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LHBS will NOT sell ME hops

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The Pol

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Okay, so is this even legal...? Due to the hop shortage my LHBS will not sell me hops because I have not previously shopped there. Well, seeing as though I JUST moved to Indy, it is no wonder I have never shopped there before. Will I EVER buy anything from them from this point on? You guessed it, no. If I had previsouly ordered from them, I could get any hop they currently carry, but since I have not, they will not sell me a single ounce of hops!!! JERKS!

Pol
 

RICLARK

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The Pol said:
Okay, so is this even legal...? Due to the hop shortage my LHBS will not sell me hops because I have not previously shopped there. Well, seeing as though I JUST moved to Indy, it is no wonder I have never shopped there before. Will I EVER buy anything from them from this point on? You guessed it, no. If I had previsouly ordered from them, I could get any hop they currently carry, but since I have not, they will not sell me a single ounce of hops!!! JERKS!

Pol
That is kinda shady, I guess they dont want to do buisness with you very bad So Im with you take your buisness else where.Shop Online
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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Personally I think it is a horrible business practice... they wont take on ANY new customers while the hop shortage continues? That seems stupid. It is shady, and probably borders on illegal and discrimination.
 

somecallmetim

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Did you go in there and ask to buy hops only, or the stuff for a batch of beer? If you were wanting to buy only hops you have to see their side of it...
 

RICLARK

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eschatz said:
my local shop wont let me buy hops without malt
Now That I am thinking about that, I guess they might be worried about you buying hops and selling them to people? Which maybe happens and I can see there side now.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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NO, I am BUYING 17lbs of malt, yeast, vanilla bean etc (FOR ONE BREW ALONE)... they wont sell ANY HOPS to me since I have not shopped there before. They said they have to save thier hops for thier valued customers that have bought there for years. They will only sell to me if I am a previous customer. Here is the shop and address... disgusting.

http://www.greatfermentations.com/

Great Fermentations
5127 E 65th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46220
Local Phone: 317-257-9463.
Toll-Free: 1-888-463-2739
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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It is simply rediculous...
 

FlyingHorse

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The Pol said:
They will only sell to me if I am a previous customer.
How "previous" do you have to be? If you bought all your malt and other ingredients today, then went back tomorrow, would that make you a "previous" customer?

There's nothing remotely illegal about it...it's the same idea as the "customer loyalty bonus" that a lot of the US car mfgs use.

"Legal" isn't the same as "smart", though. Most businesses, it costs far more to attract a new customer than to retain an old one. Telling potential new customers to make hopless beer isn't gonna make it any cheaper.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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Previous meaning, PRIOR to the hop shortage... or PRIOR to them making this rediculous decision. Either way, I do not apply. Well, if they tell me they will not sell to me because I am Polish... is that illegal? What if they are trying to be loyal to thier non Polish customers? What the heck is the difference? I am not asking for a discount (customer loyalty program) I am asking to pay full price for something that they sell!
 

DUCCCC

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I can see a LHBS not selling hops to someone without the other stuff, but selling all the ingredients for a brew and not the hops is just plain asinine.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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At least I have Forrest...
 

Mutilated1

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eschatz said:
my local shop wont let me buy hops without malt
Our homebrew shop had a sign up that said that a few weeks ago, but they never enforced it at least not with me anyway. But I'm in there twice a week for something or the other, and I guess they know I buy a lot of Malt in there anyhow. Alabrew are are really nice people.
 

ajf

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If they have the hops on display in the shop with a price tag on them, or they are in any way advertising them, then it is illegal for them not to sell to you.

-a.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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They did take them off thier website
 

Jamo99

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this situation baffles my mind. why a business wouldn't want to attract new customers is beyond me. i mean, the hard to come by varieties are going to be hard to come by for a while. are they being stubborn/dragging their feet in stocking the "new" varieties? it's not like anyone is going to "run out" of all their hops. there will always be something there.

i could understand if they were down to their last pound or so of cascade and knew that they wouldn't be getting anymore in, that they look in the fridge and pretend that there isn't any left since they don't want to let a regular down that'll be coming in later in the week. if they were a good LHBS they would have something in stock that would be a decent substitution, and sell that to you at the very least.

the absurdity is just crazy. i definately would never go there again.


My LHBS has a hop/malt policy for the time being.
1 oz of hops per pound of malt extract (syrup or dry) or
1 oz of hops for every 2 pounds of grains

it makes sense, since homebrewers were running around like chickens without heads trying to hoard as much as they could.


Edit: Them taking them off the website has been common for homebrew supply websites since the hop shortage started. Most websites that also have a brick and mortar location only sell hops at the store.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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I agree with having to buy malt and hops... but to let me buy 17lbs of grain and no hops... cripe, it is clear they don't have business degrees!
 

Jamo99

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here's my letter. this is really rileing me up for some reason. looks like i need to RDWHAHB!!

Ms. Johnson,

A friend and fellow homebrewer recently moved to Indianapolis and went to your store to purchase ingredients for his next brew. Even with an 18 lb grain bill, liquid yeast, vanilla beans, etc., he was denied the purchase of any hops. I have heard of some homebrew shop horror stories about bad advice, reluctance to teach beginners, and refusal to troubleshoot a beer that went south, but I have never heard a shop refuse to sell one of the four basic beer ingredients to an avid homebrewer.
I am disgusted that a homebrew shop in a major American city would have a policy that Great Fermentations has in place. Your shop should be assisting everyone in our collective passion, whether beginner or experienced, new customer or previous. I hope that you rethink this discriminatory business practice. I see from your website that you are very involved in the homebrew culture (I love getting that copy of BYO in the mail), but your store policy seems contradictory to your furthering (State Fairs Brewers Cup) of the hobby.

Thank you,
Ryan
 

homebrewer_99

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I'd:

1. turn them into the BBB
2. return everything I purchased from them
3. tell them that you are telling all your brew friends about that practice and recommending they never return to that store
4. tell everyone on the HB forum to not purchase from them
5. never return to that store. ;)
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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Oh, I didnt buy JACK from them. If I am going to pay shipping, I will give all of my business to one vendor. Rest assured... if they called me tomorrow to tell me that they had a change of heart, Id buy elsewhere, and pay more to do so, before I'd go back there. It is not how much I am spending, it is who I am giving my money to. Id rather pay a premium price to premium people.
 

homebrewer_99

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The Pol said:
Oh, I didnt buy JACK from them. If I am going to pay shipping, I will give all of my business to one vendor. Rest assured... if they called me tomorrow to tell me that they had a change of heart, Id buy elsewhere, and pay more to do so, before I'd go back there. It is not how much I am spending, it is who I am giving my money to. Id rather pay a premium price to premium people.
Great! I'm all for standing up on principle. :D :rockin:
 

jay_mack1

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I took a marketing class a while ago, when I was managing a cabinet shop.

For every bad customer relation, you lose 5 to 10 potential customers through word of mouth. You only gain 1 to 3 customers for every GOOD customer relation.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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My life is lived on principal alone... I will not sell out to save a few bucks.
 
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While I appreciate their attempt to help out loyal customers, I think denying new customers access to any normally stocked item is a great way to make a really bad impression. I would probably have argued for a bit to see if I could talk them out of some hops. If they stuck to their guns, I'd have dropped everything and left (as it sounds like you did).

Sorry to hear about the bad experience. What's up with the bad LHBS vibes lately?
 

mr x

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I think a lot of owners may be edgy about closing their doors. I can see their point - there isn't much good news out there on the hops front.
 

Silviakitty

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As far as I know (and I'm not a lawyer by any means), it's legal to refuse service. It is, however, incredibly stupid to do so. I can understand putting limits. I can understand wanting to take care of your current customers. If those customers had put a hold on all the hops in the store, I can even almost see that...but to simply not sell 'em to you because you're new to the area? Stupid.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Amen! Order from Forrest at austinhomebrew.com before midnight tonight and you can get 10% of your order.

There's a thread floating around here somewhere about it, I'm just too lazy to go find it and link to it.
 

sweet_corn

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My LHBS has posted on their website limiting online orders of hops, but I have heard of no limits in house. I guess I agree with the malts and hops in proportion as long as the LHBS would recall that you purchased in bulk from them in the past.

I also agree, it is probably not illegal, but completely stupid, expecially considering you were buying 1 recipe worth.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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DO NOT BUY FROM THIS VENDOR!!! You wont get hops anyway.. :drunk:
 

BrewBeemer

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DeathBrewer; last week I was at Brewmaster's on Marina Blvd asking a few stupid and newbie questions. Was told they will only sell hops to me if I purchased grain from them. Next door was a place called B.R.E.W. at one time, they moved to Hayward app 4 years ago. For a month after the move Brewmaster people would remove any and all signs on B.R.E.W.'s windows telling their customers that they moved, this happened many times. In the conversation at Brewmaster I asked what happened to B.R.E.W., was told they went out of business.

Well at B.R.E.W. with Mike the owner and the many questions I had did a 10 gallon AG that day, I spent over 6 hours there. I know where my money will be spent on supplies in the future.
I must do a road trip to MoreBeer in Concord to check 'em out, need some drool time.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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Problem for him is this, I know several of thier customers... pilot friends of mine... they are pretty avid brewers.
 

Chriso

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Sounds like this LHBS isnt as much of a stinker after all, but instead just had a foul smelling employee. Thanks for doing some legwork, Joe.

Pol, I think your resolution has come to possible fruition after all, let us know how things go when you call her!

Good work guys! This is the kind of "make it all better" story I love seeing!
 

sirsloop

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The Pol said:
Okay, so is this even legal...? Due to the hop shortage my LHBS will not sell me hops because I have not previously shopped there. Well, seeing as though I JUST moved to Indy, it is no wonder I have never shopped there before. Will I EVER buy anything from them from this point on? You guessed it, no. If I had previsouly ordered from them, I could get any hop they currently carry, but since I have not, they will not sell me a single ounce of hops!!! JERKS!

Pol

They don't have to sell you anything. Yeah it sucks but they probably have to save them for their kits. I got held to a 4oz limit at my LHBS... I don't blame them either. They do BOP and have to have hops for their business.
 
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The Pol

The Pol

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Been out of the country, when I get back I will call Anita. NO this is not what I was told. Some dude told me "I cannot sell you hops... wait, have you shopped here before? No? Sorry, we can only sell hops to previous customers, hops are in short supply and we will probably not make it til fall. We cannot sell hops to new customers". Apparently HE did not get the MEMO. This is good news, because they have great grain prices...

Pol
 
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