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Wisconsin Moving, Eau Claire / Chippewa Falls area

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Kent88

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Anyone around here from that area? Any active homebrew clubs around there? Any good LHBSs in the area?

What I can find so far:

I see there is a "Chippewa Valley Better Beer Brewers" club. Their site looks like it could be updated. Still advertising an event from May.

Closest LHBS seems to be roughly 45 minutes west towards the Twin Cities. Only open 3 days a week.
 

MaxStout

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Anyone around here from that area? Any active homebrew clubs around there? Any good LHBSs in the area?

What I can find so far:

I see there is a "Chippewa Valley Better Beer Brewers" club. Their site looks like it could be updated. Still advertising an event from May.

Closest LHBS seems to be roughly 45 minutes west towards the Twin Cities. Only open 3 days a week.
Northern has a decent retail store in St. Paul, on Grand Ave.
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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I think I've been there. That seems like a long way to drive for ingredients. Kind of takes the L out of LHBS.
 

mongoose33

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You might check and see how shipping to you from Ritebrew.com works out. They're near Appleton, it's probably a 1-day ship to you. They take $5 off a $75 order, so unless you're shipping full bags, it won't be bad for you.

I'm past there once or twice a year, and have a buddy who's up in that neck of the woods from time to time. He'll pick up an order for me if I ask him. Take the shipping costs out and their prices are impossible to beat.
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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Looks like Ritebrew is pretty inexpensive, and they have a decent selection of malts.

Bull Falls has a few of the base malt varieties that I like to use but don't seem to be offered at all the homebrew supply stores.
 

Jayjay1976

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Why not just make the journey only when you need large/heavy items like sacks of base malt, and order smaller incidentals like yeast, specialty grains, etc. online? Ground shipping from stores in the surrounding areas should be fast and cheap. You won't be able to just run out real quick for a last minute item, but a bit of planning ahead should make that a rare event.
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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I don't buy big sacks of base malt. I brew 3-gallon batches, rarely using more than 6lbs at a time. I usually buy my malt for one batch at a time. I have heard/read a lot of different opinions about how long malt can be kept before brewing, and I just haven't been able to come to a decision for what I want to do with that.

I'm thinking that I'll see what I can get from Beverage Artisan in Menomonie (open thursdays, fridays, and saturdays), supplement what they have by ordering online, get ingredients from them about a week before I brew, and brew on Wednesdays and Thursdays. That way, if I have an issue, like my yeast isn't working, I can give it a couple days before I go buy yeast.

What I'd really like to do is find a few homebrewers around here who like to brew with less common malts and start buying malt in bulk and share the costs. And maybe if I can make it to a couple local homebrew club meetings I'll find some people.
 
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Kent88

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I'm moving from a place within a reasonable distance of a Festival and a Woodmans. I know they have some decent selections with some good, independent craft breweries, but I'm wondering if there are any good beer stores that carry a much better selection than Bud/Miller/Coors/Lienies that can supplement Festival and Woodmans.

And if I haven't already ranted about it on here, why the heck do they close the entire beer/liquor department at grocery stores so early when I might want some mixers that don't have any booze in them already? Or is that not a statewide thing?
 

TrevorT

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Anyone around here from that area? Any active homebrew clubs around there? Any good LHBSs in the area?

What I can find so far:

I see there is a "Chippewa Valley Better Beer Brewers" club. Their site looks like it could be updated. Still advertising an event from May.

Closest LHBS seems to be roughly 45 minutes west towards the Twin Cities. Only open 3 days a week.
Moving to Eau Claire in a few months, so I wanted to see what your experience has been. Looks like a decent shop north about twenty minutes or so. Lots of great craft beer around. Any Homebrew clubs?
 
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Kent88

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I've been to the homebrew shop in Menomonie a couple of times. The proprietor is nice, but I'm still not thrilled about the limited hours. No liquid yeast, either, which is a bit of a problem for me. I think they have a decent selection of grain and hops, though.

Not sure about "a decent shop north about 20 minutes". Sounds like I need to get back on Google and look that up.

Haven't had time to figure out what the deal is with the homebrew club. I think it still exists, but I've asked around at the shop in Menomonie and a couple of breweries, and it doesn't sound like they're all that active.

I think I actually heard something about an active club in Menomonie. It's a bit of a drive, so I'm not to interested in that.
 

Surly

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I live I Prairie Farm, WI. About a half hour from Chippewa Falls.

My go to Brew shop is local to Barron. Scott Law of Wind River Brewing is an excellent source.

look to the Menomonie Homebrewers as a club. One member expanded his home brew hobby into Lazy Monk Brewery in Eau Claire.

Give me a shout if you are interested in joining me for a brew day.
 

Surly

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... I think I actually heard something about an active club in Menomonie. It's a bit of a drive, so I'm not to interested in that.
As a founding member of the Menomonie Homebrewers I am proud to say it is active. I moved some years ago but still remain in contact.

you can find them on Face Book. They rotate meetings between Menomonie and Eau Claire.
 

KaptainKarl

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I live I Prairie Farm, WI. About a half hour from Chippewa Falls.

My go to Brew shop is local to Barron. Scott Law of Wind River Brewing is an excellent source.
I’ve had great luck working with Scott as well. Not right in your neighborhood, but a lot closer than Northern in St Paul.

There’s a liquor store on the north side of Rice Lake with a few ingredients. Not a brew shop by any means, mostly extract and dry yeasts.
 

Surly

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Hi Kaptain

Glad to hear you know Scott. Do you live in the Rice Lake area?
 

KaptainKarl

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Hey, Surly,

I’m about 45 minutes west of Rice Lake near Luck and Milltown.
 

Surly

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Cool
I am south and east of Rice Lake about 40 miles. I live near Prairie Farm. Always looking for a brew partner. Luck is a hike. By chance, do you know Bob Dueholm? From Luck he is a former state representative.
 
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