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Old 01-22-2009, 02:37 AM   #1
Cougfan
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Default More Problems with my LHBS

I am getting really tired of my LHBS (we'll call it Freds). Everytime I go in there, I end up talking to the guy that owns the place and hear about how his way is the only way to brew beer. He is really old school and usually goes on to tell me that all of the techniques that I learn on this website and online don't work. I have stopped going to him as much as possible, but he is the only gig in town, so when I am in a pinch, I have to go to him.

My latest encounter happened today. I found a guy that is selling homebrew supplies out of his own shop, but he is about an hour away. (As it turns out, the reason he opened up his shop was to get away from Fred's.) I ordered 50 lbs of Great western 2 row and was planning on brewing this weekend. Thi is my first bulk grain order. I ordered a grain mill from Amazon that was supposed to be here by the weekend, but it turns out it won't be here until Monday. Now I am stuck without a way to grind the grain. I called Fred's and asked if he would grind the grain for me (offered to pay for it). He hesitated but said yes. He then went on to ask "Are my prices really that high that you have to go to buy elsewhere". I told him yes and that he is charging $55 a bag and I bought this for $36. He asked my what kind of grain and I told him it was Great Western 2 row. He told me that Great Western grain is not very good and there is a reason I got it for so cheap. Maybe he is right (I hope not). At any rate, that is no way to treat a customer and I plan to do very little business in the future with him. Thanks for letting me rant. -John

Mods, I realized this probably should have gone in the general beer discussion forum. Please move it if you see fit. Thanks, John

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:53 AM   #2
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Yah, I hear this sort of thing a lot. Some ppl just HAVE to be the best at what they do, and they ALWAYS have to be right. Blah blah. Great Western is fine, the only thing wrong with it is that you didnt buy it from him.

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:59 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your troubles with your LHBS. I must say that I loath sales people who talk negative about other's product. If what they sell is so great they should tell me why theirs' is better not why the other guy's is crap. Luckily their are online alternatives you can use that have good reviews from this board. But I suggest if you are doing quite a bit of all-grain to get a grain mill, remove yourself as much as possible from your LHBS. If you need suggestions on what type, PM me or search this board you will find more than one answer and no one is wrong.

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Old 01-22-2009, 03:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cougfan View Post
I am getting really tired of my LHBS (we'll call it Freds). Everytime I go in there, I end up talking to the guy that owns the place and hear about how his way is the only way to brew beer. He is really old school and usually goes on to tell me that all of the techniques that I learn on this website and online don't work. I have stopped going to him as much as possible, but he is the only gig in town, so when I am in a pinch, I have to go to him.

My latest encounter happened today. I found a guy that is selling homebrew supplies out of his own shop, but he is about an hour away. (As it turns out, the reason he opened up his shop was to get away from Fred's.) I ordered 50 lbs of Great western 2 row and was planning on brewing this weekend. Thi is my first bulk grain order. I ordered a grain mill from Amazon that was supposed to be here by the weekend, but it turns out it won't be here until Monday. Now I am stuck without a way to grind the grain. I called Fred's and asked if he would grind the grain for me (offered to pay for it). He hesitated but said yes. He then went on to ask "Are my prices really that high that you have to go to buy elsewhere". I told him yes and that he is charging $55 a bag and I bought this for $36. He asked my what kind of grain and I told him it was Great Western 2 row. He told me that Great Western grain is not very good and there is a reason I got it for so cheap. Maybe he is right (I hope not). At any rate, that is no way to treat a customer and I plan to do very little business in the future with him. Thanks for letting me rant. -John

Mods, I realized this probably should have gone in the general beer discussion forum. Please move it if you see fit. Thanks, John
Hey CougFan-

First of all, let me say hello from Colfax.. I am a Grad Student at WSU.. GO COUGS! And I believe I know the shop of you which you speak (is it a certain shop with 3 letters in the name and it's on Division? hehehe)

Anyway, I know the shop and I know the attitude.. I also try not to go there.. Everytime I make the 1.5 hour drive, they seem to be out of some key ingredient I need anyway...

I also just bought a 50# bag of Great Western 2 row Premium Malt (a mix of Klages and Harrington, both fine malting barlies) myself over here in Moscow, ID.. I paid $40.. I have never used it before but I did make a batch of a Mac and Jacks African Amber clone with it this past weekend and I am not worried at all about the quality.. I know several guys who have made award winning brews (literally) with this very malt.. So don't let the guy at "Freds" homebrew tell you it's garbage.... I will say that that place has been in business for something like 40 years, so they must be doing something right, but I agree that there is a know-it-all attitude there and they often try to talk you out of your brewing plans..... What kind of 2-Row does he carry there? Briess?

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that someone else (locally) feels your pain.. Go COUGS!
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:24 AM   #5
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Default My Lhbs In Valley Junction Sucked!

I know you mean. My old LHBS was a drag to visit when it was the only game in town. The guy wouldn't put prices on his stuff. Therefore you had to ask how much for each thing. He'd bitch and wine about you asking and then try to justify prices w/o me even complaining. Every time it was like this.

More than once I walked out of the place paying $125 with the original intent to spend about $75. I told him more than once that I have a budget and that keep to or hear SWMBO's wrath.

I couldn't ask questions because down played all of the science of the AG process. I soon figured out why.... I asked his opinion about some techniques only to learn he doesn't brew.

To add insult, he said brewing was stupid and its just cheaper to drink Natty Light. He wasn't joking either.

That was the last business he ever got from me. He is a dick with ears.

I later learned to my surprise that this guy is a supposed to be a genius. I ask why then is he always wining about the internet putting him out of business. Its no wonder to me. Genius my a$$. Smart he may be, but he can't relate to people, so he can't be too smart.

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Old 01-22-2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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How the... what? How does someone open a LHBS and not brew? And hate beer, apparently? It just boggles the mind.

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Old 01-22-2009, 08:33 AM   #7
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How the... what? How does someone open a LHBS and not brew? And hate beer, apparently? It just boggles the mind.
money.

Pretty much what it boils down to.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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Very lame about the LHBS. You know, though, there are many great options for online ordering, with flat shipping rates. I ordered over 100 pounds worth of stuff from Austin Homebrew recently (including 80 lbs Maris Otter), and paid $7 for shipping. I'm not particularly fond of the sales staff there, but it's hard to argue with those prices.

Northern Brewer is great, and is generally my go-to. I forget why I didn't place my big order there in the first place, but it had something to do with them not having something. Either way, the point is there's at least five big, reputable online places that you can go to in an effort to bypass LHBS woes. I do have a great LHBS, and try to buy from them as often as possible, but with my schedule (and their sometimes unreliable stock), it's generally easier for me to order online.

As an aside, what grain mill did you get? I didn't know Amazon sold malt mills -- did you get a mill specifically marked as beer brewing equipment?

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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How the... what? How does someone open a LHBS and not brew? And hate beer, apparently? It just boggles the mind.
This guy bought the business from from somebody else when it was successful. There was a rumor that he did too much brewing at one time and it might have turned into a burn-out situation or an alcohol problem. I understood he did evening classes too.

I don't think that excuses his BS attitude. He also said there is no money in home brewing now because of the big boys on the internet. He mentioned wine making is still very profitable and would do just that if it would keep him a float.

I now have a good LHBS on the other side of town. My new guy is a brewer, a member of the local clubs and is an all around good guy. His prices are descent and he will special order anything for you.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
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That sucks.

I think the term is Douchepole (douchenozzel, douchebucket, douchebasket, douchgrommet)

Guess I'm lucky, my LHBS asked me what kind of beer I liked, what hop flavor
I was into and helped me hand pick my ingredients, handed me a stack of
recipes and checked my equipment list to make sure I had everything for my
first brew.

They even gave me an extra pack of yeast.

Hope your new LHBS works out much better.

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