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Old 07-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #21
Feb 2012
Posts: 141
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

i've only been to one lhbs and i've had only positive experiences. prices are, for the most part, excellent for ingredients. they have a good selection, minus some of the more difficult to locate hops (which are hit or miss there). besides my initial visit i don't ask much of them, just ring me up once i'm done grabbing everything i need and/or point out where something i need is located. they've done that pleasantly enough and always showed a mild interest in what i'm brewing. it's just the street from my work so super convenient to head over there on a lunch break.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:10 PM   #22
Nov 2011
Roy, Utah
Posts: 50
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

There is a lhbs about 40 minutes from me that used to be the only choice. I went there once and wasn't treated well, I didn't know you could crush your own grain so I asked for assistance. He acted like I asked him to give me a kidney, not only that but told me the recipe I had was garbage (ed's bavarian hefe from here).

Luckily a new shop opened in ogden that I use for everything, owner told me about the hops direct sale even to save me money since he is expensive on hops. I go in for a packet of yeast and end up bsing with him and his wife for over an hour.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:15 PM   #23
May 2010
Chandler, AZ
Posts: 2,116
Liked 158 Times on 115 Posts

I have one like that, and one that has awesome customer service. You can guess which one I go to.

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:17 PM   #24
Sep 2011
Vancouver, WA
Posts: 30
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

The closest LHBS to me has annoyed me lately. They are always trying to "downsell" me on something, or start a "this vs. that" debate. I walk in for a glass fermenter, they try to sell me plastic. I walk in for liquid yeast, they try to sell me dry packets. etc.

So I started shopping around (there's 4 or 5 within an easy drive from me). I found one that is fantastic, I drive out of my way and spend a little more $$ because they are friendly,helpful and not argumentative.

Like someone else suggested, open your own LHBS. Or order online. Never give stores with bad customer service your business!

-- Homebrewers do it in the garage

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Old 07-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #25
Feb 2012
Horn Lake, MS
Posts: 27

There are two in my area. One is great with a very helpful and friendly owner. The other is allright but the owner is a little weird.

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:04 PM   #26
DirtyOldDuck's Avatar
Jan 2012
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 548
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I live in a Homebrewshop mecca, and almost all of them are helpful. And well stocked. There's at least 6 that I can think of in a 45 minute drive in one direction or another from where I live.
I've probably got that many within 20 minutes or so from my house. The Portland metro area must have 10, 12, maybe 15 by now. I've used 4 of them and there is only one where I refuse to spend any money. I honestly don't think the woman who owns/works there understands the concept of being nice to customers so they come back. Anyone on the Eastside of Portland can probably identify which one I am talking about.

The biggest store in Portland has lousy hours, but is the "go to" place for something hard to find if you want to purchase it locally. Its a little more expensive, though.

Another is also a U-brew and has its own little brew pub. Good prices, also. $36 for a 50 pound bag of 2-row.

I try to support a guy who just opened a shop a year ago in Gresham (east of Portland). Small shop and a little expensive, but helpful and friendly people. It is also a bottle shop with a pretty good selection, including 10 or 11 beers on tap (keezer in the back room) and a little courtyard where they sometime have live music. Biggest problem is getting to be the number of people who come in just for a beer rather than homebrew ingredients or equipment!

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:23 PM   #27
Feb 2009
Columbus, OH
Posts: 21

I have 2 locals that I use and one that I have never been to, but the feedback I hear is positive. One that is great, a little pricey but they are helpful. One that they act like they have no interest in my business. It stinks that your local isn't the best, but if they are that bad you can always buy online.

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:30 PM   #28
Nov 2004
Posts: 2,622
Liked 205 Times on 171 Posts

Originally Posted by KirbyTails View Post
Am I the only one who seems to live near an unhelpful LHBS? Everybody I've spoken to agrees with me on this one - they're kind of a bunch of ********. I mean, they'll help you if you ask for it, but they always act like it's a major inconvenience.
Posts like this never cease to amaze me. I always feel bad for folks whose only LHBS seems to be run by A holes. How can somebody with that kind of mentality open a HBS? People like that obviously just haven't got a clue. That's just the opposite of what you need to do in the homebrew business. I'm lucky I guess since I live minutes from a great LHBS so I have to give him a little plug:

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:46 PM   #29
b-boy's Avatar
Jun 2011
The Frozen Tundra, NY
Posts: 4,393
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This is pretty comon in a lot of specialty stores. I've run into other places with similar attitudes. Wherever there is a high-end hobby that requires extensive knowledge you get these guys in business. You have people who are the only game in town and know it. They look down their noses at their customers, who they feel aren't as knowledgable as they are. They probably got into the business because they enjoy the activity they represent, but don't have the people skils to do it right.

I've run into it with homebrew shops, SCUBA stores, high-end bike shops, and boating stores. It really is aggrevating.

There is an very good store in Buffalo, NY. They have a decent selection. The prices are a little high, but not crazy-high.
There is a young guy who runs it. He's very knowledgable and helpful. When he's not there it's kind of a crap-shoot.

I buy specialty grain there a lot. I generally get equipment online because it's way cheaper.

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:57 PM   #30
Registered User
May 2012
Titusville, FL
Posts: 120
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I have a good one, fairly close by fortunately (different town but same county) that I've bought most of my ingredients and gear from, in Melbourne, FL. They are the only LHBS in Brevard County and the owner and store manager, Brock and Mike (Brock's only employee), are really nice, knowledgable and helpful, and the store is open 7 days a week. Super nice guys. And they have a web site too:

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