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Old 11-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
findlaym
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Default best place for supplies: Canada

Both northern brewer and midwest supplies won't ship to canada. I also don't really want to deal with the freight forwarders if I don't have to. there are a few online stores (canadian home brew supplies etc) but they are like double the price on a lot of things because of the high Canadian dollar. I have 2 questions:

1) where is the best/cheapest canadian home brew supplier?
2) are there any large US shops that will ship across the border?

Right now I am just getting going. I got a bunch of used stuff off kijiji and I need things like carboy brushes, stoppers, sanitizer etc.

thanks

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Old 11-22-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Austin Homebrew will ship up here....

I refuse to deal with anyone who wants me to use a forwarder.

Its really silly they wont ship to Canada....its not hard.

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Old 11-22-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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I have to be honest, I love Canadian homebrew supplies, and the selection that they have. Unfortunately the shipping kind of kills me, so I try to stock up on the heavy stuff like 2-row when I go to the big city (only like once a year). What things specifically do you find too expensive?

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Old 11-22-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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I guess I don't find anything "too expensive". I just find that things are cheaper in the states. I'm not ragging on canadian retailers for gouging or anything, it's just that we have a high CAD right now and I would take advantage if I could.

even if shipping is slightly more from the sates, we should have an increased buying power with the dollar right now. I could drive down to Canadian Homebrew supplies but by the time you buy gas and drive on the 401 you might as well just order from the web....

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Old 11-22-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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Oh man, I wish I could drive there. I have to drive 5 hours one way to get to Winnipeg so that I can buy a sack of 2 row for $65 in the same province where its made. Canadian homebrew supplies sells that same sack for $55 half way across the country. Trust me, a little 401 time groovin to the oldies (or whatever you listen to) is well worth it.

Speaking of which, I think its just about time for me to put together another order.

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Canadian Homebrew Supplies is the only one I've ordered from so far. He does not have a storefront yet, so you have to place your order online ahead of time so he can pull your order for pickup. He does accept cash payments as well.

Otherwise I have no idea who else is in the GTA; homebrewersretail.com is in Whitby but I don't know what they are like.

You would think based on how much Canadians love their beer we would have no shortage of competitive home brew suppliers in a province with 13 million people.

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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I also found a Hops farm near Kingston to order fresh hops from.

http://www.rootsdown.ca/hops/ordering

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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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?

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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Here in Calgary, we have a couple decent local retailers (The Vinyard, Home Vintner). Their prices are reasonable, and if you give them a call, they'll probably ship an order out. Not sure, but certainly worth a quick phone call. At least then you're only paying domestic shipping.

But yeah, the whole CAN-US exchange is a bummer, especially now that the dollar is regularly within 5% of parity. Also, if you do purchase from the US online, ensure they don't use UPS. UPS infamously charges absolutely insane brokerage fees (typically around 30-50%). USPS and Fedex are usually around 5%.

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Old 11-22-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straylight77 View Post
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.
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