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I wish my LHBS sold...

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jrowland74

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I recently picked up a part time job at my LHBS. Since I am there for several hours at a time and now have a pretty good feel for the inventory, I have begun to notice things that are not available there which I would like to buy. For example, they carry chrome faucets, but no Perlick or other SS faucets, only vinyl beer line, very few stir bars and none with a pivot ring, etc. This led me to wonder... What kinds of things do you wish your LHBS carried? I can understand not carrying something like Blichmann burners since that's a lot of money to tie up for something that likely won't sell often and they probably can't compare with online prices, but what sorts of things does your LHBS not carry that you feel you would purchase locally (especially repeat purchases) if available?
 

FloppyKnockers

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Depends on which one I go to. One of them sells mostly leaf hops. Hardly any pellet, But they do have a sweet black lab that roams the floor. Another one has a limited selection of bar ware and literature (books and free recipes), but they do have an amazing selection of hops and grains. Another one down the road is my emergency go-to. They have limited selection of just about everything, but they're open way later than the other two. Another one is a bit further away and has almost no equipment (buckets, sanitizers, pots, caps) but a fine selection of grains, yeast, and hops.

I know. Life is rough.
 

NewJersey

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Mine has most of what I need.
I wish they could refill c02 tanks.
I'd pay a pretty good premium for the convenience and especially since the closest place that fills c02 tanks is 20 minutes further away and has terrible hours.
 

CJ-3

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Specialty grains in half pound packages.

I don't always need a full pound.
 

Qhrumphf

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There's a few more obscure ingredients they don't regularly stock (less popular English malts and English hops), but they've always been able to order something for me if I want it and they can get it (some stuff they simply can't get though, but that's rare). Same goes for equipment.

For example, I wanted an FG-range hydrometer (ie the 0.990-1.020 range one), and they got em for me.

Also, I was under the impression, having never been able to afford any Blingmann equipment, that they contracted with local shops so that you basically ordered through the shop, but it was sent to you from the manufacturer. Of I may well be wrong about that.

I do wish my LHBS could stock East Coast Yeast.
 

Quintis

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I wish there was a LHBS here in the first place. I have to order everything online and wait about 2 weeks. :(
 

Billy-Klubb

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I wish there was a LHBS here in the first place. I have to order everything online and wait about 2 weeks. :(
I'm in the same boat. closest shops to me are 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 1/2 hours away. 1st one has a limited selection of ingredients and equipment, 2nd one is geared more toward wine (almost the same problem), and the 3rd is 2 1/2 hours away.
 

Cheesy_Goodness

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Kegging equipment.

I understand why they don't since there are lots of small parts, and lots of space being taken up in already small shops. But, as a kegging newbie, it would have been super nice to actually touch some parts before ordering and seeing how it all goes together instead of looking at pictures on the internet and hoping it is actually what I need.
 
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jrowland74

jrowland74

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There's a few more obscure ingredients they don't regularly stock (less popular English malts and English hops), but they've always been able to order something for me if I want it and they can get it (some stuff they simply can't get though, but that's rare). Same goes for equipment.

For example, I wanted an FG-range hydrometer (ie the 0.990-1.020 range one), and they got em for me.

Also, I was under the impression, having never been able to afford any Blingmann equipment, that they contracted with local shops so that you basically ordered through the shop, but it was sent to you from the manufacturer. Of I may well be wrong about that.

I do wish my LHBS could stock East Coast Yeast.
Yes, we can certainly order Blichmann products for customers. Not sure if it ships to the store or to the customer... I'll have to find out. We can also special order just about anything, but it seems that most people either want it now or will order online themselves if it's not in stock. We have a very large selection of grains by the ounce, but some we just can't carry because it won't sell enough to keep fresh.

Overall, by these responses, we seem to be doing pretty well. I have been to a few, primarily up in Michigan, that seem to carry everything one could ever want. I wonder if they actually sell enough of it to make it worthwhile. We are a small store, so there's not a whole lot of room for added inventory, but there is a little open space. I'm just trying to figure what to suggest for that space. Thanks for all the responses.... Keep them coming!
 

Homercidal

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A few bulk bags of the common base grains.

10# bags of certain grains.

Decent hops selection.

Decent Yeast selection.

Decent repair parts selection for most things.

Good selection of vinyl and silicone hoses and beer lines.

Wide selection of adjuncts and specialty grains/malts.

Most special items like kegging equipment, fittings, etc. are probably going to be bought online. Servicing those things might be an urgent need for some people. I mostly want the basic ingredients to be there reliably, and a little bit of the odd ingredients is always nice to find when you want to suddenly brew something special/different.
 

JosephN

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Depends on which one I go to. One of them sells mostly leaf hops. Hardly any pellet, But they do have a sweet black lab that roams the floor. Another one has a limited selection of bar ware and literature (books and free recipes), but they do have an amazing selection of hops and grains. Another one down the road is my emergency go-to. They have limited selection of just about everything, but they're open way later than the other two. Another one is a bit further away and has almost no equipment (buckets, sanitizers, pots, caps) but a fine selection of grains, yeast, and hops.

I know. Life is rough.

Where do you live?
 
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jrowland74

jrowland74

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Being able to fill CO2 would be awesome, especially since the place which does it for me locally no longer offers that service. I think that would require too much equipment / infrastructure to make it feasible though. I know if I were starting fresh and opening my own, I would certainly include that in the build plans!
 

jrcrilly

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One LHBS fills or exchanges CO2. I'm lucky, as I have two within 1/2 hour and a third at 45 minutes. Of course, the 45 minute one has the most complete staock (very complete, as they appear to be a pretty heavy online dealer as well). They don't offer grains in less than 1 pound increments, though. Both of the 1/2 hour shops do offer grains in whatever quantities are desired. One of them also offers all-grain ingredient kits from house recipes at a good price. The other just opened this year so they have some growing to do - not much hardware on hand but I've been buying my grains there.
 

slym2none

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Does anyone else' shop charge for the plastic bag they grind grains into? It's only 10¢ and I don't really care, I am just curious. (Note - I brew extract w/specialty grains mostly.)
 

Cheesy_Goodness

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One shop around me will give a free plastic bag and will heat seal it shut for free. The other will typically put the grains back into the canvas bag they came from.

Short answer: nope :D
 

Qhrumphf

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Does anyone else' shop charge for the plastic bag they grind grains into? It's only 10¢ and I don't really care, I am just curious. (Note - I brew extract w/specialty grains mostly.)
I wonder if that's a legal thing. I know that both DC and MD have a $0.05 bag tax or something like that.
 

sixwinds

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Water... so far my local shop has carried everything I need except for spring water...
 

DurtyChemist

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My brew shop actually has all the stuff everyone here is listing. 25 or 50lb grain of the month club where your unused grain rolls over a month, blichmann, per lick, 1lb hops, sealed grain bills after crushing in air tight bags, CO2 swaps, grains by whatever measurement you want to use, multiple varieties of grains, bulk grain, adjuncts out the WAZOO AND they even offer delivery. Plus they're only closed on Mondays and are 10-8 or 9 most days.

Check out brewchatter.com
 

slym2none

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Oh yeah, if you have a grain bill in the pounds, my shop charges 25¢ for what is essentially a plastic trash bag.

Again, no big deal... I was just curious as to if any other shops did this. Interesting results so far.
 

Qhrumphf

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Here's a few that would be nice- UK-style invert sugars, Golden Syrup, treacle, and other less popular sugars. Dark maple syrup, turbinado sugar, honey, etc. I can get almost all of them at the grocery store, but my hope would be that the price difference would be like buying vanilla beans at my LHBS (cheap) vs. grocery store (super duper expensive).

Basically, I'd like to have a treacle source that's NOT the specialty English import shop up the road that charges an arm and a leg for it.
 

pdog44450

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I'm in the same boat. closest shops to me are 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 1/2 hours away. 1st one has a limited selection of ingredients and equipment, 2nd one is geared more toward wine (almost the same problem), and the 3rd is 2 1/2 hours away.
Billy - since you are in MN I would HIGHLY recommend Ritebrew.com. Use the Speedee shipping service. I am in Illinois and if I order before 1pm I get my grains, hops, or whatever I order on the NEXT DAY every single time, it's never failed me. They even do increments of ounces and the grains are the cheapest I've found on the internet. Everything is very reasonably priced and they have a pretty good selection of grains and hops.

I wish there was a LHBS here in the first place. I have to order everything online and wait about 2 weeks. :(
Quintis, I don't know where you live but if you are in the midwest you can use speedee, if not you can just use USPS. It will be costlier but Ritebrew is still a cheap site to use, I use it exclusively when buying hops, grains, and yeast. Sometimes even buy equipment. They will ship same day if ordered before a certain time and if not next day. They are extremely prompt.
 

Quintis

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To all who was asking where I live; I live in Okinawa Japan. It is an island that is about a 2-3 hour plane ride from Tokyo.
 

DurtyChemist

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How does the grain of the month club work?
$31 for 25 lbs or $61 for 50 lbs. You get any grain in the store up to your monthly limit then you pay the regular price. Originally they were only going to do 50lbs but before they even opened officially I asked via face page if they'd do a 25.

I'm on the 25 lbs. If I used 15 lbs of grains in September the leftover 10 rolls over to October. They've chosen to be super cool and my grains in October START with what rolled over and THEN go to my 25 lbs I paid for for the month of October. If I don't use 35 lbs of grain it rolls to the next month. It's setup on an auto payment at the first of the month and I don't recall if there is a minimum. It may be 2 months just because they roll grains over.

They're still getting paid $1.24/lb grain and I've made SMaSHs using 2 row or Belgian Strong Ales using grain that costs $2.20/lb. I've also had about 15 lbs of grain roll over month to month and had to go in there for fear of losing 15 lbs of grain. It keeps me brewing a bunch of different styles. It also keeps me brewing and buying hops, bags, beers, yeast, misc brewing supplies.



They've also done brewing classes at local breweries beyond just "all grain/extract" and had one making sour beers at a local brewery that was cool enough to let people sample stuff from their cellar.
 

DurtyChemist

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Oh yeah, if you have a grain bill in the pounds, my shop charges 25¢ for what is essentially a plastic trash bag.

Again, no big deal... I was just curious as to if any other shops did this. Interesting results so far.
They have what looks like huge clear plastic bags and a sealing device that kind of reminds me of those giant paper cutters 2nd grade teachers have that always made me think I'll cut my finger off without feeling it. They don't charge for it and they only other shop in town just puts them in a bag with a twist tie the last time I was there...over two years ago.
 

DrinksWellWithOthers

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$31 for 25 lbs or $61 for 50 lbs. You get any grain in the store up to your monthly limit then you pay the regular price. Originally they were only going to do 50lbs but before they even opened officially I asked via face page if they'd do a 25.

I'm on the 25 lbs. If I used 15 lbs of grains in September the leftover 10 rolls over to October. They've chosen to be super cool and my grains in October START with what rolled over and THEN go to my 25 lbs I paid for for the month of October. If I don't use 35 lbs of grain it rolls to the next month. It's setup on an auto payment at the first of the month and I don't recall if there is a minimum. It may be 2 months just because they roll grains over.

They're still getting paid $1.24/lb grain and I've made SMaSHs using 2 row or Belgian Strong Ales using grain that costs $2.20/lb. I've also had about 15 lbs of grain roll over month to month and had to go in there for fear of losing 15 lbs of grain. It keeps me brewing a bunch of different styles. It also keeps me brewing and buying hops, bags, beers, yeast, misc brewing supplies.



They've also done brewing classes at local breweries beyond just "all grain/extract" and had one making sour beers at a local brewery that was cool enough to let people sample stuff from their cellar.
Is it for a specific grain each month or is it a total of all the grains you buy within a single month? Either way I think it's a cool idea.
 

A2HB

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Thomas Fawcette Amber Malt

I wanna make the 90 min clone
 

DromJohn

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Ignoring that I don't have a LHBS, the RegionalHBS that's on the way to Yankee Town doesn't carry organic malts, particularly organic LME.
 

Newsman

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I'd like to see a LHBS in my town. As with Billy-Klubb, my closest one is about 35-45 minutes away. OTOH, they have pretty good selection of stuff, including craft beer.

Edit: I'm about 45 minutes from Chattanooga, TN. My nearest HBS is just outside Chattanooga in one of the suburbs
 

Newsman

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OP: Even if you can't do CO2 refills perhaps you could offer CO2 swaps? That doesn't take a lot of equipment and would likely be beneficial to your clientel
 
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