Olde Kensington: Brewing at the Philly Homebrew Outlet

The Philly Homebrew Outlet (above), home to the Philadelphia Homebrew Club, serves as a depot for brewing connoisseurs. People from all walks of life often visit the outlet for beer-making supplies and advice.

“We get people that are scrapping through college – just scraping to get by and spending whatever dime they can – and then we get, like, lawyers and doctors that have all the money that they want just wanting to come and do a hobby,” said outlet co-owner Nick Less (below). “And the cool thing is we do club-night meetings here every third Friday of the month, and all these people come together and, you know, they all have a good time.”



The outlet does not only attract customers interested in making and drinking beer and wine. The store also offers a variety of equipment such as kits to make cider, cheese and yogurt. It’s for anyone interested in brewing almost anything at home.

“I brew soda and there’s only like two homebrew stores in the city, and I like these guys more,” said Zach Detine, a new customer at the Philly Homebrew Outlet. “They’re more affordable, they’re more helpful and they’re not, like, snobby about it.”

Currently, the staff at the outlet offer two beer-making workshops, will soon begin offering a wine-making workshop, and are considering starting a cheese-making workshop.

Three years ago, Less and co-owner Jimmy McMillan took over the business from previous owner Barry Mulherin when he chose to retire. Mulherin started the outlet in South Philadelphia almost 15 years ago. Less and McMillan moved to their current store in Olde Kensington about three years ago — a space around three times the size of the original outlet. Last year, they changed the name from Barry’s Homebrew Outlet to Philly Homebrew Outlet.

A customer browsing books about beer at the Philly Homebrew Outlet.


“We are in discussions about opening up a couple of places, joining forces and, kind of, opening up and spreading out,” Less said about expanding and opening other branches of the outlet.

But for now, Philadelphia locals interested in taking up homebrewing or cheese-making as a hobby and don’t know where to begin can visit the Philly Homebrew Outlet, located at the corner of North American and West Jefferson streets.


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-Text, images and video by Salma Attia 

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