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Old 09-27-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Broke up with my LHBS today

Today marks a sad day in my life. I ended my relationship today with my LHBS after what I consider to be 'bad business.' It all began last night when my father and I decided to brew up the Bells' Two Hearted Ale clone listed here under the IPA recipes. I buy my base grains in bulk so I had my 2-row on hand. However, I had to pick up S-04, cara-pils, crystal 20, and 10 oz. of Centennial.

It all comes down to the hops. They have charts of current inventoried hops and their respective AA%. I saw that they didn't have centennials so I started subbing out the hops with Cascades x 2 for every ounce of Centennial and some Columbus at a 1:1 ratio. 1 of the 5 employees then told me that they just received a huge shipment of hops today and they have a few pounds of Centennial along with every other hop replenishment.

Fantastic! I can actually do this recipe to clone, without substitution. He fills my 10 ounces of Centennial and proceeds to tell me that if he were the one who agreed to filling my order, that he wouldn't have let me order 10 ounces of the 5 pounds of Centennial in his stock, "due to limited availability." He did fill my 10 ounces but he pointed out that this shipment was showing 8.1%, whereas the recipe I had in Beersmith showed the AA% at 10%. I asked for 2 additional ounces and he said, "No. I can't. It's not a matter of me playing favorites, it's that we have to ration our supplies." I look at him......and the other 6 ounces from the 1 lb bag, andask, "really?" Yep, sorry he tells me.

The conversation got very awkward. I was in disbelief. I couldn't believe I was looking at another 6 ounces of hops and he was denying me an additional 2. The feeling could be equated to stealing candy from a kid. I have been a big spender at this LHBS. I've easily spent over $2000 with them over the past 2.5 years from ingredients every two weeks or so, to a barley crusher, to 4 cornies, to countless parts, valves, minerals, sugars, sanitizers, etc.

They know who I am, but to their dismay, can forget who I am, because I don't agree with the way they conduct business. It's not even worth an effort to express my concerns to them as their are 2 other LHBS's in my vicinity. This particular one was in freehold, nj and I bid thee farewell.

You don't do business that way!

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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Wow, that sounds like a messed up business plan - Set maximums orders in the hopes that others will come and buy the rest (although they most likely would) instead of making the customer that is in the store now, with money, happy. Fair enough you would ditch that place.
Did you buy the other stuff from them or leave it on the conter and go to the another LHBS?

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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I may be stubborn but still have common sense. I bought it, then left. Otherwise I would have had to make another trip to some other LHBS to find out they didnt have what I wanted While I have 3 LHBS to choose from, they are all in opposite directions of each other.

I will ponder at this for a while though

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:06 AM   #4
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You shoulda whipped out your phone (assuming you have the numbers to the other LHBSs ) right there in the store and called to palce an order and taken your business to them.
Why do people not want to do their job in this day and age. It is so easy to make the customer happy but it is almost like employes try to piss the customers off because of some BS policy.

So you didn't buy from them, did you?

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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Did you at least get breakup sex......I mean crystal malt?

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:15 AM   #6
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you should place a phone call or email to the owner of the business and let him know, very politely, what happened and why you wont be taking your business there anymore. At least give the owner a chance to make it right. If he stands by the limit, take your business elsewhere. I love farmhouse brewing supply.com for hops...they get my business and have always provided great service.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:22 AM   #7
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Back 2 or 3 years ago, this is how all the homebrew shops where. $4/oz. for most domestic hops (the ones you actually want) and you could only buy 2 ounces. It was pretty common even among the large online shops.

On first thought the old saying "two in the hand..." but I guess not having hops available for the new brewer that comes in can end up costing more business. But really it sounds more like this guy should work a little harder at getting hops, Centennial should not be that hard to get really.

Anyway, 2011 crop will be in soon.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:23 AM   #8
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I buy hops and malt in bulk aside from yeast and some specialty grains... while I understand the desire to "ration" if they get limited supply or they are running low when a shipment has been delayed (LHBS once told me they weren't sure they could sell me a whole sack of Golden Promise because they were almost out but eventually sold it to me anyways)... the day the shipment comes in they have enough time to place another order if need be and not run out of supply. JMO.

If they do so little business that they can't replenish 5 lbs of hops before they run through them, then they are using some god-awful supply chain and I would question their long term viability in the first place.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:33 AM   #9
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I heard something similar about my store. Guy goes to buy several 55 pounders of grain and guy gets profanity thrown at him. Thats when guy started getting bulk grain elsewhere. A lot of these stores have a monopoly on the local which isn't good for the customer but you have to buy stuff there to support the convenience factor. Specialty grains and yeast anyway.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:40 AM   #10
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I heard there is a shortage of Centennial hops. So maybe they can't get more of it.

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