Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Better to buy supplies online or in person?
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Better to buy supplies online or in person?

wonder if its better to buy these stuff online or in a real store in town. A friends of mine said that the store in town is better because you can buy liquid yeast and don't have to have it shipped which could risk damaging the yeast even with a cold pack. Also said that the store in town has the freshest stuff.

Do you buy more of your stuff online or in person?

just wanted to know everyone's thoughts here..


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Old 09-06-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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I buy my stuff locally. I believe in supporting local business. And shopping for supplies is A LOT more fun in person than online. You can't taste the difference between a Maris otter and 2 row grains online.

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Old 09-06-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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both of my "local" shops have pretty fresh stuff on hand. but if I want Wyeast, I have to order it anyhow since neither carry it. a lot of online stores have very fresh ingredients since they sell a ton online. I have gotten probably gallons of liquid yeast from online orders over the past 14 years and never had a problem.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:31 AM   #4
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I buy mostly locally, but I'm in Chicago. I buy some things at my lhbs (BevArt) and some in bulk via Mid Country's local warehouse. I also buy hops online, via 7 Bridges for organically certified hops or Farmhouse Brewing.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:33 AM   #5
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I buy hops in bulk online, I buy everything else locally. Fortunately I have an awesome LHBS with prices comparable to online and the owner is a really nice guy.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:47 AM   #6
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I usually buy local. As previously stated, I want to support my local businesses. I'm probably paying a little more, but I'm not exactly scraping by.

I think of it as making an investment. If I decide to brew in a whim, or I need something quick, like an airlock or sanitizer, I can just stop by and pick them up. Also I'm a sucker for the free shipping trap (If you spend x amount). If all I need is something small I probably end up saving money by not filling my cart with extras just to save a few bucks on shipping.

All in all, I feel that if I support my LHBS (investment), they will be there to support me when I need it (return on investment.)

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Old 09-06-2013, 01:58 AM   #7
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My nearest LHBS is 75 miles, one way, and it's small so I worry about the turnover. And, shipping often adds a pretty good chunk to the cost if you're ordering extract kits.

Fortunately (well....) I pass through Minneapolis enough for work that I can usually make a detour to Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies, or both, on the way home to keep me in enough supplies.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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I have a hard time believing most LHBS have the same amount of turnover as an online store. For example, I'm sure Northern Brewer pushes through extract much faster than a local store. My LHBS doesn't have the greatest prices, and they don't refrigerate their dry yeast, which is a turn off for me as I am an avid US-05 user, so I usually order online. Of course, when wanting to brew on the fly, or to pick up an ingredient or two I am happy to support the local business.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:21 AM   #9
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Some stuff is better to pick up locally, like liquid yeast, as long as your LHBS stocks what you need. Particularly liquid yeast is tricky to get shipped. If you buy liquid yeast online, I bet that pack of ice (or 2) you added is defrosted before it even leaves the store. Then it will be sitting in a truck and a few distribution centers for a few days. In winters, they may fare somewhat better.

Your LHBS is also good for specialty grains and other stuff plus all your ad hoc sundries, all depending on what they stock.

I buy my base malts in group bulk buys in 50 pound sacks. For larger "capital" purchases, I usually find better deals or a better selection online, and that justifies the shipping most of the times.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:52 AM   #10
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I shop locally. I might start buying hops online again. The last year my only choices for non-pellet hops are c-hops. I also think I could get a better variety online.

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