Coffee and beer supplies together in the same store? That’s my kind of shop.
Chris May and his wife were inspired with this idea from their passionate interests in both beverages. Chris, a native of Elkhart, has been roasting his own coffee beans for about five years, and he has been homebrewing for about a year. The couple’s store, DIY Coffee and Ale Supply, opened in early July. However, Chris never intended to open right next to The Electric Brew. He told me that it just sort of happened organically.
“Goshen has a good vibe about it, and this is really where we wanted to open our store,” Chris told me. However, when there was no real estate available for rent in Goshen, they nearly changed their plan and opened in Bristol. After searching without success for some time, he took one last look around Goshen and found a ”for rent” sign in the window at 114 E. Washington St. Luckily, he was the first to call, and a deal was struck.
Chris’ approach to coffee is different from the Electric Brew in many ways, and he hopes that both will benefit from their close proximity. ”I knew that Goshen had a palate for both beer and coffee, I just didn’t know how much until we opened. We have gotten a great response from customers,” said Chris.
The store provides an excellent atmosphere for enjoying a drink (only coffee for now) and conversing with other coffee and beer enthusiasts. It was difficult for me to start talking about coffee and not venture into the topic of beer and vice versa. And in fact, many breweries are brewing beer with coffee.
Chris has made the intentional decision not to provide internet service to his customers. Instead he would rather his customers connect with each other instead of their personal devices. While I was there, I experienced just that as several customers stopped in to enjoy a cup of coffee and chat.
On the coffee side, he is roasting his own beans and selling raw beans to roast at home. Much of the coffee brewing equipment for sale reminds me of home chemistry sets. I have much to learn about brewing coffee, and I look forward to learning more at DIY.
You can now enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the store. There are currently seven different methods of brewing that you can choose from, after you choose your coffee roast. In an attempt to expand my coffee palate, Chris suggested two different roasts. First I had Yemen Red Marqaha brewed with an Aeropress, and then I enjoyed Ethiopia Konga Yirga Cheffe using the pour-over method with a Hario V60. Chris plans on offering classes on coffee brewing and maybe encouraging a home roasting club.
On the beer side of things, Chris offers everything from starter kits to equipment for all grain brewing. He has received his food license so he can sell grain, and he will even mill it for you. The store carries a wide range of grains, dry and liquid malt extract, hops, dry and liquid yeasts, and adjuncts for you to brew whatever style of beer interests you.
DIY will not be a place where you can stop in and grab a pint. However, the store will host the Goshen Homebrewer’s Club once a month on Sunday afternoons. The first scheduled meeting is Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. If you’re interested in attending, you can call the store at 574-370-2952. After my visit, Chris was heading home to brew a batch of beer in hopes of having it ready to share at the first meeting.
For now, Chris and his wife both work full-time outside of the ale and homebrew supply store, so Chris Horst will staff the store many of its open hours. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. You can find out more about DIY Coffee and Ale Supply through its Facebook page.
During the upcoming First Friday on Sept. 5, Chalet Party Shoppe will be hosting a beer tasting at DIY. This is the store’s preliminary tasting list, which could change before the event:
- Greenbush Dungras (IPA, 6.7 percent ABV, IBUs 67)
- Sixpoint Resin (double IPA, 9.1 percent ABV, IBUs 103)
- Great Divide Orabell (Belgian style tripel, 8.3 percent ABV)
- Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (barley wine, 9.6 percent ABV, IBUs 90)
- Orkney Brewery Skullsplitter (Scotch ale, 8.5 percent ABV)
- Stone Russian Imperial Stout (10.6 percent ABV)
- Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald (porter, 5.8 percent ABV, IBUs 37)
- Two Brothers Dumaine Dupage (French country ale, 5.9 percent ABV, IBUs 24)
- St. Fieuillien Saison (farmhouse ale, 6.5% ABV)