Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > I Have To Rant!
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-02-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
Shepherd5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chula Vista
Posts: 147
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default I Have To Rant!

I am very new to home brewing, but I have been doing alot of research over the past few months. I live in San Diego, and we have what appears to be only two decent options for Home Brew Stores. I quickly discovered that not only were their prices much higher than online stores, but their stock of home brewing equipment and sometimes supplies isn't very good at all. I also discovered that the websites associated with these stores are often inconsistent with what they actually carry in their stores, and need to be updated more often.

So naturally, I looked at almost all the major online dealers, and discovered that, for example: Many of the dealers may sell, lets say, Blichmann Boilermakers, but not advertize Blichmann fermenters, or maybe they don't offer the burners, or even their chiller on the same site. So I go to another site, and they might have the burner, but not the chiller offered.

Another item is a dial thermometer for my kettle. I can get it online for almost half the price of what my local HBS sells it for. Even the wart chillers were almost double the cost from online sources.

The thing is, I want and prefer to support my LHBS, but I just can't throw money away like that.

Hmmm, this is odd, and I ask myself if I am being to picky by expecting to much? Am I just naive about what it really takes to operate a business nowadays?

Here is what I want: I want there to be at least one LHBS that carries a wider selection of equipment, equipment which is in stock and available when I need it, without having to special order, or at least have examples of different equipment that can be special ordered. I am amazed at how small our LHBS's are, not much space to even display a variety of supplies and equipment.

I guess I am just old fashioned, and would like to do business with directly with my local stores, but now, with the internet competition, it is hard for smaller businesses to compete, and therefore not worth the extra effort and costs associated with stocking alot of equipment and supplies that people don't buy as often.

I am the kind of person who likes to see and touch what I am buying, so I know exactly what I am getting. Pictures and spec sheets don't always provide all the important info, but that is just me.

I want to have a relationship with people with whom I do business, face to face is so much better. Frankly, I am concerned about the direction of our society, and people living so disconnected from one another.

I could go on and on, but that is about the gist of my rant. Forgive me if I sound childish, but I feel justified on some level in expressing this.

__________________
Shepherd5 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 06:58 PM   #2
Potter1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Leavenworth, Wa
Posts: 184
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I understand your point of view. I like supporting LHBS, and the face to face, but if you are on a budget, online is the way to go. Also, most online stores know their stuff, and have pretty good customer service (williams brewing has the absolute BEST). I've found that a few LHBS have really poor service, and not very much brewing experience by some associates. I try to buy small things from the one in town, and occasionally some specialty grains, but for big purchases I go online. just my .02

__________________
Primary 1 Traditional Porter
Primary 2 Kentucky Common
Primary 3 air
Primary 4 Air

Secondary 1 air
2 air
3 air
4 air
Kegged
Fall Amber, Sparkling Cider, Cream Soda, Gum Bleeder II, Dunkel
Damn big drinkin' weekend
Potter1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
Julohan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Julohan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 970
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I only use my lhbs for specialty malts and yeast.

__________________
Julohan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
alcibiades
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Stafford, Virginia
Posts: 728
Liked 14 Times on 11 Posts

Default

totally off topic but...do you think a lhbs is a viable business anymore? They must make a bunch of money off first timers who just walk in to get set up. I'd love to start one...

__________________
alcibiades is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #5
Zamial
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 3,183
Liked 168 Times on 149 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I use the internet for most of my purchases/research into where the lowest price for items are online. In my opinion a LHBS serves as a last minute "need x item" or I destroyed x item/ingredient on brew day and it is like an emergency situation place but it also gives me a meeting place to see what is going on in the area for tastings, sales and general knowledge. I do agree that I want to touch and fondle anything that would be over $100.00 but under that it just doesn't matter to me.

If it is the prices on item X in the LHBS, you have to understand that you are buying a baseball card from a card shop vs. a card from a rummage sale. The value of said card can move many decimal places depending on where it is. The same I have found true for internet, LHBS and other.

My others are mostly places like the World Market, Michaels craft stores, rummage sales, craigs list and even good ole Wally world. I am always looking for that next item no matter where I am. I am a huge DIY so I am always on the look out for saving money and thinking outside the box!

Also, I have learned that if you need item x in 2 days then you are going to pay up for it vs. slowly acquiring the items as you find the "killer deals" on them.

I hope this helps a little! RDWHAHB

__________________
“I'm not drunk, I'm from Wisconsin.”
We have been out drinking your state since 1848!
Zamial is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
Teromous
Beer Gnome
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Teromous's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 2,563
Liked 329 Times on 189 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

Talk to your LHBS. I'm sure they'll be more than willing to carry products that you ask for. What I've noticed is that they carry what is most common, and many essential items for brewing. The cost issue is probably much harder for them to compete with. You have to figure that most of these stores aren't big names like Northern Brewer who sponsor magazines and podcasts. One advantage is you can walk in and get the ingredients to make a beer that day. If you order online, you have to wait for the ingredients and possibly buy extra so you save time and money on shipping for your next batch. It is a raw deal for LHBS owners, but that's life. Sometimes having passion for something just isn't enough.

As far as Blichmann, most companies don't actually have those items in stock. They act as a dropshipper for the company, by placing the order for you and having Blichmann ship it from their own warehouse. Often times you'll see that they offer better deals to the store than what you would pay directly to their company. This way it prevents people from bypassing the retailer.

__________________
Teromous is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #7
Shepherd5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chula Vista
Posts: 147
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Naturally, I will do almost all my shopping online due to prices being lower, and that is great from the standpoint of saving money, but I have to say, I am very disappointed in how limited my LHBS's are on many basic items, especially within a large community of home brewers.

Thanks for listening!

__________________
Shepherd5 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 09:13 PM   #8
northernlad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NW
Posts: 1,606
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I do not have this problem fortunately. It must depend on the market, but my LHBS is the same or less for everything except hops, all things considered. Plus they are knowledgable and super nice and only about 20 miles away. It is very rare for me to buy online. If I have a big enough order to save shipping or if there is a shipping special then it makes sense to me to go online.
It is rewarding being able to support local.

It is hard to say how you might bring this up with your LHBS. There are a number of possibilities. He may be totally oblivious to the current market, he may need to charge the prices due to his overhead or less than competitive purchasing, or he is trying to take advantage. You will know the latter if he automatically agrees to a lesser price.

__________________
northernlad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 09:38 PM   #9
Burro2882
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I also live in san diego and i go to the home brew mart on Linda Vista Rd to get all my ingredients for a new batch. They have a good selection as far as specialty grains, yeasts and hops go. Also, its a sister brewery for Ballast Point Brewing so I sample plenty of their beer every time I go. Its kind of a bonus.

As for the equipment, it is waaaay overpriced there so i stick to the internet and local hardware stores. Anything i can make myself i do.

__________________

"If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose."
-Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy

Burro2882 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #10
Shepherd5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chula Vista
Posts: 147
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I think of the LHBS as being, "The Corner Market", not the "Superstore".

If I were the owner of the store, I would do some research to find out if I could offer more of a selection at a little higher price for convenience to customers who are willing to pay, maybe 10% more, and still allow me to make a profit, the idea would be to capture the people in my community who would otherwise go to the internet. Basically, here is a business who only competes with one other business in town. One of them offers their brewery beers, the other is a small one-man operation who has a very limited supply of equipment. Due to the fact that the brewery has awesone beer, that is a good reason to go to them in and of itself.

__________________
Shepherd5 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GRRR! A non rant rant! claphamsa General Beer Discussion 20 07-13-2009 05:18 PM
Rant mot General Chit Chat 67 04-20-2008 01:52 AM
I HATE SMACK PACKS!!!!!!! rant rant rant Bernie Brewer Recipes/Ingredients 20 09-04-2007 01:28 PM