Malt House, a New Homebrew Shop, Now Open
Owner Scott Wikander hopes to educate people on brewing their own beer.
It's Scott Wikander's goal to help people learn a little bit more about the world of beer.
His new homebrew shop, Malt House, opened about a week and a half ago at the corner of Emlen Street and West Mt. Pleasant Avenue. But Wikander wants the store's purpose to extend beyond being just a place for people to purchase items.
"I'm a little bit homebrew shop and a little bit beer education center," Wikander said last week.
Wikander, to that end, is planning on offering a variety of classes on brewing your own beer in association with the store. He's already got some scheduled with the Mt. Airy Learning Tree, and he will eventually offer seminars in-store.
It makes sense, he said, for him to open up in Mt. Airy. Wikander lives here, and he's been a homebrewer himself for quite some time.
He got involved in homebrewing after a friend gave him some extra gear while he was cleaning out his facility. Wikander had always been interested in good beer and saw brewing as the logical extension of his passion.
But there was never a great place for him to buy the materials that allowed him to practice his craft. There are homebrew stores in Center City (Home Sweet Homebrew) and in Montgomeryville (Keystone Homebrew). But those are kind of far out for people in Northwest Philadelphia, and Wikander often found himself becoming frustrated with the trips.
He also realized that there was a strong community of homebrewers in the area, and people were often clamoring for a place nearby that provided them with the items they needed.
"Everybody dreaded that trek up (Route) 309 to Keystone," Wikander said. "That set off some lightbulbs in my head, because all the guys who i would talk to said they wanted it to be closer."
So he started thinking about opening his own shop. He noticed that the building at 7101 Emlen St. was vacant, and he realized that it met several of his criteria—it was in his price range, it was the right size and it had good visibility.
It didn't hurt that the landlord, once he talked to her, was gung-ho about the idea of a homebrew shop occupying the location.
"I figured that was a good sign," he said.
For now, Wikander is focusing on selling the barware, homebrew items, ingredients and keg equipment that he has in-store.
"Education and enlightenment is a big part of why I'm here," Wikander said. "I've already had a lot of people just stopping in and asking me ... about beer, about brewing. A lot of people thinking about trying it, but who haven't worked up the nerve yet."
Malt House, 7101 Emlen St. Open noon-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. 215-242-7100.