Online kit prices vs buying ingredients at LHBS
Has anyone been able to purchase the ingredients for an extract kit at your LHBS cheaper or at least comparably to online? Yesterday, I purchased the identical ingredients for an online extract kit at my LHBS and it ended being about $20 more ($40 online vs. $60 at the store). Even with shipping and taxes included, the difference is about $17. I'm all for supporting my LHBS but that's a pretty big price discrepancy. The ingredients were about 6 oz of hops, 9 lb of DME and 1.5 lb of steeping grains.
My guesses for the discrepancies are:
1) Online store is packaging bulk ingredients in house instead of including prepackaged ingredients
2) Online store is possibly giving a discount for buying kits
3) Online store is possibly using lower quality ingredients for kits
4) LHBS is marking up the prices on ingredients (I tend not think they do this too much because I've compared individual ingredients between the LHBS and online and they are comparable)
It's about the same, but the main difference is convenience. If you order online make sure you buy from a vendor who packages your order fresh. Austin Homebrew will package it fresh each time. I've been to other big vendor based in California and found All grain kits on the shelf pre-milled and they had dust on them. Ask the vendor how fresh their orders are. With extract brews, freshness of extract is crucial to good beer.
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