Originally Posted by straylight77
I find their prices for extract to be a little high (just started shopping for my first batch).
I also stumbled upon this: http://www.homebrewgearcanada.com/
Anyone use them before?
Extract is expensive no matter where you go. I made the switch to All-Grain recently only after just starting, and not only are my beers much better, I can do a 5 gallon batch for about 12 bucks with bulk grains, hops and re-used yeast. Extract was costing me between 20 and 30 dollars for the same batch, and the beer wasn't near as good.
I can totally vouch for Spencer at homebrewgearcanada. His stock isn't as large as some of the others, but his customer service is second to none. I placed an order after lunch on a wed. and had it in my hands Thurs. morning. Shipping was reasonable as the more you ship, the sweeter the deal.
If you don't mind driving to Fergus, Ontario which is near Guelph you can go to Gilbertson and Page
which is a wholesaler of grains, but they do sell to homebrewers. Way cheaper than you will get retail, for example I just picked up 3 - 55 pound bags of 2-row. They charge $35 for a 55 pound bag, and $40 for any other malts, like Maris Otter, Crystal malts, etc. They have a really good selection. Keep in mind they only sell 55 pound bags, and you have to call ahead. Rumor has it they are opening a homebrew storefront, but they have yet to do that. There are no taxes on grains/extract in Ontario as it's considered foodstuff.
For bulk hops I recommend Bob Latimer at www.beerandwinefilter
. Great prices, and customer service. Bob gets his hops from hopsdirect, and they are always fresh. Average price for a pound of hop pellets is $10. Beats the hell out of paying 2-3 dollars for an ounce retail. Email him for price/availablility.
Your other option is Randy at Canadian Homebrew Supplies. He has the biggest selection, and you can pick up the stuff at his place in Brampton. Sometimes hard to get a hold of, but he is a busy guy and does a brisk business. You live in Peterborough so you could make a road trip out of Fergus/Brampton and save some shipping costs. He is apparantly opening a storefront in the spring.
If you need anymore help/advice let me know, as I've researched this exhaustively. We really need to continue to support the homebrew shops in Ontario as they are few and far between.