Looking for some home brewing supplies in Boise, Idaho? You're in luck, because the city has two top-notch brewing stores. And these shops not only have the latest and greatest ingredients, tools and materials you'll need to hand craft a great batch of beer or wine, but they also have very helpful people working behind the counter who are always willing to help out, regardless of if you're a first-time brewer or an advanced brew master .

If you live in Boise (which I'll assume you do, which is why you're reading this article), you probably already know that the city has a very rich beer and wine culture. In the last several years, the home brew crowd has grown to dizzying proportions, to the point that it's almost impossible to find a party or other social gathering that doesn't include at least a handful of "home brews" that various guests have brought over. And on the other side of the coin, winemaking has also boomed; thanks largely to the growing viticulture industry in the Southwest Idaho area (more than a dozen wineries dot the landscape, including the famed St. Chapelle).

Long story short, you're in good company.

But lets get to the point. You're looking for home brew supplies, and Boise has two amazing shops that can handle all your needs. Both are locally owned and operated by Idahoans, so you can rest assured that you're not spending your hard earned money into a mega franchise owned by some tycoon on the East Coast. No way. In Idaho, we trust our neighbors, and in return, our neighbors come through with flying colors (as is the case with these shops).

And these shops are: Brew Connoisseurs and Brewer's Haven.

Brew Connoisseurs In Boise

Brew Connoisseurs is located in the North End of Boise at 3894 W. State Street, and can be reached on phone at (208) 344-5141, or on the web at www.brewcon.com. The shop has been in business forever, and helped me in my very first wine making attempts back when I was attending Boise State University in the early 2000's.

Brew Connoisseurs has all the wine making and home brewing supplies you could ever need, and will gladly special order any odd parts or pieces that they don't have in stock. From hops, barley and yeast to fermentation containers and kegs, you'll be hard pressed to not find what you're looking for in stock.

And the best part is that this store has a definite "Mom and Pop" feel. It's been a State Street mainstay for as long as I can remember, and many people use it as a local landmark. For years it was the only brew shop in town, so every "old-timer" in the home brew crowd likely has fond memories of stopping in for supplies or even asking random questions.

Brewer's Haven In Boise

Brewer's Haven is located on the "Bench" in Boise at 1795 South Vista Avenue, and can be reached by phone at (208) 991-4677. As of the time I'm writing this, the company hasn't developed a website that I know about, but that may have changed by the time you read this. I do know that the company is very active in online Social Bookmarking, and often offers special prices to its Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

Brewer's Haven is a relatively new business in Boise, having first opened its doors in early 2010. The owners - both of whom still work their day jobs in the local semi-conductor industry - take turns running the counter themselves, though they have hired help to get them through the store's busiest times. It's about as close to "Mom and Pop" as you can get, given that both owners are longtime friends who each share a passion for crafting homebrewed beer and wine.

Like Brew Connoisseurs, Brewer's Haven has an abundant supply of pretty much everything you'll ever need to get started brewing your own beer or making your own wine at home. They even have some very advanced mechanisms designed for upper end home brew folks, so don't think they only cater to beginners.

I've been in Brew Connoisseurs several times since it opened, and even purchased some equipment and ingredients to make a couple batches of fruit wine. Their advice and help was invaluable in the experience.

Nampa Brewer's Center In Nampa, Idaho

Technically Nampa Brewer's Center isn't in Boise, but it's close enough (Nampa is only about a 10 minute drive from Boise). Of course if you live in the area you know where these cities are, but for those folks new to the area or visiting from out of town, simply take Interstate-84 west about 10 miles and you'll be right there.

Personally, I haven't been in Nampa Brewer's Center, even though I spend more time in Nampa than I do in Boise. And honestly, I didn't even know this business existed until I began researching this article. That said, it's on my list of "things to do," because the website (www.nampabrewers.com) has me hooked. It even looks like the owners dabble in cheesemaking, which is something I've always wanted to try - but I'll leave that conversation for another article.

Nampa Brewer's Center is located at 115 South Westwood Blvd. in Nampa, and can be reached by phone at (208) 468-7724.

While I haven't been there, I can say that it's definitely worth checking out, especially if you live in the Western side of the Treasure Valley. Based on the company website, the business has plenty of items, and is willing to special order anything they don't have in stock. They'll even ship custom orders to win your business, how cool is that?

What Are You Waiting For?

I'll be honest, I'm not a huge beer or wine drinker. And in most circumstances I don't even care for the taste of such beverages. But I absolutely LOVE making things myself. I guess that's just the do-it-yourself drive in me. And you know what? I actually enjoy the beverages that I brew myself! Call it a bias if you must, but the concoctions that come out of my beer and wine "kitchen" are wonderful. Even my friends and family agree. So just because you're not into the beer or wine scene, don't think you won't enjoy making some at your own home. I tried it on a whim, and now I'm hooked!

And the best part is, with such a great community you'll always find others willing to taste test, offer advice and even share in the experience. And with these great stores that offer home brewing supplies in Boise, you'll never run short of equipment or ingredients.