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Nov 13, 2020
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I’ve been hearing lots of stuff about LHBS closing from COVID restrictions. Anyone experiencing this? If so what’re you doing instead?

Luckily mine is still going strong. Not sure what I’d do.
Mine has been a lot busier this year. More selection and inventory, yet they still can't keep up with demand. Without them I would order on the internet.
Dependant on state and county regulations. Technically, to sell "food" you either need a grocers license or be a licensed food establishment. HBS are more likely considered retail.
Depending on the location it must be difficult, nearly impossible, for stores in general to remain open. I'd write support any stores, local and internet, and hope they are here tomorrow.

Agreed! I don’t know how some places are making it work.
I have three remaining local home brew shops in my area, all of them roughly 20-30 minutes away.
They're all open, though on reduced hours/days (two are closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
Interestingly, they are doing better now then this time a year ago. There's been an upwards bump in the otherwise long decline in homebrewing...

Ours seem to be doing well and as far as I know have never ceased operation during the lockdown. Online orders, appointment shopping and and outdoor pick up station have kept them running.
I had 2 in my general area...one closed, the other doing just fine. The one that closed was small to begin with and the prices were high on some items that made the drive to the farthest one more reasonable.
Agreed! I don’t know how some places are making it work.
In my state (Maryland) food "products" are not taxed. "Products" is broadly defined, but if you go to the local grocery and buy a cake mix, some milk, eggs and a cake pan, the pan is taxed but the ingredients aren't. Same when I buy grains, yeast and a new fermenter at my LHBS.

Brooo Brother
Mine is plugging along fine (South West Missouri). They offered curbside service during the shutdown. You have to mask up to enter now but business is good.
The two in the sacramento area are open. One moved into a larger building. I know around March/April they were out of some things due to high demand.
The two that are closest to me here in Western WA are both still open, but only offer call-ahead/curbside pickup. No browsing the shelves, no hanging out for a bit to chat. That's what I really hate about this situation; going to the LHBS used to be a fun social event, bringing a bottle or two of my homebrew for the proprietors to sample, sampling some of their own, and just shooting the sh*t if it wasn't too busy. Now it's pull up in the car, pay, load my stuff, and skedaddle.
My LHBS seems to be doing OK, but some things that happened today are pushing me back on-line... I went in to purchase about 13 pounds of grain for a BIAB scenario, and they didn't have all the grains in my grain bill... Strike one.

Then their crusher wasn't working. Now I have 13 lbs of mixed grains in two plastic bags, mostly whole, some broken and some powdered. So that pushed me to buy a crusher mail order and I'll crush it myself when I'm ready to brew. Strike two on the store, though.

Then they didn't have any Wyeast in the fridge at all. Strike three.

On top of all that, you used to be able to check their site online and see what was in stock before driving over. Apparently, that got too hard for them to maintain, and now their site has a bunch of generic photos and product lists, but no inventory.

Kind of disappointed in that I'd like to support them, but now that I've got my own crusher coming, I can consider buying base malt in bulk online and getting specialty malts from a reliable mail-order company.

Oh, well -- things change and you either adapt or die...
I haven't physically been there in many months since doing an online order for pickup, but Adventures In Homebrewing recently expanded their retail hours and are now open 6 days a week at one location (Ann Arbor, MI). Their Taylor, MI remains closed due to slow foot traffic in Ann Arbor. Closing in fast on being closed a year I'm suspecting it will never reopen but that's pure speculation on my part. Online pickup you still had to go in the store and it was pretty disorganized so I only did it that once.

I've bough far more from Great Fermentations in Indy the last ~18 months. My daughter was looking at and now goes to college down there and GF is only 1/4 mile out of the way. Last few times I set up curbside pickup which was fast and efficient. As a result I've been tending to do most of my mail order business with them as well for in-between orders.
I’ve been hearing lots of stuff about LHBS closing from COVID restrictions. Anyone experiencing this? If so what’re you doing instead?

Luckily mine is still going strong. Not sure what I’d do.

My LHBS closed back in August 2020... Not sure if Covid was responsible but it sure didn't help. Now I have to drive twice as far or order online.

We've been open all year, no outbreaks and remained open by serving other essential businesses.
Went from roughly 5-10 online orders in a month to several hundred, did mostly no contact pickups for awhile but now we're a mix of both.
Started a bad youtube channel to try and fill the gap between in person classes...I even live streamed big brew day last year.
It's good for the business but I could really use a vacation.

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