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Old 10-25-2012, 05:33 PM   #11
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I agree!!!
I have two HBS near me. One is close to my work, the other is close to home. The one close to work is is a huge on-line retailer. Both are good.

I dropped in to the one by work the other day for a few things. I needed a tiny bit of malt for a mead that called for it. I had done my research and decided on RAHR 2-row, but decided to get their opinion still. I said I needed a base malt that was similar to English malt. He said they had English pale and RAHR 2 row, and asked what kind of beer I was making. <-- look at that, he was knowledgeable AND accomidating. I explained what I was making and decided to get the RAHR.

On top of that he was willing to sell me 1/4 pound only. Then milled it for free ( there's normally a small charge of like 50 cents). While he was milling I picked up the honey, yeast, and thermometer I needed. At check out he waived the charge for the grain all together. That's smart business! He could have tacked $2.50 more on to my total, but instead he earned another sale. Because of his generosity, I'll be making my next purchase from him over my other local store.

Support your LBHS (assuming it's a good store), even if it's anm on-line giant!

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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If you switch to all grain your LHBS usually becomes much more of a benefit. I've bought a lot of brewing stuff online, but never a sack of grain. The LHBS has better prices on grain than I've been able to find online. And while I'm there picking up a sack of Maris Otter might as well get my yeast, my specialty malts, some campded tablets, etc.

Plus, my new LHBS owner has given me great tips on yeast to use and some ingredients that have improved my beers. That was after he said the liquid yeast I was buying was the same strain as some dry yeast he had that would be a lot cheaper.

I buy from all over the place, but if I'm stopping at the LHBS for a sack of grain I'll always pick up other stuff I need even if I could go home and spend a few dollars less online.

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #13
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My LHBS is outstanding. The prices are maybe a hair higher than online, but the knowledge I clean off those guys is worth thousands of dollars

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by The_Canmancan View Post
The staff is not very knowledgeable, the gear is more suited towards beginners, and the owner is not very friendly. I realized within 3-4 months of starting to brew that I was more knowledgeable than the staff in the store, and within the same amount of time, I outgrew anything the store could offer me. In addition to all this, they won't even crush your grain for an all grain recipe. They tell you to buy your own mill, but wait, they don't sell mills.
I agree with you. I shop at the local stores but they have to meet me half way.
The prices can't be way out of line, they have to have the quality I want and they have to have customer service.
If a store isn't worthy of being around ( in your opinion ) then don't support it.
If it's a store you like, give them business over on line or big chain stores even if you pay a little more.
I took pictures of the grain bins in my "local" store so that I can put a few ounces of each in my inventory on Beersmith and know what they have when I decide what to brew. They are over 1 1/2 hours away so I need to know what they have and have a shopping list when I get there.

Soon I will have a grain mill and I'll be able to buy some inventory from them to keep at home!
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #15
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The only thing i dont get from my local is hops

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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Let me talk about my other LHBS too.
The first time I went there "I" didn't go. My wife went for me while I was at work. She had an exact list of what to buy, but had no idea what anything on the list actually was. She read the list to the shop owner and he grabbed each item of the shelf as she read it. The real winner was when he rang her up, there was a discrepancy between the price he said and the price I told her she would pay. She mentioned it, he checked their website and said the website was wrong, but would honor the price still. I got five 3 piece airlocks for the price of one! I made sur eto make my next purchase from him to pay back his hospitality.

It's the same store we stopped in to once on the way back from somewhere because I wanted some champaigne yeast for soda making. I grabbed three packs at 99 cents each. My wife and I both looked at weach other to pay once it was rang up. Neither of s had money The total was a bit over $3, and all we had between us was $2.25. I appologized and went to put a pack of yeast back, he said not to worry about it and the $2.25 was close enough.

Great one man store!

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:46 PM   #17
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I support my LHBS but I get frustrated at his hop selection. I know simcoe and amarillo are hard to come by and expensive but he wont buy anything unless it meets his profit margin. I know he has a business to run but I would go more often if he at least sold his hops at cost. Its not just hops i would buy obviously. Every time i go there Im scrambling on my phone trying to find the best substitute for something or another.

Its also a little awkward because he is a big supporter of our homebrew club. When i brew a beer an he hasnt seen me for a while he'll ask me where i got my supplies from and then I feel guilty.

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #18
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I'm guessing that the internet homebrew shops got their start as a local business. Good business sense allowed the to grow. Growth can equal economies of scale, which can lead to greater inventory & lower prices for the customer.

I like what Jamil says about local shops: a good local shop can increase the Homebrewers in the community, which can cause the business to grow, etc

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #19
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After reading some of your posts, I wish I had a good LHBS. Especially since it's only a few miles up the street. But regardless, Malweth! I'd like to know how I can build a mill for $50! What a great addition for a reasonable price. Can you share?

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hop_Hero View Post
Its also a little awkward because he is a big supporter of our homebrew club. When i brew a beer an he hasnt seen me for a while he'll ask me where i got my supplies from and then I feel guilty.
That's pretty tactless... and not really good business.

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But regardless, Malweth! I'd like to know how I can build a mill for $50! What a great addition for a reasonable price. Can you share?
I haven't made mine, though I have most of the parts I need. I haven't seen any actual plans... most of the DIY on this one is mounting a Corona-type mill. Here's the thread of pictures:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-u...station-90849/

Corona/Victoria type mills are around $20-30 online and the rest of the stuff to mount it can easily be under $20 (including two Home Depot style plastic buckets). With a drill it might be a bit more than $50... but there *is* a hand crank (I have a corded drill and Harbor Freight has a cheap one when/if my 20 year-old one dies).
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