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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Support your local homebrew shop?
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Support your local homebrew shop?

So I brewed my 1st batch in over two years last weekend. Since it was a spur of the moment brew session I had to buy my grains locally. Because I had moved since my last homebrew session I wasn't sure where to get my ingredients so I did a quick internet search and found the only shop in Regina Sk, that had a decent selection of grains and hops.

I went in to the shop and it was your usual wine store. You know the type that sells the whole selection of wine expert kits and the line of canned beer kits with a few brew in a box kits. In the center of the store was a small island of grains and other adjuncts. I was a little put off by how the grain was stored, just open bags under the table. I would have rather seen some sort of storage bins. I am sure that having the bag open on the floor isn't good for it.

So I put the grain bill together, there wasn't enough Marris otter malt so I bought all 9lbs they had and will complete my grain bill with pale malt. Their selection of malts wasn't bad and neither was the selection of hops. I wasnt able to get my first or second choices so we ended up using the BYO hop guide to make substations. Having sampled the wort I can say the hop profile is very close to what I was looking for.

The Yest selection wasn't great either. I wanted the Wyeast smack packs but the owner explained that they don't get enough demand to warrant carrying them. So I got some Safale yeasts. It was weird that they were not packaged in the usual foil packets but in small ziploc bags with about half an ounce of yeast. They had the same tacky sticky bubble jet printer labels on everything. It was very armature.

I hadn't been paying attention to the prices while we where grabbing the ingredients. When we totalled everything up it came to over $240! Now mind you I was expecting to pay a fair bit because I was making two 10 gal. batches. But that was too much. Feeling obliged to make the purchase I asked if their was a discount for such a large purchase but the owner said no so I just passed the old visa card and left the store feeling a little violated.

When I got home I dissected the receipt. I started to get angry I was charged nearly $8 a pound for base malts and $8 an ounce for hops. I understand that they cant compete with the big home brew shops with their small volume, but the prices we were charged are pretty much highway robbery. I will not be going back to that store. I looked and with shipping it would have been at least $100 less to order.

If these store owners want to get into selling beer grains they need to be more realistic with their prices. At these prices they wont sell any grains at all. Realistically they need to take grain more seriously. Alsothey should get rid of the hand powered carona mill and get a real mill.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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Wow, I would have told them to keep their ingredients. I pay about 1.85 for all malts at my LHBS. $8 per lb is highway robbery.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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IF you ever go back there I'd say something, that's just wrong

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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At those prices it would have been cheaper to do an extract batch. Oh wait, extract at that store must be $14 a pound. ;P those are crazy prices. I thought my local shop was a bit much at $2-2.5 a pound for grain and $3 an oz for hops. I would not use that yeast. They probably bought a 500 gram brick of yeast and separated it themselves into smaller bags. I doubt they did it in a controlled sterile environment.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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That's one LHBS I would not feel bad about not supporting. It's no wonder they don't get enough demand...

My lhbs only charges $1 - $2/lb for base malts and less than $3/oz for hops (usually around $2). On top of that, 10% of every purchase I make goes right into my home brew club's coffers!

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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My LHBS has great prices... you have to keep in mind, there's no "Amazon" of online vendors that will always have better prices than your local store. Most are just brick and mortar stores that decided to grow and sell online as well.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #7
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I'm in England I'd I almost choked on my dinner reading this ... That's ridiculous !!! You could of got all the grains posted from England for half of what you paid in the US , I'm all for supporting local brew shops I've got a grate one near me called the hop and grape( they post to the US) ... But I not only use them because they are local I use them because they are cheaper than the larger online shops, and the range they have is second to non, for ingredients and equipment ...I guess my point is ,I'm all for supporting your brew shop but the people who run them need to be in it not ,only for the money but have an understanding of what they are doing..
Rant over

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alix101 View Post
I'm in England I'd I almost choked on my dinner reading this ... That's ridiculous !!! You could of got all the grains posted from England for half of what you paid in the US , I'm all for supporting local brew shops I've got a grate one near me called the hop and grape( they post to the US) ... But I not only use them because they are local I use them because they are cheaper than the larger online shops, and the range they have is second to non, for ingredients and equipment ...I guess my point is ,I'm all for supporting your brew shop but the people who run them need to be in it not ,only for the money but have an understanding of what they are doing..
Rant over
THe OP is in Canada, not the US. I've never seen prices that high in the US
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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Paul you are right, there is no store like Amazon for home brew but there is no excuse for charging $8 a pound for marris otter malt when a 55lb sack from western malt distibutors in Saskatoon (less than 300km, 186 miles) is only $67! Either they need to change their suppliers or stop gouging! At these prices they wont be in buisness long!

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Old 06-05-2011, 10:00 PM   #10
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You got robbed. Call the store and ask the price for grains and hops, see if they saw you as a sucker and over charged you willingly. And anyone separating dry yeast into baggies is trying their best to ruin your beer.

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