Deja Brew: The beer is fresh here because you just made it
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Deja Brew
Address: 510B Boston Turnpike Rd. (Rt. 9), Shrewsbury
Owners: Ray and Donna Schavone
Contact Information: 508-842-8991
What do you do at Deja Brew?
“You can brew your own beer and wine and make soda. We provide all the recipes, ingredients and instructions. We guarantee the results and we clean up the mess,” said Ray Schavone, who, with his wife, Donna, has been running the brew-your-own business on Route 9 in Shrewsbury for 15 years.
“We were the first in the state to do this.”
How long does it take to brew beer or make wine?
“For beer, end to end, two weeks. It takes two visits, two hours each visit. You make six cases, 12 22-oz. bottles per case, so 72 bottles,” Ray explained.
“We have over 200 recipes people can choose from. We help you decide, based on what you like in a beer.
“Wine takes longer because it’s higher in alcohol. Wine takes four weeks, end to end, from when you make it to when you put it in the bottle. And then we tell you to age it in the bottle. The flavors need to blend and mature. You’ll sample your wine the day you bottle it so you know what the flavors are. But we recommend at least six months aging.”
How do you make beer?
“You pick out a recipe. Our recipe books have an index, based on type of beer. Once you determine what you want to make, you weigh out the grains and start making the ‘tea’ with them. When that’s finished, you add extracts. We bring it to a boil and add the first set of hops, then go through a timing sequence. You come back in two weeks and bottle it.
“The cost varies depending on ingredients, but our average price is $165 for the six cases of beer. At that price, it’s very competitive with what you buy in the store. A lot of people get together with friends and make different kinds of beers and trade off.”
Do you have the recipe for the White House beer?
“Yes, we now offer the White House beer. It’s not among my favorites.”
Who brews their own beer?
“People who like a better beer. It’s fresh, you don’t have to worry about a ‘born-on’ date. You know when it was born because you bottled it.
“There’s also the social aspect. We have six brewing kettles here, and we have a mix of people who come in, so there’s a lot of socializing. Sundays we’ll have the football game on, and there’s a pizza place three doors down.”
“We do a lot for weddings, that’s probably the most popular occasion. People brew their own beer with their own labels to be served at their wedding.”
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