FARMINGTON – During the trying times of COVID-19 when bars were closed and people found themselves shut in, at least one home hobby store saw an increase in sales – U Bru, a home brewing supply store.
Linda Cossum, owner of U Bru, said sales increased during the first couple of months of the pandemic, but restrictions limiting which stores could stay open “became an issue.” Since then, however, Cossum said business has leveled out and is steady.
U Bru was established in 2009, but wasn’t owned by Cossum until May 2011.
“I had become a new home brewer,” Cossum said. “(The) previous owner was selling the store so we bought it. We love the store and so do our customers.”
Cossum said she is always researching new brewing information and is on the lookout for the best new products, such as grains, yeasts and hops to provide the best for her customers.
“My passion for brewing comes from my love of beer and being a hands-on person,” Cossum said. “I enjoy brewing my own and building different recipes, using different hops and yeast. It’s a fun and delicious hobby.”
While it depends on her mood, Cossum said she enjoys brewing lagers, IPAs, stouts and porters the most.
Home brewing is still popular, according to Cossum, and while she said sales online might also be thriving, there is nothing that beats an in-person shopping experience.
“I appreciate all the customers that come into our store,” she said. “Shopping online is just not the same customer experience as when you can actually go into a store, look around and have the chance to chat with other customers. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.”
While there might normally be some home brew meetups, because of COVID, Cossum said not much has happened. However, the at-home activity is just the right thing for some during a pandemic.
“A passion for brewing and making great beer is very self-rewarding,” Cossum said. “During times like these, brewing is a great way to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something good. It’s a great hobby.”