The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What do you Look for in a LHBS?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-14-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
FishinDave07
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,360
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default What do you Look for in a LHBS?

The deal is that the nearest HBS doesn't have the greatest prices/selection so i find myself ordering online (The second closest HBS is 4 hours away...) Some things that i look for in a HBS is a good website (i hate sites that are crappy and full of dead luniks or were last update 3/12/97 ), reasonable prices, knowledgable staff, and good selection. What are some of the "perks" your LHBS offer? What makes them better than the rest?

Dave

__________________
FishinDave07 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 07:32 PM   #2
ohiobrewtus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ohiobrewtus's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,814
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

This may be a bit crass, but my answer to your question is that I don't look at all.

I made a few trips to the LHBS, but I got tired of them not having something I wanted, the long lines, the terrible parking and the high prices. I order everything online and don't feel the least bit guilty about it.

I have a 40 minute drive each way to the LHBS. In my vehicle that's about 5 gallons of gas plus my time.

$6.99 flat shipping right to my door > $15 in gas + 1 hr 20 min driving everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

The LHBS was in business before I started brewing, and unless some of their loyal customers take my route I'm sure that they will be just fine without me.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Well, if you *love* it.... again, note that my A.S.S. has five pounds.
ohiobrewtus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
jpsloan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Market, MD
Posts: 757
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Well, there is a LHBS a half-hour away from where I live. And I'm about to move ten minutes away from it. So, I've never been tempted to order online. I guess that means, to me, geographical convenience is the key factor for a LHBS. If it's too far away, it's not worth it.

Prices aren't a dealbreaker with me, since I only brew once every six weeks or so (when I'm not packing up and moving), and an extra five bucks on my ticket won't make me blink.

What I really love about my LHBS is that, unless they're in the middle of a BOP or class, you're almost always guaranteed a good conversation with people who know what the hell you're trying to do. Thus, I'd say that my second key factor would be to have employees who are 1) friendly, and 2) knowledgeable.

The social component of visiting the LHBS is really more than half the reason I go!

__________________
"An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold on to a blade of grass, and keep from slipping off the face of the Earth."
jpsloan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
jezter6
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Joppatowne, MD
Posts: 4,312
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Online: Well designed website, ease of ordering/cart management, the ability to not have to create an account to buy.

In store: Friendly help, knowledgeable help, etc. I don't care about prices - I'll gladly pay a bit more to support a great local shop that I can go swap beers and chit chat for an hour or two with staff members who are cool. I've stopped off without the intent to purchase anything - just to share some brews and talk potential recipe ideas. An hour and a few beers later, I spent money that I didn't expect to. Moral of the story - you can pry money out of me with friendly service and a six-pack.

__________________

I am a member of the Maryland Brewday Group - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/groups/md-brew-day/

MD Dec Brewday 12/11/10 - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f20/md-p...ew-day-195534/

jezter6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
NWernBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burien, WA
Posts: 620
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

More than anything, I like to see, touch and taste what my money is buying. I do not like buying online and there is so much local competition in my area that I do not get gouged. I can look and compare prices online and go where gives me the best value for material - if I am just buying 1 or 2 things its always the closest.

Also - I hate waiting for deliveries.

Also - I hate delivery services. See "I hate FedEx/UPS" style rants.

Also - I hate not getting the right thing.

Also - I hate impersonal service.

Also - I hate not hearing about a new product that they recently started carrying.

Also - I hate not being able to trouble-shoot a through a blank spot of their stock with a staff member that knows the stock.

Also... I just like going somewhere and buying in a store - it is a much more satisfying feeling than clicking "add to basket."

__________________

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. --Frank Zappa

NWernBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
FishinDave07
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,360
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus
$6.99 flat shipping right to my door
mmm...Austin Homebrew

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsloan
you're almost always guaranteed a good conversation with people who know what the hell you're trying to do
Yeah, i've heard some ridiculous sh#% about customer service at a HBS (the one 4 hours away from me)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6
the ability to not have to create an account to buy
I guess you have to look at it from the HBS side of it. communications via e-mail for promotions, new products, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWernBrewer
see, touch and taste what my money is buying
I remember when i bought my first ingredient kit, i had no freakn' clue of what specialty grains i was getting, what hops, pellet or leaf, etc.
__________________
FishinDave07 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 08:41 PM   #7
Uncle Fat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Beervana
Posts: 135
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Got 3 of them within a 1/2 hour drive (and another that's about 45 min). 2 of the three have knowledgeable staff, 2 of the three have extensive ingredient selections, one has a fab shop, one is a Blichmann retailer... it all depends on where I'm coming from (home or work) and what I need (hardware or ingredients). Gotta say, I'm feeling pretty spoiled.

__________________

Our beverage that art in kegs,
Hallowed be thy tap,
With thee supplied, we will imbibe,
At home as we do in the public house.
Give us this day our liquid bread
And forgive us our spills
As we forgive those who spill upon us.
Lead us not unto hangovers
But deliver us from overindulgence.
Ahh Malt.

Buy a man a beer and he wastes an hour. Teach a man to brew and he wastes a lifetime.
-annonymous

Uncle Fat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2008, 08:48 PM   #8
jezter6
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Joppatowne, MD
Posts: 4,312
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishinDave07
I guess you have to look at it from the HBS side of it. communications via e-mail for promotions, new products, etc.
Maybe - but I (like many people here I would suspect) end up opting out of such communications - or complaining about all the damn spam you get because they don't have an opt out/make it difficult to opt out.

To me, it's like going job searching. I know it's a pain in the arse and I send out tons of resumes a week via email - but the last thing I want to do is go through a long sign up procedure where I re-copy my entire resume to the site profile only to not only NOT get called for an interview, but get spammed about company crap from a place that didn't even bother to call me.

I purchase online the same way. If I have to give my email address out again, wait for a verification email, respond to the verification - just to order something...I'm more likely to go somewhere else. The internet is about INSTANT gratification, and we as a society are also all about instant gratification. If you're going to make me go through hoops to sign up, I'll take my business somewhere else. You don't need my email address so you can sell it to a spam company.

Sorry, but my theory is - if I don't expressly want you to contat me (ie: sign up for your newsletter voluntarily) then I shouldn't have to give it to you. I shouldn't need to add it to some sort of account profile if I've asked you not to contact me and your privacy policy says you're not going to sell it. What else is it needed for? The answer is STILL spam.

I had to give my email address to one online store and the owner spams me for limted edition wine kit orders and I can't figure out how to get off the list. Luckily, I have a good spam block and blacklisted him instead.
__________________

I am a member of the Maryland Brewday Group - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/groups/md-brew-day/

MD Dec Brewday 12/11/10 - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f20/md-p...ew-day-195534/

jezter6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-15-2008, 12:19 AM   #9
NWernBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burien, WA
Posts: 620
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishinDave07
I remember when i bought my first ingredient kit, i had no freakn' clue of what specialty grains i was getting, what hops, pellet or leaf, etc.
Good point - but for us who know what we are looking for or are looking at new ingredients there is almost no virtual alternative that holds a candle to physically holding something in your hand. If is also difficult to make value decisions blindly - if you know the manufacturer sells consistantly good product or know a person with a like item, well, that's different.

I am not opposed to internet sales - I just hate sticking my neck out there. Maybe I just need to pop my internet sales cherry and buy something small from a good dealer and feel better about it. I would pay for the shipping to not worry.

But, going to somebody who treats you well - priceless. I just don't want to give up some human interaction things in this age of faceless nameless consumer trade - and I enjoy going to my LHBSs (plural.)
__________________

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. --Frank Zappa

NWernBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-15-2008, 12:48 AM   #10
DeathBrewer
Maniacally Malty
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeathBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,825
Liked 201 Times on 112 Posts

Default

i'm lucky. my LHBS gets me everything i need. very informative, very helpful, low prices, the whole works.

occasionally i'll go somewhere else if i need a weird grain (pale chocolate, chocolate rye, or something crazy) but in general, there is NOWHERE else i would rather be than at my LHBS.

BUT...if they were anything like some of the other places i've visited, then i would drop them immediately for some of the great online stores. i'm all about supporting local, but that's because local is usually better around here.

__________________
Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

"Death is always with us." - Brewpastor

Quote:
DIAICYLF
We will remember...
DeathBrewer 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
lhbs polk121 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 07-14-2012 05:12 PM
went to the LHBS to get CO2 and... anderj Recipes/Ingredients 4 01-26-2009 06:55 PM
I need a LHBS Srm277 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 01-23-2009 06:58 AM
Lhbs MSbrewer General Beer Discussion 2 06-25-2008 06:02 PM
LHBS out of everything! mrk305 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 10-14-2007 01:35 PM