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Old 07-17-2009, 03:44 AM   #1
DeutscheMaster
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Default Thumbs up for Local Homebrew Store

So I just got back from Iraq, and decided it's time to embark on my own homebrew adventure. I googled some local stores and decided on the one closest to me. I was a little nervouse going in and knowing almost nothing. The owner saw me looking around and came over and asked if I needed help. I told him I was a new brewer and what I wanted to brew. He hooked me up with all the equipment I was missing, and was very nice. So here's a big thumbs up to The Beer Essentials in Tacoma. If you are a local you should check them out.

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Old 07-17-2009, 06:31 AM   #2
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That's great you had such a good experience.

When I went to my LHBS the first time, the owner sent me home with a book (that it turned out I already read) even though I was all set to buy my equiptment. He suggested that I read it and then stop back when I know exactly what I what. That kinda made me stratch my head, what salesman would send a potential customer away with just some literature and make them educate themselves and then pray they come back and purchase? With just a few simple questions he would have known I was ready to purchase and I knew what I wanted. (i didn't press the issue because I was moving in a few weeks, so i just stopped back in after I moved).

When I did finally buy my equipment, he had to order it for me and needless to say I was very anxious for it to arrive. I sat around for two days waiting for him to call and tell me it was in (he said i will come either thurs or friday). Finally, after not hearing from him I called him up shortly before they closed on friday to see if my stuff came, and he said it did. So I was able to pick it up Friday right before they closed. I was dissapointed he never called me up to let me know it was there, I would have loved to get it earlier... had I not called, who knows when I would have been notified.

When I picked up my equipment, he never took the time to go through all the pieces with me and show me how to use them, or what they are called or what they are for. That would have been helpful. When I got it all home, I stood there staring at all of the equipment with a blank look on my face before running to my books/magazines/computer to look up the equipment on my own to figure out what the hell it all was.

So clearly this guy is not a good saleman, and his customer service skills are lacking.

However, he is very nice and I can tell he means well. I've stopped in a few times with questions since (I didn't want to give up on him, so I kept giving him more chances because I want to support my LHBS) and he is always happy to help me with my questions and explain everything to me when I ask. So I can forgive him for his lack of customer service/salesman skills, he does mean well and wants to be helpful.

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Old 07-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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Southern Brewing Supplies in Tampa is AWESOME!

Their staff from the owners on down are knowledgable in Wine/Beer/Soda.

They offer some of the hardest to get grains, hops and yeasts as well as almost every piece of equipment you would need from kegging to buckets.

I can't say enough about how helpful their staff is there. They go out of their way to help you. They don't talk down to you, and in some cases offer some really good tips, substitutions and hints.

They also hold classes in every aspect of homebrewing so you're taught well. When I make the jump to all grain I'll take the class there for sure.

For those across the bridges in Tampa there's also Beer and Winemaker's Pantry. I personally haven't been there, but I've heard a LOT of people that talk highly of the place...ROADTRIP!

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Old 07-18-2009, 04:03 AM   #4
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When I first went to my LHBS, they also sent me away to read. I think the owner could sense that I had not done much resarch. I too asked myself why they would sent me away. They gave me a zymurgy magazine and pointed me to howtobrew.com. I came back a few weeks later, and am really happy that I did the research first. almost 60 batches later I still buy most of my stuff from them. I figure I should help to keep them in business, as most of their ingredient prices beat the online stuff. They recently opened a brewery that has doubled in size in a year. Also grain prices have not increased in 3+ years. Awesome shop. Point Brew Supply

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Old 07-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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For those across the bridges in Tampa there's also Beer and Winemaker's Pantry. I personally haven't been there, but I've heard a LOT of people that talk highly of the place...ROADTRIP!
I work right up the street from there and they are really good people. Mostly wine but an adequate selection of grains and hops. Pretty basic equipment selection but will also special order for you on request. I get 90% of my stuff there. Definitely thumbs up!
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Default My LHBS rocks.

My LHBS (California Brewing Co. Homebrew Shop) is run by Jaybird in Redding, CA...which is in Northern California, way north. It is a great little shop with everything you need to make beer, and some wine making stuff. Not to mention, if you can catch Jay there, he will school you in the fine art of beer making. He knows his stuff and is an all around nice guy. Anyone in Northern California, or passing through...or not, Jay will ship anywhere, should check it out! He will be launching a website soon...

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Old 07-26-2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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You guys are lucky. The first homebrew shop I went to here in SoCal (Long Beach) treated me like I just stepped off the turnip truck.
I use the one on Columbia Ave in Riverside now, even if it does mean a 2 hr round trip. If I am not in a hurry I order fron their HQ in Concord, Ca. Free Shipping over 60 bucks.
AP

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octang View Post

When I went to my LHBS the first time, the owner sent me home with a book (that it turned out I already read) even though I was all set to buy my equiptment. He suggested that I read it and then stop back when I know exactly what I what..
I would be kind of irritated if they sent me away with only literature without assessing my knowledge base of homebrewing. I'm the type of person that researches the crap out of something before I jump into it. When I bought my homebrewing kit I had already read Palmer's book from front to back and then some plus I was on here lurking for info. Granted when I bought my homebrew kit I didn't know everything (who does) but I new more than the basics and I knew exactly what I needed and not what I thought I should get.

I'm just saying that for a store owner to assume you don't know enough to buy a basic brewing kit without getting to know you first is like someone trying to brew beer for the first time with no directions to follow. I get irritable sometimes when my beer pipeline is low.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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If I came in to buy and the store owner refused to sell, then I would take my business elsewhere. I don't care if they mean well or not. I understand that if I buy a brewing kit it's not returnable. I also understand that a lot of people buy equipment and then never use it again. That could've been me but if I'm willing to plonk down the money then I'm willing to take that risk. I learn by doing. I'd rather screw up a batch or two learning on the fly (which is exactly what I did) than read and read and read and read and then finally do. It cost me about $50 more than someone doing heavy research beforehand but I'll wager I had more fun learning And that's not to say I didn't do any research beforehand. I picked up a copy of New Joy from the bookstore about a month before my first batch. It just took me that long to get to the brew shop to pick up a starter equipment kit.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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When I picked up my equipment, he never took the time to go through all the pieces with me and show me how to use them, or what they are called or what they are for. That would have been helpful..
Did you ask? There are a lot of good hobby type shops where the guys just don't have the sort of personality where they feel the need to start chatting up every customer, but most of them, if you ask, you'll get 45 minutes on the essentials of that hobby.



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