Where do folks enjoy buying 55lbs grain sacks when you have no LHBS?

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pinemarten

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Just moved to DC from Boston. Had a great LHBS 10 minutes away. Shot out to Jim and the crew at Weymouth Homebrew Emporium!

The LHBS picture in DC is grim. Two look decent, but they are well over an hour away roundtrip. The "shop" actually in DC is a room connected to a brewery, 3 Stars Brewing, that holds a 3.7 Untapped rating. Hmm. The shop is open Thu-Sun only. Yikes. There is no phone number for the shop. Holy crap. There is an email address for the brewery and the shop, but they don't respond to stock questions. OMFG. They must be under the impression the stock list available online, posted in 2016, is adequate. Needless to say, the "store" is a dumpster fire aimed squarely at selling Mr. Beer kits. Perhaps it was an isolated incident and they will eventually reply and inform me the trash bag who decided they had better things, possibly with a man bun, to do than respond has been terminated. I won't hold my breath. Please hold the did you consider X; Bell's General Store has already perfected the model 3 Stars is failing at.

So, I'm newly in a position where I won't be buying grain locally and presumably without an AHA discount. Damn I miss you, Jim. Where do folks buy 55lbs sacks when they don't have a real LHBS? MoreBeer's shipping charge on a 55lbs sack is roughly 1/5 the cost of the grain for 2-row. Not ideal. Northern Brewer offers free shipping on grain sacks, but I'm not super keen on supporting big beer. To be fair to MoreBeer, their shipping is lightning fast, even on heavy packages. Northern Brewer's free shipping on the other hand most likely utilizes a senior age donkey that only walks backwards.

I want to support a LHBS. I happily paid a premium on parts at my old shop for years knowing full well Bobby at Brew Hardware would have a much better deal. But I am not going to spend money at a store without a phone that can't even be bothered to respond to email during their scant operating hours. Being rather new to the online shop world, can y'all recommend a decent place to buy 55lbs sacks while not getting killed on shipping nor filling the coffers of Inbev?

Cheers!
 

Shades

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I would at least take a look at the local places in person and see how bad they actually are. If that fails and they do suck the cheapest place for grain would be the inbev online stores. If your patient there are free shipping and other discounts offered fairly regularly by Morebeer and Williams AIH or southern homebrew supply. I have had good luck with all of them.

I still strongly suggest checking out LHBS in person first.
 

shoengine

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I'm seriously spoiled that mine is about seven miles down the highway from me.

Online may be your best bet, unless the local breweries will sell bags to you (which I've heard they sometimes do).
 

SoCal-Doug

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Very few breweries will sell grain to homebrewers. Some wholesalers prohibit the breweries from reselling grain. Sadly, some of them think that home brewing takes a bite out of commercial brewers profits (right... sure... there's so many home brewers out there, we will put breweries out of business). But... You can always ask them. Offer to pay whatever morebeer or other retailers sell the bags for, so that the brewery can make a profit for their trouble. Remember, breweries have to pay freight/trucking also.

If that doesn't work, seek out some home brew clubs. Some will do "group buys" that may give a little bit of a break on the higher costs. Sometimes they have to drive many miles to a source that is willing to work with them. Maybe help them setup a drive to a remote supplier or retailer.
 

madscientist451

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Get in the DC group buy. The group buy I was in on was discontinued so I've been ordering 10 lb bags at More Beer (free shipping) now and then they run a sale, so I usually stock up. The trip to my LHBS adds about an hour to my commute home, so I've been buying on line lately.
 

ehk089

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By the time more beer adds on shipping, they’re typically the same price out the door as northern brewer. Dc Homebrew store is small but I would check it out before you knock it. Youve also got md Homebrew 20 mins further in Columbia, abd Annapolis Homebrew 30 mins further in Annapolis.
 

Qhrumphf

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Where are you exactly? There are good shops in Columbia, Falls Church, Frederick, Fredericksburg, Manassas (I've never been to the Annapolis or Loudoun County spots so can't speak to em but they're out there too).

There's one in Arlington and the people are awesome, but the selection is less than other places. It's a bottle/growler shop first and a LHBS second.

MD Homebrew in Columbia MD in particular is well worth the trip.
 

murphyslaw

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Maryland Homebrew is great. 3 stars can be convenient if you're in DC but it's hit or miss when it comes to having the hops or yeast you need.

But as others have said, your best bet is to get on the next group buy. The pickup is at 3 stars.
 

Soulshine2

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Just moved to DC from Boston. Had a great LHBS 10 minutes away. Shot out to Jim and the crew at Weymouth Homebrew Emporium!

The LHBS picture in DC is grim. Two look decent, but they are well over an hour away roundtrip. The "shop" actually in DC is a room connected to a brewery, 3 Stars Brewing, that holds a 3.7 Untapped rating. Hmm. The shop is open Thu-Sun only. Yikes. There is no phone number for the shop. Holy crap. There is an email address for the brewery and the shop, but they don't respond to stock questions. OMFG. They must be under the impression the stock list available online, posted in 2016, is adequate. Needless to say, the "store" is a dumpster fire aimed squarely at selling Mr. Beer kits. Perhaps it was an isolated incident and they will eventually reply and inform me the trash bag who decided they had better things, possibly with a man bun, to do than respond has been terminated. I won't hold my breath. Please hold the did you consider X; Bell's General Store has already perfected the model 3 Stars is failing at.

So, I'm newly in a position where I won't be buying grain locally and presumably without an AHA discount. Damn I miss you, Jim. Where do folks buy 55lbs sacks when they don't have a real LHBS? MoreBeer's shipping charge on a 55lbs sack is roughly 1/5 the cost of the grain for 2-row. Not ideal. Northern Brewer offers free shipping on grain sacks, but I'm not super keen on supporting big beer. To be fair to MoreBeer, their shipping is lightning fast, even on heavy packages. Northern Brewer's free shipping on the other hand most likely utilizes a senior age donkey that only walks backwards.

I want to support a LHBS. I happily paid a premium on parts at my old shop for years knowing full well Bobby at Brew Hardware would have a much better deal. But I am not going to spend money at a store without a phone that can't even be bothered to respond to email during their scant operating hours. Being rather new to the online shop world, can y'all recommend a decent place to buy 55lbs sacks while not getting killed on shipping nor filling the coffers of Inbev?

Cheers!
It all comes down to how bad do you want your grain?
Buy from the cheapest source with shipping.Try Amazon yet? Not buying from someplace just because you dont want to support big beer is silly compared to everything else in life that is in fact supported by some huge corporation.
I too moved from a state (IL) and a 15 minute drive to a LHBS to AL that has virtually no LHBS anywhere,so, online it is.
They have what you want, just buy it. RDWAHAHB
 

Carolina_Matt

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What were you paying for a sack of 2-row?

Morebeer charges shipping on sacks, but the 10-lb bags fit under the free shipping policy. When they have a 10% off sale, it'll be under $1/lb. That's the cheapest I've found online. I prefer the 10-lb bags since they're easier to store.
 
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pinemarten

pinemarten

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Thanks everyone for your input!
What were you paying for a sack of 2-row?

Morebeer charges shipping on sacks, but the 10-lb bags fit under the free shipping policy. When they have a 10% off sale, it'll be under $1/lb. That's the cheapest I've found online. I prefer the 10-lb bags since they're easier to store.
I was paying about $0.90/lb. $1.00 still sounds good. I hadn't even thought to look at their 10lb bags. Thanks for the tip!
 
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pinemarten

pinemarten

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Where are you exactly? There are good shops in Columbia, Falls Church, Frederick, Fredericksburg, Manassas (I've never been to the Annapolis or Loudoun County spots so can't speak to em but they're out there too).

There's one in Arlington and the people are awesome, but the selection is less than other places. It's a bottle/growler shop first and a LHBS second.

MD Homebrew in Columbia MD in particular is well worth the trip.

Thanks Qhrumphf. I'm in Brookland. If I do make a pilgrimage, would you recommend any of those over the others? Do any offer an AHA discount?
 

Qhrumphf

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I don't remember who does or doesn't have an AHA discount.

Maryland Homebrew is the biggest and usually best priced. If I were gonna go out of my way, that'd be where I'd go.

Second to 3 Stars, MyLHBS in Falls Church isn't too far and the selection is pretty good and the prices usually competitive with online shops (and if you don't get free shipping often better than). But they've focused more on selling commercial beer in recent years so the selection has dropped slightly, and some people have always taken issue with the customer service. They were my go to shop for a good number of years, and I never personally had a problem.

The Brew Shop in Arlington is the new one, and metro accessible. I don't know if they have hidden stock or special order stuff but their shop is 80% commercial beer fridges/shelves and 20% homebrew supplies. They're the only one I use lately, but that's for beer, not supplies, and it's in my neighborhood. Like I said, they're great people. But probably not the best to rely on as a LHBS.

The others are far enough out there that it's a "if I'm in the area" kind of deal. Not worth a special trip.

Though Flying Barrel in Frederick at least used to offer BOP services (haven't been by there in years). So there's that.
 

CodeSection

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....I've been ordering 10 lb bags at More Beer (free shipping) now and then they run a sale, so I usually stock up.
I do this as well. Back in March when MoreBeer was running a sale, I bought 120 pounds (12 ten pound bags) of GW 2-Row for $112.20. It included free shipping and I literally received my order within a few days. Probably because CA was shipping to AZ....
 

Blazinlow86

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If it was myself I would make the hour round trip and stock up. Get a few sacks of everything you use as base malt then you can order your smaller stuff. Cheers
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Just moved to DC from Boston. Had a great LHBS 10 minutes away. Shot out to Jim and the crew at Weymouth Homebrew Emporium!

The LHBS picture in DC is grim. Two look decent, but they are well over an hour away roundtrip. The "shop" actually in DC is a room connected to a brewery, 3 Stars Brewing, that holds a 3.7 Untapped rating. Hmm. The shop is open Thu-Sun only. Yikes. There is no phone number for the shop. Holy crap. There is an email address for the brewery and the shop, but they don't respond to stock questions. OMFG. They must be under the impression the stock list available online, posted in 2016, is adequate. Needless to say, the "store" is a dumpster fire aimed squarely at selling Mr. Beer kits. Perhaps it was an isolated incident and they will eventually reply and inform me the trash bag who decided they had better things, possibly with a man bun, to do than respond has been terminated. I won't hold my breath. Please hold the did you consider X; Bell's General Store has already perfected the model 3 Stars is failing at.

So, I'm newly in a position where I won't be buying grain locally and presumably without an AHA discount. Damn I miss you, Jim. Where do folks buy 55lbs sacks when they don't have a real LHBS? MoreBeer's shipping charge on a 55lbs sack is roughly 1/5 the cost of the grain for 2-row. Not ideal. Northern Brewer offers free shipping on grain sacks, but I'm not super keen on supporting big beer. To be fair to MoreBeer, their shipping is lightning fast, even on heavy packages. Northern Brewer's free shipping on the other hand most likely utilizes a senior age donkey that only walks backwards.

I want to support a LHBS. I happily paid a premium on parts at my old shop for years knowing full well Bobby at Brew Hardware would have a much better deal. But I am not going to spend money at a store without a phone that can't even be bothered to respond to email during their scant operating hours. Being rather new to the online shop world, can y'all recommend a decent place to buy 55lbs sacks while not getting killed on shipping nor filling the coffers of Inbev?

Cheers!
I didn't read thru all they replies, but get into the DC group grain purchase!
 

Hammy71

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Very few breweries will sell grain to homebrewers. Some wholesalers prohibit the breweries from reselling grain. Sadly, some of them think that home brewing takes a bite out of commercial brewers profits (right... sure... there's so many home brewers out there, we will put breweries out of business). But... You can always ask them. Offer to pay whatever morebeer or other retailers sell the bags for, so that the brewery can make a profit for their trouble. Remember, breweries have to pay freight/trucking also.

If that doesn't work, seek out some home brew clubs. Some will do "group buys" that may give a little bit of a break on the higher costs. Sometimes they have to drive many miles to a source that is willing to work with them. Maybe help them setup a drive to a remote supplier or retailer.
I haven't met a brewery yet that hasn't sold me grain. Course I haven't asked the big boys (Flying Dog or Dog Fish Head), but if you're a regular and start talking to the owner....they are usually more than willing to offer you a couple bags of grain with a small margin for themselves.
 
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