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Old 09-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #81
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My first visit to my LHBS...Brew and Grow in Crystal Lake, IL...was about two years ago. I needed some bottle caps, and didn't want to pay shipping on an order of caps from Northern or Midwest. They were out of stock...but the fellow working there went to the back room, and came out with a bag of 60 caps from a brewing kit. An employee at the store made the kit beer and kegged it, so the caps were not needed. He gave them to me for nothing! Obviously, I have and will continue to spend some brewing dollars there!

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Old 09-22-2013, 02:19 AM   #82
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I have never experienced outright rudeness from staff at any LHBS near me, though I occasionally encounter the "hipster" type that tries to act too cool. Maybe it's their first job and they are trying too hard to make an impression. But even then, they will usually be helpful when I approach and ask a question.

Brew shop people cater to a niche market and most realize that helping customers helps their own bottom line.

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Old 09-22-2013, 06:59 AM   #83
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I work in the retail market (50's style burger joint) and I have to admit I have my good days and bad days. Earlier in the day I know I'm much nicer and friendlier. Later in the day I catch myself being short with customers. I can usually catch myself and change my attitude quick enough.

I was trying to put myself in the LHBS employees shoes but some of the stories described are indefensible.

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Old 09-22-2013, 09:21 AM   #84
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I have 3 LHBS within 20 miles, but have only been to 2. One is only 4 miles away and another 20. I find myself going to the 20 mile one for grains and using the closer one for other items.

My biggest pet peve about the closest one is the lack of info on the grains. There are no prices listed and when I asked the woman just said "oh, they range from $1.50 ish to over $2/lb." The guy that runs the store is friendly, but I want to know how much I am spending before I buy. The shop 20 miles away offers a much larger selection of grains and grinds for free.

The only "issue" I had at the one 20 miles away was when he looked at me like "how dare you" when I asked about Agar for yeast slants. He told me very firmly that they do not carry items for that kind of thing.. I felt like saying "$7.50 for a vial of yeast is a high cost per beer...so hell yes I want to slant it!" Instead I just shrugged and said I would go to a asian market and get some....

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Old 09-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #85
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When I was starting out the LHBS was a high-end cooking gadget and coffee/spice/tea/cigar store...but the owner was a FANATICAL homebrewer. At first the supplies took up a 10' x 18" shelving area and two shelves in the walk-in freezer. Charlie was the ONLY one that helped the homebrewers so if he was not there, you were SOL, but he was amazing.

10 years later before I left Tulsa, not only had the homebrew section taken up about half the store and I am pretty sure he the owner was a partner in very successful brick-and-mortar and online store based in the same city. The funny thing was Charlie would always have gear for sale that was not in the store because he was always upgrading and tweaking his personal brewery.

Here in NWI my LHBS is only about 2 minutes from me and they are a combo Hydroponics and brew shop. Competitive bulk grain, yeast and equipment pricing but they use the pre-package JW Carlson stuff for specialty grains and canned extracts...not competitive at all.

The two guys that work there are helpful even if the one has probably spent a bit much time sampling product from the non-brewing portion of the business. More than 2/3 of the store is dedicated to non-brewing business but I have yet to see anyone actually buying from that stock.

Like a good local hardware store, I give them as much business as I can justify. Bought a sack of 2-row, some yeasts and a specialty grain or two but with the Chicago group buy, it is just hard to justify more than that.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #86
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I'm fortunate enough to have two great lhbs within a half hour of me and I do visit both. Thats where i buy most of my ingredients. Do shop online as well, but mainly for keezer parts kettels and such. Gives me the ability to look at user reviews and really take my time putting my order together.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:09 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkel_Udo
When I was starting out the LHBS was a high-end cooking gadget and coffee/spice/tea/cigar store...but the owner was a FANATICAL homebrewer. At first the supplies took up a 10' x 18" shelving area and two shelves in the walk-in freezer. Charlie was the ONLY one that helped the homebrewers so if he was not there, you were SOL, but he was amazing. 10 years later before I left Tulsa, not only had the homebrew section taken up about half the store and I am pretty sure he the owner was a partner in very successful brick-and-mortar and online store based in the same city. The funny thing was Charlie would always have gear for sale that was not in the store because he was always upgrading and tweaking his personal brewery. Here in NWI my LHBS is only about 2 minutes from me and they are a combo Hydroponics and brew shop. Competitive bulk grain, yeast and equipment pricing but they use the pre-package JW Carlson stuff for specialty grains and canned extracts...not competitive at all. The two guys that work there are helpful even if the one has probably spent a bit much time sampling product from the non-brewing portion of the business. More than 2/3 of the store is dedicated to non-brewing business but I have yet to see anyone actually buying from that stock. Like a good local hardware store, I give them as much business as I can justify. Bought a sack of 2-row, some yeasts and a specialty grain or two but with the Chicago group buy, it is just hard to justify more than that.
I use them for speciality grains and yeast. The selection can be frustrating some time, but it has been slowly improving. I do know that the owner will order just about anything. The main plus (and reason why I use them) is that the owner keeps the yeast stock well supplied and fresh. I still bulk buy the base malt and hops, but I value having the LHBS for other supplies.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #88
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It's just like smoke shops and gun stores. Some are good, bad, knowledgeable, friendly, etc. I am lucky enough to have a couple good ones around me.

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Old 09-28-2013, 03:54 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicklepickles
Random question, why did you only want ez caps? Whats wrong with generic flip tops?
I've found that the beer in the generics goes flat.
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