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Old 04-02-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
dubbel dutch
dubbel dutch's Avatar
Oct 2007
Plattsburgh, NY
Posts: 79

I'm a 22 year-old home brewer and it seems like every time I go into a home brew shop I get a sort of cold holier-than-thou-youngster treatment. Last shop I went to the guy pedantically talked to me like I knew absolutely nothing about brewing and tried to sell me things I didn't need without asking me if I needed them... he just started punching things into the register (and everything was a bit overpriced compared to my LHBSs).

I get the feeling that there could possibly be made more of an effort geared at welcoming younger and less experienced budding home brewers into this exclusive private old men's club. Granted, we college students are notoriously strapped for cash and eager to ask lots of annoying questions, but didn't most of y'all start out as poor college students as well?

If the youth is the future of brewing, then don't we deserve some encouragement or am I missing something obvious like: redundancy of my kind of people showing up asking questions, generational gap, personal bad luck, home brewers having big egos by default, etc...?

Excuse my ventilations... just wanted to throw it out to HBS owners/workers to consider a more nurturing attitude (maybe that way you can sell more products while also inspiring younger brewers to someday become as passionate as you are [or were when you had decided to become full time home brewer]
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
Posts: 3,725
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Legal customer is a customer. I agree, anyone who can legally purchase supplies in their state should be treated with some basic respect.

Then again, any business owner has an equal right to drive business away by failing to treat customers with respect if they choose....Plenty of online suppliers out there that are more than happy to take your business if your LHBS couldn't be bothered.

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Old 04-02-2008, 08:27 PM   #3
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Oct 2006
Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,787
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Must be your LHBS... both of them around my area treat me just fine.

I'm 25, but literally get told by every other person I meet that I look 18...
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
c.n.budz's Avatar
Feb 2007
Pistol Wavin' New Haven, for now...
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Ehh... Chances are that guy was just a douche looking to make extra money off of you because he assumed you were ignorant. Some people are just jerks.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
olllllo's Avatar
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,330
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It ain't necessarily age based from my experience.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #6
bethlehembrewer's Avatar
Mar 2008
Veneta, OR
Posts: 629

At least your getting some emotion out of the guy! The guy at my LHBS is cool and all, but he is also very mundane, and doesn't offer help without me asking. He is great when asked and I dont get the feeling like he is treating me like a Noob or a youngster. Maybe its that he is always busy, who knows.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 3,106
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Originally Posted by olllllo
It ain't necessarily age based from my experience.
I would agree. I'm over 50 and got the same treatment when I first came to the local store. They are better now since getting to know me a bit.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
mrfocus's Avatar
Oct 2007
Montreal, Canada
Posts: 573
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I'm young and got decent treatment from my LHBS. Course, their fans of kit and kilo beers.

I ended up taking a part time job there. To my knowledge, I'm the second most knowledgeable person there (only after the owner, since I've never questioned him about AG brewing as I never work with him). Classic example happened two weeks ago. A fellow co-worker, about my age, was explaining to a new customer how the malt is placed on the store shelves. On the right side, there is base grain (2-row, 6-row, pilsner, marris otter) and on the left specialty grains (flaked maize, cara-pils, roasted barley, etc.). He said "You can't make a beer with only these types of grains (pointing at the specialty grains, specifically Munich). In my head I'm going "OMG, that customer must never learn about Munich and Vienna Lager."

I freaking love working there, and most of the beer crowd (those who actually want to do more than Kit and kilo and Wort in a Box) are young (18-25). Basically, it's up to the open-mindedness. I think the whole mentality of "if you're under 21 and get caught with booze, you must die" in the US (although most people here seem to see it differently... who the heck is propagating that mentality?) is what is causing you problems, although it might just be that the guy doesn't like what he's doing. If your not happy with the treatment you get, try finding a LHBS that will treat you decently, or just come here for info and order online.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
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Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I've been treated very badly in a number of stores, actually. In one, (a party store/wanna be HBS) I asked the guy if he had any hops or yeast in the refrigerator since they were all sitting out. He got all huffy and told me that he's been in business for 15 years and I obviously didn't know a thing about brewing. I've also been completely ignored in some HBS. I'm old, so it's not my age. I think it's because they assume I know nothing about brewing by the looks of me.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
Feb 2008
San Diego
Posts: 101
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I'm 23 - My LBHS dudes are pretty cool. They started talking to me about recipes and lagering and all kinds of other stuff.

I was at a wine tasting event that went pretty badly for me though out in Santa Barbara. I was standing in line to taste a bunch of Zins. The reserves they had at this one tent were pretty much gone - but I was the next in line and there was enough for a last taste. Well - I didn't get to taste them because the woman in the tent asked me to step to the side, then casually poured the last tastes for this older woman behind me. I asked why I couldn't taste and the woman behind the bench told me not to be rude.

I paid my money - I had as much a right to taste any of the wines there as the older woman behind me did.

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