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Thursday, 18 May 2017 13:06

Veteran Owned Brewing Supply Store Aiming to Quash Bad Beer

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Luke and Megan Henslick standing beside the Renegade Brewing Supplies logo. Luke and Megan Henslick standing beside the Renegade Brewing Supplies logo. Eric Escalante/TurlockCityNews.com
Renegade Brewing Supplies, a new business coming to Turlock, is bringing a passion for homebrewing and waging “special warfare” against bad beer.

Luke Henslick, an Air Force veteran, and Megan Henslick, a winner of two national brewing competitions and a local brewing competition, are the owners of Renegade Brewing Supplies and are looking to share their passion for homebrewing with the community by providing the resources for bold flavors for new and experienced brewers.

“Typically, when you walk into a homebrew shop you’re going to get an American Ale yeast, English Ale yeast, maybe a lager yeast, and some dry and some wine yeast and that’s it. That’s because that’s what sells,” explained Luke Henslick.

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However, Renegade Brewing Supplies has no intention of being an average brew shop. Renegade Brewing Supplies is attempting to set itself apart by high quality equipment and expanding the usual selections that most shops would have with a larger array of specialty grains, hops varieties, over 40 different cultures of yeast. Additionally, they’ll be offering a delivery feature and a 10 percent discount in the store for first responders, military, and law enforcement.

Renegade Brewing Supplies will not be selling beer; instead, their focus is on helping cultivate the pride of a wellmade beer for homebrewers, both beginning and advanced. The very items that local brewers would have to hunt for online and await a delivery truck for are now going to be available in their local area.

Their passion for beer started when Luke and Megan Henslick were in Holland and had their first experience with a Belgian beer.

“Everybody has kind of their high school regular Bud Light story- that’s not at all where I fell in love with beer. I fell in love with beer, I think, with my first Belgian Beer in Holland,” revealed Luke Henslick.

“Before that beer, I thought beer was like liquid bread... Real beer, there’s a huge world to it. When I was introduced to that, I wanted to learn everything I could about that, just absolutely blew my mind.”

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Megan Henslick added, “It actually has flavor and makes me happy. It’s not necessarily about ‘hey, let’s just drink beer.’ It’s kind of a new experience.”

Researching and learning about homebrewing, Luke Henslick reasoned that they could ultimately make their own beer the way they wanted to make it. He would even receive a homebrewing kit from his wife on Christmas to start his homebrewing.

“It was supposed to be my hobby, until I was in her kitchen one night going ‘hey, how does water boil?” joked Luke Henslick, adding that it eventually became a hobby for the both of them.

For nearly 3 years, they were making 2 to 3 brews a week. They developed unique brew styles, with Megan Henslick embracing a more creative and exploratory route and Luke Henslick taking a more research heavy, by the numbers approach.

During this time, Luke Henslick’s law enforcement career had taken the Turlock natives out to North Carolina where they successfully operated a homebrew shop, however they came home to the Central Valley in 2015 and recognized the growing interest in homebrewing and winemaking. Having experienced the struggles of homebrewing firsthand, the Henslicks saw an opportunity to provide something back to the community with Renegade Brewing Supplies.

“I want to be the resource that we didn’t have before and, therefore, gain more interest in the hobby rather than scaring people away,” said Luke Henslick.

“We want to be there local shop. We want to be their local hangout. They can talk to other brewers. They can share ideas. It can be an open forum.”

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While the store is looking to provide the best ingredients and the best products, the heaviest emphasis was placed on providing the best knowledge available to help create a family of homebrewers in the area where problems with homebrews can be solved with a simple text to the store.

“I don’t view my customers as customers. If you walk in my door and sit down and start talking about making beer, I’m making a friend,” affirmed Luke Henslick.

Megan Henslick added, “A lot of times when you actually go to your homebrew shop, it actually feels like, once the transaction is finished, you’re done talking to the store owner for a while or at least until you go in there next. We’re hoping to... keep the lines of communication open even after they leave the store, so possibly on Facebook, online, even call the store..."

Renegade Brewing Supplies, located 2406 West Monte Vista Avenue, is setting up for its grand opening on May 20 at 1 p.m. to help both beginning brewers and advanced brewers get the supplies they need at a place close to home. Once open, the store plans to run for Monday through Sunday for their first 6 months from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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