Meet the Family:
Since 1974, the Winemaker's Shop has been owned and operated by a team of studied and knowledgeable beer and wine lovers, Scott Francis and Nina Hawranick and now their sons, Alex and Ivan Francis.
In 1974 when this business opened up, homebrewers and winemakers were far and few between, primarily because there wasn't high quality small batch supplies. But over the last 40 years, things have changed drastically. 40 years ago there was one hop variety, Cascade. Now, we carry about 50 varieties! 40 years ago there were maybe 12 varieties of wine concentrates, now we have over 40! 40 years ago there were only 116 breweries across the states, now there are 3,000+. As Dylan says, "Oh the times they are a-changin'."
The Winemaker's Shop supplies only the finest quality malts, hops, yeasts and wine-grape concentrates to fulfill your home wine and beer-making needs. We buy direct from quality suppliers like Wyeast, L.D. Carlson and Freshops, guaranteeing you the freshest ingredients. We also supply fermenting equipment, starter beer and wine kits, malt extracts and grains, racking and bottling equipment, cleaners, sanitizers and chemicals, books fruit purees, flavorings and soda extracts.
Scott honed his skills making batches of beer and wine. He gave workshops to the amateur Wine Guild of Columbus and taught at the Creative Arts Program through the Ohio State University. He has a brewers degree from the Seibels Institute of Brewing in Chicago, Ill., which he attended in 1988. Scott also did an apprenticeship at the Chicago Goose Island Brewery. Shortly afterwards Scott (Left) was hired to set up the Columbus Brewing Co which is Columbus' first mircrobrewery (1988), he traveled to England to purchase the brewing equipment and oversaw its installation on site. Scott was CBC's brewmaster for 2 years before leaving to set up Barley's Alehouse #1 in downtown Columbus where he was the head brewer for 18 years. Throughout the next 3 years (early 90's), Scott busily set up five more Central Ohio breweries including: Barley's second microbrewery (at the time Barley's Smokehouse, now Smokehouse Brewing Co), New Albany Country Club, Medallion Country Club, Atwood Lodge (New Philadelphia) and Hide Away Hills (in Hocking County). Now, in 2014, he set up and is brewing at Temperance Row Brewing Co (Westerville) with his son Alex Francis. Scott's Alexander's Russian Imperial Stout was a three-time award-winner at the Real Ale Festival in 1997 and 2000 and was named after his firstborn.
In fact, you could just hear it from the horse's mouth. In December of 2014, Scott spoke at a Columbus Metropolitan Club meeting regarding the topic: Brewing Business Hopping! You can hear about the general timeline of microbrewing in Columbus here in response to the request, "[Scott] maybe you could bring us up to speed as to how we got to where we are in 2014." Skip to 5:00 for response.
Favorite Beer to drink:
"First? Sam Smith's Pale Ale. Second? Temperance Row's Scofflaw Scottish Ale."
Favorite Beer to Make:
"The Christmas Ale. You get to peel oranges and grate ginger. It shakes up the typical brew day."
What beers influenced your style of brewing the most?
"I'd have to say that Fuller's ESB and Sam Smith's Pale Ale. When i first drank Fuller's ESB i thought, "Dang!" You know me, i love British styles."
"I was kind of semi-retired for a while, but now I'm back."
Nina graduated from BGSU with a degree in Botany. After which, she moved to New Orleans to soak in the city’s music, food, and culture. In 1978, Nina moved into the Columbus area looking for a job. On September 20th, 1978 she walked into The Winemaker’s Shop looking for a job and met Scott. From there, the ride has been an adventure pursuing fermentation. Her radiant personality and warming demeanor has made her the iconic face of the business.
Impact on the city:
She and Scott have helped to influence many of the current micro-brewers in the city, either having taught them how to brew or trained them along the way.
Nina has helped install the hop trellis at Inniswood Herb Garden in Westerville.
Nina has recently fallen in love with pastel painting. Her ideal afternoon involves plein airing in a kayak on a nearby water-area while birding.
Alex has been brewing for many years, of which he has spent many brewing at Barley's and now Temperance Row Brewing Company. Alex married his wonderful wife in September of 2009 and they now have two wonderful children (you might see them running around the shop if you come in at the right time!). Alex is currently attending The Ohio State University as a proud buckeye.
Favorite Beer to Make:
Like father, like son... Scottish Ale.
Favorite Wine to Make:
A nice Italian Montepulciano.
"By perseverance the snail reached the ark." - Charles Spurgeon
Ivan received his bachelors degree from The Ohio State University in Human Nutrition and Community Development. He also received a minor in Russian language. Ivan has been brewing beer and making wine for the past 4 years. From spending sick days at The Winemaker's Shop in elementary school to helping Scott Francis brew a few different breweries, he's absorbed much knowledge despite his age. Ivan got married to his beautiful wife May of 2013 and has many hobbies. Ivan manages the behind the scenes work here at the shop from this website, to the photography, advertising, graphics, to just about anything you can think of.
Favorite Beer to make:
The Vanilla Porter is one of my favorites. The smooth vanilla sweetness on a malty backbone with notes of fruity esters. So good. (Not so ironic because my middle name is Porter).
Favorite Wine to make:
My favorite wine to make is a smooth, bold Italian Red such as the Brunello or Nebiollo. Last year it was the Oregon Pinot Noir... Excellent year for it.
"Drink deeply from good books..." - John Wooden, John Wooden One-On-One, UCLA Coach in the 60's and 70's.
Drink Up Columbus
Local Brewery Recipe Project
Columbus Crave (5/15)
Columbus Beer Guide: The Brewpubs (Column Story)
Shop's Owners Helped Brew Up New Hobby In Columbus
614 Magazine (6/17/14):
King Of Beers
Short North Gazette (9/06):
Columbus' Original Brewmaster
"Loved the experience last night- I learned quite a bit and the wines were delicious! I think the best part is that you are all family.....that's what matters most. We'll be back- thank you again."
"You guys are the best. When I walk in your shop, I want to buy something, regardless of whether or not I need anything."
"Extremely knowledgeable and helpful. A truly enjoyable experience."
"Always a pleasant experience. So far, never a bad visit. Great prices and good selection of supplies."
“Helped us out as complete beginners in getting supplies needed to make mead. Very cool shop!”
“My husband and I are making our first batch of wine. We were preparing for step 3 and didn't have a wine thief, nor did we know how to proceed. The Winemaker explained the steps, had all the supplies we needed, gave us ideas for bottling and labeling. Didn't make us feel "stupid" and...told us to have fun!!”
“Just very nice people willing to talk. Answered all of my questions. Looking forward to my first brew”
“Alex was very helpful. It's our start into winemaking. We received kit for Christmas. Alex showed us what we needed and gave suggestions. We will go back”
“Extremely helpful took the time to answer all of my curious questions about homebrewing beer . We will do more business in the future. Thank you for your help and advice”
“I will most definitely be a return customer. Extremely knowledgeable and encouraging, I will highly recommend this store!”
"very helpful on developing the recipe on the beer I selected to make."
"Thanks for having the supplies I needed (wanted) on short notice! Glad to support a local business."
“Ivan was extremely helpful and very positive! He did not try to sell us anything we didn't need! Our small amount of wine had stopped fermenting and Ivan knew exactly what to tell us! It is all fixed up!”
“I like coming back because it's like talking to an old friend. Wonderful friendly experience and the knowledge is vast and wide.”
“I'm very happy to support a local business that has been around for 4 decades. The lady who helped us explained everything that we would need and was not pushy at all. I trust what they say and will definitely go back again.”
“I had a very friendly, helpful experience. The person took the time to answer any questions I had. Done the way business, and life, should be. Thanks”
“The employee who helped me when above and beyond with items I needed. Great customer Service.”
"Very helpful and knowledgeable staff that always go above and beyond to answer any brewing questions."
“It doesn't matter who is working, everybody is extremely nice and helpful. I don't think I've ever been anywhere that had such amazing customer service.”
“I came in for a siphon today and started bottling as soon as I got home. You gave a great demonstration of the products I purchased and they ended up cutting the bottling time in half. Thank you for your service. The Winemaker's Shop is truly a gem of Clintonville.”
“Friendly & helpful. Focused on experience and not ticket price.”
“I come here at least every other month or so. I love this place. Great service with an extra touch.”
“Staff is super friendly, knowledgeable, and interested in taking the time to make sure that this novice Brewer understands all elements of the craft. Thanks!”
“The mid-20's male employee working at the time was extremely helpful and passionate about home brewing which is exactly what you hope for when going to a specialized store. He was very nice and helped answer my questions since I am a novice when it comes to brewing. All around it was a great experience and the selection is very impressive.”
“Customer Service was amazing!!! Answered all my numerous questions and explained it very well, especially considering how little I knew about brewing.”
Hmm, heres a look at the last 2 years of customer feedback...
No editing; just copied and pasted from our POS.
We love to be as helpful as possible, answering all the questions we can to ensure you make a great product!