By Jackie Stone
The Cove Herald
The owners of a new store in Copperas Cove want to show that there's more to beer than just picking up a six-pack at the corner store.
Dr. Jeckyll's Homebrew Supply on Highway 190 in Cove opened Monday.
The store sells beer and wine-making supplies, from simple kits for beginning homebrewers to more advanced ingredients and equipment for more ambitious brewers.
"Drinking a fine beer is equivalent to drinking a fine wine," said Debbie Beeching. "Beer makers will compare beer as equally as important as wine makers will compare wine, and there are as many competitions for beer making."
Debbie and her husband Brad Beeching, 52, of Bertram share ownership of the store with Pat Myers, 51, of Arlington.
Myers has another Dr. Jeckyll's store in Arlington, He started making his own beer in his twenties and opened his first homebrew store about 15 years ago.
"There was a store in Arlington I used to go to, but they weren't very friendly. One day I went in there and I asked him a question and he said 'Why don't you buy the book?' And I said, 'I'm gonna buy a store,'" Myers said.
Myers doesn't make beer much anymore, but he likes helping people get started in the hobby.
For those who drink imported beer or other "good beers," Myers said brewing at home can be cheaper. But the draw is not just cost savings.
"Why do people make their own pickles? Or their own cake? Because they enjoy it," Myers said.
"If you're only looking at the money, you'll save half the money as if you were buying the same kind of beer. But the people that I know that do this, they do it because they love it."
The store sells many varieties of yeast, hops and malt. Those three and water make up the four basic ingredients in beer - if it's made the traditional way - Myers said.
The basic homebrew kits include pre-mixed ingredients and chemicals, and the store also sells supply kits with simple instructions for beginners.
"It all starts in a bucket," he said.
As amateur brewers learn more about the process of beer and wine making, they can advance to blending grains for beer and grapes for wine, the owners said.
For beer, each of the different hops, yeasts and grains to make the malt changes the flavor.
"All of those make different flavorings, and just like wine, you can blend your grains and make your own unique flavoring of beer. The possibilities are endless," Debbie said.
In its first week the store has seen interest from local homebrewers and clubs.
David Terry, a chief warrant officer at Fort Hood, stopped in Sunday before the officially opened and ordered a thermostat.
Terry said he started brewing beer in 2005, after returning from a six year stint stationed in Germany.
"German beer is a lot better, has a lot more variety, and the type of beer I like is very expensive here," he said.
Terry's wife bought him his first homebrew kit, and he has been trying to perfect his consistency ever since.
Before Dr. Jeckyll's came to town, Terry said he had to pay for supplies to be shipped from Austin when he brewed his quarterly batch.
Myers said a batch of beer takes about 30 days to brew, and some beers and wines take longer.
Dr. Jeckyll's will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday until the end of the year to allow people to come in and get acquainted with the store, Debbie said.
The store will allow homebrew clubs to meet in the back. The owners hope to get a permit to sell imported wine and beer, but Dr. Jeckyll's is neither a microbrewery or a bar.
"We can teach everything up to fermenting," Debbie said.
The store will host a beginners brewing class on Feb. 13.
Contact Jackie Stone at email@example.com or (254) 501-7474.