be a good place if you're having trouble elsewhere.