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Old 04-07-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
GreenwoodRover
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I frequent about 3 different LHBS in the Chicago area (I know I'm lucky to be out and about for work a lot and it's nice we have a lot of options in Chicago).
I grabbed some misc stuff totaling about $35. While he was ringing me up i tried to strike up a conversation with the guy by asking if he had any plans for the AHA big brew day (I've gotten at least one email from another LHBS describing their plans for an instore group brew, with free food and homebrew swap), but his reply was "I have know idea what you're talking about." I went on to explain it but he cut me off midstride and explained that:
"he works the store for up to 60hrs a week 6 days a week and doesn't have time for all the clubs and competitions and stuff. Additionally he already brews twice a week and that's more than enough. He also went on to explain that he doesn't like sharing his brew or giving out samples because he doesn;t think its real good and sometimes even after 5 years at it it still doesn't always turn out. I mentioned dropping a plug for him on HBT he mentioned that he stays away from all the "online crap, the boards and such***"

WOW - I wished him luck and left, probably to never return.

In the case of the AHA Big Brew I would think it's a great opportunity to get more people into your place of business and increase your sales.
He's a newer owner and younger guy, but I'd think a LHBS is definately one of the types of businesses that if you're going to get into it you need to eat, sleep and breathe, brewing and all it's related events.

He did also mention that by head count he gets about 2-3X as many brewers as wine guys, but the wine guys spend about 10X as mich as the brewers, maybe that's the source of his lax attitude regarding brew related events.

***Disclaimer, not a direct, verbatim quote, but the general gist of a 10minute discussion.


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only the $500,000 strippers can handle the load.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
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... and by contrast, apparently is not only my LHBS doing a big ass brew session on May 2nd, they're giving away ingredients (you read that right) to everyone who signs up!


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Old 04-07-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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I am willing to bet that the LHBS in question is the one in Elmhurst. If that is the case, it only confirms my experience shopping there in the past. I am sure that the other place that will be holding the group brew is Perfect Brewing. They are much more out of my way but the one time I did shop there it was a very good experience. When I mentioned I was getting the final items before my first brew, Billy offered to give me his opinion and help on it if I brought in a sample.

 
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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I got the same lax attitude at my LHBS. I go in there all pumped up about brewing and buying this stuff and try asking questions that are brewing related and I just get this feeling like he doesn't even care and just wants me to get out of the store. This attitude combined with their outrageous prices is why I don't go there anymore and the fact that they are only open until 4:30 mon - fri and a few hours on Saturday.

 
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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That's why I asked him, one of the other chicago area places (ie a competitor) is giving away all the ingredients to do one of the 2 AHA recipes (your choice) to the first 8 people to sign up to brew (bring your own equipment).

If I had more AG batches under my belt and/or frequented that store more (which I will in the future) I would definately sign up...

EDIT:
Good guesses OLB... Billy is the man. If you haven't been to a party up at that store I would suggest it, I'm definately going to attend their thing on the 2nd...
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only the $500,000 strippers can handle the load.
<Insert list of brews planned, fermenting, or being consumed here>

 
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #6
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Dude! Did you miss the part where this was his JOB and worked 60 hrs at 6 days a week?

This may be all ****s and giggles to you, but try to understand where he is coming from. Perhaps some customer skills are in order for the guy.

It's funny that we expect the LHBS to be a hangout, chat room, etc. The dude behind the counter may be wishing for a little time at home.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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If he's not enjoying the work and his customers, he picked one hell of a career. I mean, you don't own a homebrew shop for the $$.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
If he's not enjoying the work and his customers, he picked one hell of a career. I mean, you don't own a homebrew shop for the $$.
I know! You do it for the senoritas!
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
If he's not enjoying the work and his customers, he picked one hell of a career. I mean, you don't own a homebrew shop for the $$.
Seriously? Do you do it for Free? Like every retailer they make a profit or they would not do it... period. If the guy feels slighted and has a choice, and it sounds like he does, go elsewhere.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:06 PM   #10

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It's funny that we expect the LHBS to be a hangout, chat room, etc. The dude behind the counter may be wishing for a little time at home.
Yeah, but a very big part of homebrewing is the camaraderie that happens in the LHBS. My LHBS (well, not really that local) sponsors our homebrew club, and Bob would pretty much give you the shirt off his back - and he's using his store/BOP as a staging ground for the AHA Big Brew.

I certainly don't hold LHBS owners to higher standards, but running the shop ain't all about the $$.



 
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