Feeling bad about not using my LHBS

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jakeintoledo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
263
Reaction score
24
Location
toledo
My LHBS is on par with midwestsupplies.com. On top of that, going in there I get to talk to other brewers who happen to be there, so that's a benefit I can't get. online ordering is definitely more money.

Having said that, I just had to order Caravienne off of midwestbrewing.com the other day because my place suggested C40 instead. I don't bleeve it's the same thing, sir.

And if I want something even a little out of mainstream in the way of hops, yeast or malt (as I mentioned) I gotta order it online. If I ask them, they'll special order stuff for me, though. All in all I can't complain.
 

Dirty25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
273
Reaction score
27
Location
Mackenbach
My LHBS store rocks. Small place with all the stuff you need to brew beer. They don't have all the fancy bells and whistle hardware people want but their ingredient selection is perfect. So yes sometimes I buy stuff online but yep I feel guilty about it.
 

Jakeintoledo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
263
Reaction score
24
Location
toledo
you guys are all lucky to have all these stores close by. I got one in my area code. the next closest one is a total ARSEHOLE and doesn't deserve me urinating on him if he were on fire.
 

troyh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
168
Reaction score
31
I live in Seattle. You'd think the LHBSs would be great here but they're not. There's 4 in the immediate Seattle area but more often than not, I find they don't have what I want and their selections are limited. I prefer online for the selection alone, and the prices are usually better even with shipping. For bulk grains, I drive 30 minutes away from Seattle.

Online companies started as LHBSs and figured out how to serve customers across the country while my LHBSs can't figure out how to service locals. It's just business and they are better-run businesses. Those are the ones that should survive. Why prop-up LHBSs and their lousy service?

As far as the "immediate need" goes, we can all patiently wait 4+ weeks for the yeast to eat sugar but we can't wait a few days for UPS/FedEx to deliver stuff? Those slow yeasts are the problem! ;-)
 

brettwasbtd

Awesomeness Award Winnner
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
1,796
Reaction score
165
Location
Damascus, MD
Yes, but that's my point. If it's slightly (~$3) more expensive but gets there faster than the guys halfway across the country, that might be of value to some people.

By the way, I'm not trying to be contrary or disagreeable, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the localish shop is more expensive AND has more expensive shipping. If they cost more and there's no benefit, then I agree with you 100% about going elsewhere with no hard feelings. I'll personally pay higher prices for a LOCAL HBS, but if I'm mail ordering anyway, I'll usually go with the least expensive. Not always---I had good experiences with one particular fairly large online shop, so I've mostly gone with them as long as prices are roughly comparable to the competition, even if theirs are an inconsequential couple bucks higher.
You are right, i wasn't thinking that the proximity would guarantee me delivery in the short time period, where another location (although usually quick) could be longer to get to me. I guess I am still a little bitter at this store cause they only sell specialty grains in 1lb increments...frustrating for me when I only need 4 oz of something haha

I live just out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, and I either buy my stuff at Northern Brewer, or Midwest Supplies. I've had great luck with both, and wouldn't dream of going anywhere else.
Well you are one of the lucky people who live close to two of the MAJOR online retailers whom everyone else refers to when they say they can get stuff cheaper online
 

jfr1111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
71
Location
Quebec
I have a lhbs in my small village, but they mainly, as in only, cater to wine makers, and the prices are ridiculous. I went there one day because I had broken a thermometer on brew day and they wanted to charge me 22$ for a floating one. Screw that.

There are several stores an hour or so away, and some of them are good, some of they are not. I buy all my grain and order all my liquid yeast from one place. The owner is nice enough, but you have to order everything in advance and her milling as been ****ty the last two or three orders... so much that I sprang for a grain mill. I'll still buy in bulk from her though: the prices are much cheaper than online and she has multiple suppliers.
 

ong

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
542
Location
Portland
I always struggle between my innate cheapness and my desire to buy local. I generally buy ingredients locally, and equipment mail order, since there's much better selection and pricing for gear. Except big stuff like carboys, of course, which I have always bought at one of my LHBSs.
 

adamjackson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
735
Reaction score
79
Location
Canaan New Hampshire
For me, the Lebanon Health Food Store has a home brew section and for basic things like bungs, very common yeast strains and hops, it's fine. 2-row is $1.20 a pound and you mill it yourself, honey malt is $1.72 a pound. I can do fine with the prices but have to improvise a lot as they simply don't have the selection I need.
---
The other store which is an hour away is Kettle to Keg. Their prices are outrageous. An extract saison with some orange peel and corriander cost me $130. No, I'm NOT kidding. they are charging 3x what I'd get on Midwest or NB. so I've stopped going there.


I just decided to stop doing impromptu brews and plan things out so I just ordered my next 5 batches of ingredients all being brewed over the next 10 days from Midwest and paid $210 for everything that I'll need, a porter, DIPA, Raspberry Hefe, Berliner Weisse and a coffee stout.

It's a shame that they're SO much cheaper even after the $30 shipping than my local places.
 

Airborneguy

Adjunct of the Law
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 24, 2009
Messages
10,741
Reaction score
870
Location
Isle of Staten
I had an "L"HBS - "L" because it was a few blocks from work, not home. When I got promoted I starting working somewhere far from the store, and at night. I still actually drive right past it on the way home, but at 8am. It sucks, but being that I have to pay a toll to get to this store, I don't see myself going there anytime soon during actual business hours unless it's an extreme brewing emergency, which has never happened to me. It sucks because I liked supporting them for the last 5 years, but it is what it is.
 

Jukas

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
911
Reaction score
98
Location
Santa Rosa
If you ever get a new (as in brand new construction) Whole Foods in your area check them out. We had 3 between my immediate city and the neighboring two. About a year ago they build a brand new Whole Foods not 5 miles from my house. In addition to a large craft brewing section, they put in a taproom, and home brewing supplies. Their base & specialty grains are equal or cheaper to the LHBS, their White labs vials are $1 cheaper and they carry the WHL Brett & Lacto/Ped bugs. Plus their dry goods (stick on thermometer, 2L flask, 3pc airlock, carboy handle etc) are 15 - 20% cheaper.

I still make my LHBS my first stop, because most of the people there are great and I can ask them questions about styles or processes I'm not used to. At Whole Foods it seems that the guy who knows about home brewing does the ordering & manages the section, but is rarely there. So it's great if you need items, not so great if you need advice. At this point I use Whole Foods as my backup LHBS as their hours are much better (8am-9pm 7days vs 10am-5pm Tues-Sat) but still make the LHBS my first stop if possible.
 
Top