Are Group Buys DEAD

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

giraffeman

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
288
Reaction score
14
Location
NJ
What happened to the Group buys? I haven't seen any in the past few year.
Did the pandemic put a end to them? or has the cost no longer made it worth it.
I know a while back the malt distributers only wanted to sell to Brewery's or homebrew shops. Any insight from people that ran them in the past?
 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,444
Reaction score
714
The group I used to do them with hasn't done one in a long time but the last few were so light on participation I'm not sure it was worth the organizer's effort. It was a bit of a haul for me and I'm really not sure it was worth participating vs stocking up at Great Fermentations when going through Indy--savings was about $10 a bag so I'd save maybe $30 per buy, but have to drive 45 minutes each way to pick it up vs stopping 5 minutes out of the way on a trip I'd be taking anyway.

That group did them through a local brewery who tacked the bags on to their order as a gesture of good will to the brewing community.
 
OP
OP
giraffeman

giraffeman

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
288
Reaction score
14
Location
NJ
Matt m I suspect you are correct just not worth the effort.
It does look like the Hobby in general has decreased in the past few years, and like you said the travel cost to pick up a few sacks, (with Gas prices so high), eat away at the savings.

So A question to others that did participate in Group Buys, where do you now get your bulk grain ?
or are you just ordering what you need for each batch .
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
835
Reaction score
33
Location
Ellicott City
I am with you! I too love to buy my grains in bulk. It has also been several years since I was able to do so. Buying for each batch takes too much effort, for me, so I've kind of slowed down.

I used to get mine locally, but they had since stopped, and I moved so wouldn't be able to participate anyway.

It seems breweries don't like doing this as much as they used to. Maybe the longer they brew the more they forget where they came from? Not that I enjoyed bothering them anyway.

I'm close-ish to you @giraffeman so if you happen upon anything let me know, and I'll do the same.
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
2,436
Location
Gainesville
I stopped participating in them because I realized that buying a 50lb sack of grain to save $10 over the course of a year+ just isn't worth the hassle of storing it, plus I prefer to use more fresh ingredients.

I just used my last bit of maris otter purchased at the end of 2020

I just don't brew enough to make it worth it really
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
835
Reaction score
33
Location
Ellicott City
I'm ramping back up, so I need more. I also buy about 20 sacks at a time, otherwise it's not worth it, as you say. Those sacks will be gone in a year.

As a test, because people seem to say it a lot, I tried some years old next to some "fresh" and they were no different. Of course I haven't been a judge for 30+ years, just a brewer, and a judge later in life, but this was after brewing for a while.

I don't think the malt you are getting "fresh" is as fresh as you think it is. Unless you have lot numbers you are looking at to verify.

I could see the argument if I was watching the guy scoop up my grains and then watch him malt it and bag it, but this stuff is sitting on docks, warehouse floors, truck floors, shipped through wet/dry, cold/hot, etc.

In other words, you rarely know the provenance of what you get. And that goes for anything you don't grow at home.
 

Latest posts

Top