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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: babalu87 on August 19, 2010, 03:32:35 PM

Title: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: babalu87 on August 19, 2010, 03:32:35 PM
Thread on Beer Advocate

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/2970833

This will really raise my brewing costs if they stop selling in bulk to homebrewer clubs

Quote
Quote:
We recently acquired Brewcraft and intend to open up other distribution points in the near future.

However, we appreciate the continued business our loyal homebrew customers have given us. With that being said we intend to continue to make our current product line available to our current home brew accounts but we will not be accepting new home brew customers. Homebrew customers who have done business with North Country Malt Supply and Mid Country Malt Supply over the past 12 months can place orders by calling our toll free number (NC: 888-368-5571 - MC: 866-428-1438) or by e-mailing: orders@northcountrymalt.com.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kelly J. Kuehl - Director of Sales
The Country Malt Group
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: theDarkSide on August 19, 2010, 03:39:30 PM
Boy am I glad I just placed my first order with them about a month ago.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tygo on August 19, 2010, 04:14:54 PM
Ouch.  I hope they don't discontinue it completely at some point, even for those who have ordered in the past.  Just got a new sack of MO and a pound of hallertauer mittelfreuh pellets from them the other week.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Hokerer on August 19, 2010, 04:21:50 PM
Ouch.  I hope they don't discontinue it completely at some point, even for those who have ordered in the past.  Just got a new sack of MO and a pound of hallertauer mittelfreuh pellets from them the other week.

Yeah, let's hope they don't discontinue in the future.  Guess I'll need to order a sack every 6 months to keep things active.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 19, 2010, 04:33:56 PM
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Probably $$$.

That's a loss for the homebrewing community.  :(
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: dhacker on August 19, 2010, 05:37:10 PM
A definite loss to NCM.

Goodwill is priceless . . .
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bobburchler on August 19, 2010, 06:09:54 PM
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Probably $$$.

That's a loss for the homebrewing community.  :(

They're protecting their distributors, which is very common practice.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: babalu87 on August 19, 2010, 06:17:23 PM
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Probably $$$.

That's a loss for the homebrewing community.  :(

They're protecting their distributors, which is very common practice.

No, but they are becoming distributors.
The only homebrew shop they were ever associated is one in Maryland.  Hopefully they will still allow full pallet orders, otherwise I'll have to incoorperate my homebrew name
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: hamiltont on August 19, 2010, 06:27:47 PM
I'd say their acquisition of BrewCraft pretty much sums it up.  BrewCraft is NCM's new distribution channel for homebrewers like us.  Maybe they'll continue to sell pallet loads??  If they do I bet they discontinue it within the next year or so, or make the minimum order qty unrealistic for a homebrewer and most clubs. My 2 cents anyway...
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bobburchler on August 19, 2010, 07:36:20 PM
They're not becoming distributors, but they have acquired a distribution company and are there fore protecting them. Unless I'm mistaken, they're still wholesalers as well.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: homebrewgamecock on August 19, 2010, 07:43:40 PM
That sucks.  We have a guy in the Denver area that arranges a group by twice a year.  We usually get enough to fill 2 pallets sometimes 3.  I hope we can still place orders for these group buys.  It saves me tons of money.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Rhoobarb on August 19, 2010, 07:46:37 PM
Latest posted there is this:

Quote
We recently acquired Brewcraft and intend to open up other distribution points in the near future.

However, we appreciate the continued business our loyal homebrew customers have given us. With that being said we intend to continue to make our current product line available to our current home brew accounts but we will not be accepting new home brew customers. Homebrew customers who have done business with North Country Malt Supply and Mid Country Malt Supply over the past 12 months can place orders by calling our toll free number (NC: 888-368-5571 - MC: 866-428-1438) or by e-mailing: orders@northcountrymalt.com.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kelly J. Kuehl - Director of Sales
The Country Malt Group

Another person posted that smaller quantities - single bags, etc. will be directed to Brewcraft. I like/liked buying from Mid-Country b/c they are only ten mins. from my house!
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: beerocd on August 20, 2010, 03:18:39 AM
Gonna need to fire up some Co_ops. I'm sure it's a quantity thing.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: euge on August 20, 2010, 06:46:50 AM
Sorry to hear it. Currently living in a grain dead-zone due to prohibitive shipping costs. I have to get it from the LHBS. Hopefully my own expense will stay the same. :-\
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: BrewingRover on August 20, 2010, 11:35:16 AM

Another person posted that smaller quantities - single bags, etc. will be directed to Brewcraft. I like/liked buying from Mid-Country b/c they are only ten mins. from my house!

Me too! I hope the prior customer thing holds up for a bit, although I bought a couple of sacks last month. What's funny was that was the first time I saw them selling less than sack amounts of grain off the dock at MCM, They said they had started that recently so this seems like an abrupt change for the company.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: theDarkSide on August 20, 2010, 01:11:16 PM
You can get full sacks of grain from www.brewmasterswarehouse.com and they only charge the flat rate shipping of $6.99.  There are also discount codes for the Brewing Network and HBT for 10% off.

After all that, it's still more expensive than NCM.  Hopefully you can get some deals from your LHBS.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Malticulous on August 20, 2010, 04:01:08 PM
You can get full sacks of grain from www.brewmasterswarehouse.com and they only charge the flat rate shipping of $6.99.  There are also discount codes for the Brewing Network and HBT for 10% off.

After all that, it's still more expensive than NCM.  Hopefully you can get some deals from your LHBS.

AHS free shipping on orders over $100 and $52 sacks of Great Western 2-row is the cheapest I can get ($1.04 lb.) The shipping killed the deal for me from NCM anyway. It would have been nice if there was a South Western Country Malt. Hopefully this move will bring my prices down somehow.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: dbeechum on August 20, 2010, 04:08:40 PM
I was actually just writing about this stuff. May have to call me article back in. damn.

The other options if NCM drops pallet deliveries:
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: euge on August 20, 2010, 04:47:42 PM
You can get full sacks of grain from www.brewmasterswarehouse.com and they only charge the flat rate shipping of $6.99.  There are also discount codes for the Brewing Network and HBT for 10% off.

After all that, it's still more expensive than NCM.  Hopefully you can get some deals from your LHBS.

AHS free shipping on orders over $100 and $52 sacks of Great Western 2-row is the cheapest I can get ($1.04 lb.) The shipping killed the deal for me from NCM anyway. It would have been nice if there was a South Western Country Malt. Hopefully this move will bring my prices down somehow.

As far as I remember AHS has 40# sacks of malt and they don't qualify for the special shipping rate either. I researched it a few years back- as a region Texas doesn't do barley. Closest was Colorado. So no Maltsters.

It would be nice if I was mistaken... Anyone?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: dhacker on August 20, 2010, 05:02:06 PM
You can buy 200 lbs. of 2 row for $200 and get free shipping. Everything else is indeed a 40 lb. bag in bulk. But yes, if you spend $100 +, you do get free shipping on everything it appears . . . 
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Malticulous on August 20, 2010, 05:42:04 PM
No, the 2-row is a fifty pound bag of Great Western.
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_21_71_425_426&products_id=10345
I just used one up. I think it used to be just 40.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: euge on August 20, 2010, 05:53:35 PM
Oh this is good to know since I pay $60+ for it at the LHBS. I have no problem ordering 2 sacks at a time.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: dhacker on August 20, 2010, 06:09:22 PM
No, the 2-row is a fifty pound bag of Great Western.
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_21_71_425_426&products_id=10345
I just used one up. I think it used to be just 40.

Yer right . .I missed that.  :-[
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 20, 2010, 08:08:33 PM
FWIW, I just placed an order with NCM for 2 sacks of malt. I asked them if I was grandfathered in, and she didn't seem to be too concerned about the 12-month timeframe so much as the fact that I had an existing account and good CC info on file.

Still cheaper than the cheapest local option. $57/bag incl. shipping to my door. Cheapest local source is a 40 minute drive (one way) and is on sale right now for $60-ish, normally $80-ish. For Maris Otter, that is.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Hokerer on August 20, 2010, 08:31:38 PM
Still cheaper than the cheapest local option. $57/bag incl. shipping to my door. Cheapest local source is a 40 minute drive (one way) and is on sale right now for $60-ish, normally $80-ish. For Maris Otter, that is.

And for me, it's not just the price.  NCM carries Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter and I'm only interesting in using that or Crisp.  All of our LHBS are apparently "Crosby and Baker" shops which means their Marris Otter is Muntons which I won't use.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 20, 2010, 09:02:50 PM
I didn't even realize Munton's made a Maris Otter. I thought it was a trademarked name.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: narvin on August 20, 2010, 09:26:04 PM

The only homebrew shop they were ever associated is one in Maryland.  Hopefully they will still allow full pallet orders, otherwise I'll have to incoorperate my homebrew name

Maryland homebrew still sells north country stuff by the sack.  After their markup, both MFB pils and Best Malz pils are about $52 for a 55 pound sack.  They special ordered some Great Western for me, it was perhaps  40 something. Not too bad if you're within driving distance.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Dave King on August 20, 2010, 11:29:55 PM
Our club put in a 1200 lb order with North Country Malt about 4 months ago, cost us $100 shipping, which was fantastic.  We just learned about them, so this was our 1st order, and we planned to do it again this winter, so if someone finds a similar deal, we're interested.  We live out, not much competition locally,  Thanks,
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: beerocd on August 21, 2010, 01:00:13 AM
I was actually just writing about this stuff. May have to call me article back in. damn.

Edit your article to include feed stores and home malting instructions. :)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: richardt on August 21, 2010, 01:51:55 AM
From what I've read, I was under the impression that maltsters use the highest grade of grains for malting.
Is feed grain the same grade or an inferior grade?  If an inferior grade, would we want to spend time malting inferior grains?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: dbeechum on August 21, 2010, 04:16:57 AM
Is feed grain the same grade or an inferior grade? 

Massively inferior

And I already have a joke in there about feed barley! :)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: denny on August 21, 2010, 03:15:59 PM
I didn't even realize Munton's made a Maris Otter. I thought it was a trademarked name.

Maris Otter is a barley variety.  Many maltsters malt Maris Otter.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: denny on August 21, 2010, 03:17:33 PM
From what I've read, I was under the impression that maltsters use the highest grade of grains for malting.
Is feed grain the same grade or an inferior grade?  If an inferior grade, would we want to spend time malting inferior grains?

Personally, I wouldn't want to spend the time malting _any_ barley!
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: beerocd on August 21, 2010, 05:38:01 PM

Personally, I wouldn't want to spend the time malting _any_ barley!

I thought maybe you'd need something to fill all that free time you have now. ;)
Anyway - it'd just suck to go from 27 per 55lbs sack to darn near $2 per lb.

I think I'll be OK some other guys in the area have run group buys and we should be able to continue that.
This could be a good thing for homebrew clubs though, undoubtedly they've already run group buys and will be able to continue. So memberships should be on the rise.


* Would this be the appropriate time to start a "prison hooch" thread.  :P 
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: richardt on August 21, 2010, 06:11:54 PM
...Many maltsters malt Maris Otter.

Nice tongue twister!
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Hokerer on August 21, 2010, 07:19:58 PM
...Many maltsters malt Maris Otter.

Nice tongue twister!

No kidding, try saying that three times fast
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Hokerer on August 21, 2010, 07:32:38 PM
Maryland homebrew still sells north country stuff by the sack.  After their markup, both MFB pils and Best Malz pils are about $52 for a 55 pound sack.  They special ordered some Great Western for me, it was perhaps  40 something. Not too bad if you're within driving distance.

Does that include 2-row and Marris Otter?  When I look at their website, it says their 2-row is Briess and their Marris Otter is Munton's.  Do they not list the North Country stuff on their website?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: narvin on August 21, 2010, 09:13:51 PM
Maryland homebrew still sells north country stuff by the sack.  After their markup, both MFB pils and Best Malz pils are about $52 for a 55 pound sack.  They special ordered some Great Western for me, it was perhaps  40 something. Not too bad if you're within driving distance.

Does that include 2-row and Marris Otter?  When I look at their website, it says their 2-row is Briess and their Marris Otter is Munton's.  Do they not list the North Country stuff on their website?

They don't seem to list any sacks of grain on the website, but they sell them.  I know they don't stock every brand, though.

Contact Chris (http://www.mdhb.com/contact_us.php) and ask.  In the past, my understanding was that they order pallets from North Country all the time, and they would special order any malt that they carry.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Dbbrewing on August 22, 2010, 05:30:25 AM
My club makes a huge order 1 or 2 times a year so hopefully we can still get our grain from NCM.....We save a ton of money buying through them.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: niquejim on August 23, 2010, 12:14:21 AM
It's about time everyone else has to pay prices I have to pay
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 23, 2010, 01:10:33 AM
My concern would be that once they get full swing into the distribution business, no one is going to be getting these prices again. If I understand the situation correctly, anyway. Would they be selling direct to anyone in any quantity once they have distribution?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: denny on August 23, 2010, 03:38:48 PM
...Many maltsters malt Maris Otter.

Nice tongue twister!

Thankee!  I was kinda proud of that one!
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: denny on August 23, 2010, 03:39:23 PM
It's about time everyone else has to pay prices I have to pay

 ;D
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 23, 2010, 04:57:02 PM
I just called NCM and verified that I am still able to purchase malt directly from them because I made a  purchase from them this year.  New homebrewers are able to purchase from their newly acquired sister company. 

If you have purchased from NCM within the past year you will still be able to purchase from them.  You must make a purchase every year to stay active in their system.  At least this is my perception of how it will work.  Sorry if I am repeating any info but I thought it would be of value to repeat this info.

I'm not exactly sure of the sister company policy, but I assume the pricing will be the same???
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: grainpaw on August 24, 2010, 07:51:11 PM
So far everyone has been complaining about their own pocketbooks, with no concern for the bigger picture. If you make more than I do running an LHBS and with a part-time job, about $9,000 a year, I don't want to hear any more of your whining. And don't cry to Country Malts the next time you break your hydrometer, and the the new one costs more, if you can find a LHBS still in operation. There is substantial overhead and a paperwork nightmare involved in operating a legal business from an actual storefront, aside from actually dealing with customers, some of who need extensive explanations and hand-holding. Granted, there are some operations handling supplies as a sideline, which have no idea of fair prices or ability to explain things, but most retailers are dedicated and knowledgeable.
    In fact, Brewcraft has been purchased by Great Western Malting Co., owner of the Country  Malt companies and a subsidiary of Graincorp Ltd. It is not a good sign that I, a Brewcraft customer, had to find out about the deal on this forum a month after it happened. I hope they will come to realize the damage they have been doing to the retail network. By offering grain at wholesale to anyone, they are undermining the base of retailers who helped build this hobby and keep it going in many ways.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: narvin on August 24, 2010, 09:00:56 PM
How is wholesale grain undermining the retail network?  Most consumers don't have the need, the space, or the time to brew enough to buy malt in bulk quantities.  But, for those who do, it's a great alternative.  The point of retail isn't to hold consumers hostage and force them to pay middleman mark-ups; it should provide service, convenience, and smaller quantities for sale.  Consumers who don't need these things have every right to buy in bulk, and as we've seen in other areas of retail, this works very well for both the consumer and the businesses.  If you aren't making money as a specialty shop, maybe you should look at your business model and your attitudes before blaming the customers who (rightly) want to save money.  If your LHBS gives bad advice (as many do, sadly), why not buy online when you can get better prices and advice from the Northern Brewer website?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 24, 2010, 09:27:04 PM
I don't think anyone is questioning whether or not you have the right to order online and buy in bulk, but whether it is the best long-term strategy for those who want to have a strong and vibrant hobby community, and want to be able to get stuff on the spur of the moment rather than have to wait days for shipping.

Personally I buy as much as possible from my LHBS, and order some stuff online when it makes most sense.  I'm also friends with my LHBS owner, so there's some loyalty there.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: redbeerman on August 24, 2010, 10:58:44 PM
I buy from my LHBS for most things like specialty malts, yeast, cleaning supplies, etc.  They also do group buys with NCM and their other grain suppliers.  They realize that some of their customers do buy in bulk, so they sponsor the buy, make a few bucks off each sack and the customer still saves over buying in bulk as a single.  Everybody wins.  And this gets more folks in the store to buy other things as well.  Their business seems to be thriving as well.  I've known them for years and their advice is pretty solid too.  I still buy from NCM a couple times a year, but only if I'm in a pinch for base malt.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 25, 2010, 01:21:40 AM
I buy from my LHBS for most things like specialty malts, yeast, cleaning supplies, etc.  They also do group buys with NCM and their other grain suppliers.  They realize that some of their customers do buy in bulk, so they sponsor the buy, make a few bucks off each sack and the customer still saves over buying in bulk as a single.  Everybody wins.  And this gets more folks in the store to buy other things as well.  Their business seems to be thriving as well.  I've known them for years and their advice is pretty solid too.  I still buy from NCM a couple times a year, but only if I'm in a pinch for base malt.

Jim...this is my sentiment exactly.  ;)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: grainpaw on August 25, 2010, 06:32:34 PM
Here's the link for the press release on the Brewcraft purchase:  http://www.graincorp.com.au/media/2010%20Media/Great%20Western%20Malting%20Company%20Purchases%20Brewcraft%20USA.pdf

How is public wholesale grain sales not undermining the retail network? Look at the empty storefronts on Main Street in any small town with a Wal-Mart a few miles away. Same difference.

In fact, I carry a Northern Brewer catalog in my briefcase to check my prices against, and will check prices online sometimes, so that I have realistic and competitive prices, and sales tax is generally less than shipping on a small order under $120 or so. I have been homebrewing and making wine since 1978 and selling supplies since 1991, and have some commercial winery experience. I haven't done it all yet, but I know more than most of the people who walk into the shop, and am able to help the ones who are able to listen.

The club I helped found 15 years ago has essentially divorced me over just the discussion for a bulk malt order. Unfortunately it was done entirely on the club's Yahoo Groups site, I was not able to talk to anyone in person in the couple of weeks it took for everything to fall apart. They said, let's do a bulk order, I said, OK, let's work out details, here's my wholesaler's website so you can see what is available, I guess I could do a 15% discount. They said, oh no, we want more like a 25% discount, and we don't want to pay sales tax (3% on food). 15% is about the limit of my profit margin in a good year, never mind when I am paying off a loan needed to recover from a flood that almost killed the business a year earlier. The guy who spends $600 a pop on wine kits, and the commercial winery that occasionally needs something, are happy with 5% off. Then someone who was trying to be helpful said, hey, look at the North Country Malt website, maybe their prices are better than your wholesaler's (nice selection, but about the same price level as it turned out). Someone else said, hey we could order together and you could take what we don't want of the specialty grains and sell it in the shop. Well, there is no way I could buy maybe 20-25 pounds of something I may only sell 5 or 10 of in a year (less, with the club not needing any), plus a legal-for-trade scale to weigh out pounds with. The club was wanting me to sell at a loss, evade taxes, do most of the work and paperwork,and take on extra expense and inventory that would be stale before it was all sold, all on the off chance that they would buy something else at regular price. Try that in any store and see how far you get. It's not realistic. So I said, all you need now is someone with a credit card and a forklift. The 55 pound bag of pale malt that was on the shelf when all this happened is still there, a year and a half later, until I use it, most likely. Net result, instead of being on the shelf, big bags are now special order, come back next week. I have about 30 different specialty malts, but no more than 5 pounds of each, and 3 to 5 base malts in 10 pound bags. I still relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew, and save money and time by being home and brewing instead of driving 70 miles round trip to a club meeting that was getting less enjoyable every time I went, even before this happened.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 25, 2010, 06:36:37 PM
That's a real bummer.  I hate stories like that.   :(
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: narvin on August 25, 2010, 06:43:03 PM

How is public wholesale grain sales not undermining the retail network? Look at the empty storefronts on Main Street in any small town with a Wal-Mart a few miles away. Same difference.


Or, you could take a look at Costco, a bulk retailer that actually pays its employees a decent wage and has great service.  And then look down the road at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, high end specialty stores that are also thriving.  Two sides of the coin, able to coexist.  The economic distress in small town America has a lot more to do with our economy than the fact that Wal Mart came to town.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: denny on August 25, 2010, 06:44:36 PM
Personally I buy as much as possible from my LHBS, and order some stuff online when it makes most sense.  I'm also friends with my LHBS owner, so there's some loyalty there.

Exactly my situation, too.  Our club does a group buy once a year throug a local brewery, and the prices are so low that I wouldn't think of asking my LHBS owner ( a good friend) to try to match them.  He probably pays more than that wholesale.  But once my malt from that purchase is used up, I make it a point to buy from him, and always get everything else through him.  As a former small business owner myself, I want to support the local guys as much as I possibly can.  But that doesn't extend as far as paying over double for sack of grain.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: euge on August 25, 2010, 06:53:43 PM
I found that penny-pinching my ingredients made me unhappy. I whined about it (prices) endlessly. Currently, I've got my economy of scale going, and save where I can, mainly with bulk hop purchases.

Otherwise I no longer care if I save a few pennies here or there- especially with grain since bulk-ordering is pretty much out of the question. Trying to be pragmatic and realistic about the whole issue. I support my LHBS and only ask that he keeps stuff consistently in stock, which he usually does if he can get it. I'll drop $120 in there without blinking and I get no discounts.

Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 25, 2010, 06:55:21 PM
Our club does a group buy once a year throug a local brewery, and the prices are so low that I wouldn't think of asking my LHBS owner ( a good friend) to try to match them.  He probably pays more than that wholesale.
Sounds like you need to hook the LHBS owner up with your bulk buy :)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: redbeerman on August 25, 2010, 08:16:31 PM
My LHBS buys multiple 55 lb sacks of base grains and weighs out what the customer needs at the time of purchase.  He buys some specialty malts in bulk as well.  I don't understand how your club buy wouldn't work out for you unless you don't do a very high volume of business in the first place.   Something isn't making sense to me here.  No offense intended.  Unless of course you only sell kits and pre-weighed packages of grain, that would explain the issue.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 25, 2010, 11:14:59 PM
How is public wholesale grain sales not undermining the retail network? Look at the empty storefronts on Main Street in any small town with a Wal-Mart a few miles away. Same difference.

Wholesale public sales of any item undermines the retail sale of that item (and in this case, only that item). The question is whether or not we as consumers should be concerned. Of course retailers would be concerned, but most of us aren't retailers. Wal-Mart is a discount retailer, not a wholesaler. Big difference, and an all around bad comparison.

Sorry you've had bad experiences, but I'm not about to drive an hour to pay $90 for something that I can get shipped to my door for $60. I know it's tough to run this kind of business, but I don't feel bad enough to let myself be willingly gouged unless there's some good and compelling reason. For most other items, a competitive LHBS within 10 miles or so would get my business. For what it's worth, though, I would have told that club to pound sand as well. You're not in Princeton, are you?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 26, 2010, 04:20:38 AM
Sorry you've had bad experiences, but I'm not about to drive an hour to pay $90 for something that I can get shipped to my door for $60.
Here's part of the problem when we're talking on-line from all over the place.

Your LHBS is an hour away?  That's not local as far as I'm concerned.  I have no less than 6 homebrew shops within an hour of my house.  There's 2 shops within 5 minutes of my daily commute if there's no traffic.  And for the record, even as close as they are I might not pay $90 for something I can get shipped to me for $60 either.  But would I pay $65?  Sure.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: drf255 on August 26, 2010, 09:05:39 AM
I'm definitely in the minority on this one.

My LHBS has awesome prices on sacks of grain.  I pay less than $50 for a sack of american 2 row, and around $50 for Munton's MO and Weyermann Pils.  Belgians are around $60-65. 

I but most of my specialty malts, hops and yeast on-line. It doesnt have alot of variety of these, especially in the summer.  My LHBS gets alot of business from it's bulk grain. 

I do, however, try to give them as much business as possible as their conveinece can't be beat.

I am personally in the anti-walmart/home depot/etc club.  I support the local business in my town, even if it costs me a few bucks extra.  I watched a CVS and an Eckard Drugs open across the street from each other in my town and put 3 mom and pop pharmacies out of business.  They also bought the local market for one of their stores which now forces me to travel for a supermarket (even thogh the cost is less).
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 26, 2010, 01:31:24 PM
Sorry you've had bad experiences, but I'm not about to drive an hour to pay $90 for something that I can get shipped to my door for $60.
Here's part of the problem when we're talking on-line from all over the place.

Your LHBS is an hour away?  That's not local as far as I'm concerned.  I have no less than 6 homebrew shops within an hour of my house.  There's 2 shops within 5 minutes of my daily commute if there's no traffic.  And for the record, even as close as they are I might not pay $90 for something I can get shipped to me for $60 either.  But would I pay $65?  Sure.

Depending on traffic through New Hope and how stupid I drive, yeah. But I'll make the drive for their grape juice. Which is why I hate the "you guys should support your LHBS" arguments. Trust me, even if you don't you'll be ok. Don't support bad businesses.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 26, 2010, 04:14:06 PM
Sorry you've had bad experiences, but I'm not about to drive an hour to pay $90 for something that I can get shipped to my door for $60.
Here's part of the problem when we're talking on-line from all over the place.

Your LHBS is an hour away?  That's not local as far as I'm concerned.  I have no less than 6 homebrew shops within an hour of my house.  There's 2 shops within 5 minutes of my daily commute if there's no traffic.  And for the record, even as close as they are I might not pay $90 for something I can get shipped to me for $60 either.  But would I pay $65?  Sure.

Depending on traffic through New Hope and how stupid I drive, yeah. But I'll make the drive for their grape juice. Which is why I hate the "you guys should support your LHBS" arguments. Trust me, even if you don't you'll be ok. Don't support bad businesses.
No one is saying support a bad business.  When the discussion turns to "support your LHBS", I think you can fairly say "I don't have a good one" if that's how you feel about it.  Because while I support my LHBS as much as possible, there are some of those 6 that I don't like and I would be buying everything online if they were the only choices available.  Back ~1998 I stopped brewing for 6 months because my favorite shop burned down and I didn't like the available options.  If I had known about a good online store I would have shopped there, but I didn't.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 26, 2010, 04:40:52 PM
[redacted]
Nevermind, I'm talking around points.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: tschmidlin on August 26, 2010, 04:48:12 PM
My argument being that marking things up 50% or better over your competition and expecting your customer base to support this out of goodwill is bad business, not that all LHBS are bad businesses.
I agree, that's bad business.  I assumed you were referencing one shop as a bad business, not LHBS in general.  I wouldn't expect anyone to support a shop where they don't like the owner, the staff members are rude, the prices are exorbitant, etc.

Sounds like we agree.   :)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 26, 2010, 08:18:30 PM
Yeah, more or less. I just realized I had drifted into pointles kibitzing.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: homebrewgamecock on August 26, 2010, 08:31:01 PM
I participate in a group grain buy here in Denver once or twice a year.  I buy English Pale, Pilsner and usually split a bag of Munich with someone (avg sack price is $40-50 with shipping).  I purchase my American 2 row from my local Gordon Biersch brewery.  The head brewer allows me to come by and fill up my 33 gallon trash can I use for grain.  He charges me his cost, which is about 30 cents per pound. 

I buy specialty grain, yeast and other supplies from my LHBS.  It's close - 15-20 minutes into Boulder for me.  They have good prices and service so I try to spend my money there when possible.

As for the bulk grain, they just can't come close to those prices which I understand.  As much as I brew, saving some dollars is helpful.  I try to frequent mom and pop stores, restaurants and services as much as possible, even if it costs a little more.  When it costs a lot more, I tend to go somewhere that less costly.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: grainpaw on August 27, 2010, 12:05:47 AM
http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/list?c_id=US&s_id=WV&homebrew=Y
This is the link to to the BA page for WV homebrew shops. Mine is The Cellar. There are two reviews from club members before the rift. The club did go on to buy  from North Country Malt. They may have dealt with the local brewpub as well.
The 55 lbs. Muntons Pale Malt was $66 at the time, around April 2009. Prices are down since then. Now I would price it at about $59, plus 3% tax.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: giant_macaskill on August 27, 2010, 03:53:13 PM
Allow me to get on my high horse.

I for one am not sympathetic to my LBHS who owns a monopoly over a large area, and is completely uninterested and unresponsive to customer requests. You can shove your 400% markup and matching attitude up your ass. ;D
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2010, 04:23:12 PM
I dunno what the hell you guys are talking about. I just bought 80 sacks of malt from them and I'm a homebrewer.  :)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 27, 2010, 04:28:12 PM
and I'm a homebrewer.  :)

not anymore.... ;)    ;D    :P
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: redbeerman on August 27, 2010, 04:29:38 PM
and I'm a homebrewer.  :)

not anymore.... ;)    ;D    :P

+80
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on August 27, 2010, 04:32:11 PM
2 pallets. Nice.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2010, 04:37:38 PM
and I'm a homebrewer.  :)

not anymore.... ;)    ;D    :P

I am mashing a Belgian white at home right now at this very moment. So yes, I am still a homebrewer.  ;)
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 27, 2010, 04:45:58 PM
and I'm a homebrewer.  :)

not anymore.... ;)    ;D    :P

I am mashing a Belgian white at home right now at this very moment. So yes, I am still a homebrewer.  ;)

Well I suppose we'll still let you hang out here with us.   :-\    ;)   ;D
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2010, 04:47:52 PM
I shall continue to grace you all with my presence until you finally bore me. :P
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: bluesman on August 27, 2010, 04:49:42 PM
I shall continue to grace you all with my presence until you finally bore me. :P

So what was the shipping damage$$$ on two pallets from NC?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on August 27, 2010, 05:05:43 PM
WOW.
They have a new web site.
http://www.countrymaltgroup.com/
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2010, 05:49:07 PM
I shall continue to grace you all with my presence until you finally bore me. :P

So what was the shipping damage$$$ on two pallets from NC?

$330
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: MrNate on August 27, 2010, 05:56:17 PM
WOW.
They have a new web site.
http://www.countrymaltgroup.com/

Yeah, with no contact or ordering info. I guess I'll need to grab their number and keep it in a safe place.

Oh, I guess I was too dumb to notice the phone numbers for each distro point at the bottom of the home page. What else is new?
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: euge on August 27, 2010, 05:59:10 PM
Appears to me... Homebrewer's need not call.  :D
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: beveragebob on August 28, 2010, 12:20:40 AM
I wanted to order a full palette of NCM back a few months and they wanted 750 clams to ship it to Las Cruces, NM. Now I go through my local brewpub and can get any Briess product by the sack for 25 bucks. I'm happy with that being there is no HB shop in town. Just a quasi shop that is really a pool and spa place. I get yeast from there during the hot months and that's about all.
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: redzim on September 06, 2010, 12:57:38 PM
So where do we get Best Malz pilsner from now???? Or can someone recommend me a good Pils malt that NB or Midwest or someone else sells.   One Pils malt I do NOT like is Crisp Euro Pils. It always comes out way too sweet somehow, even when it's fermented down to 1.010

Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: 1vertical on September 11, 2010, 01:04:40 PM
So where do we get Best Malz pilsner from now???? Or can someone recommend me a good Pils malt that NB or Midwest or someone else sells.   One Pils malt I do NOT like is Crisp Euro Pils. It always comes out way too sweet somehow, even when it's fermented down to 1.010



+1... ???  Same question, different brewer.....
Title: Re: North Country Malt to stop selling to homebrewers
Post by: worchestershire on September 13, 2010, 04:33:48 PM
I too was distressed to see the homebrew catalog disappear.
I have found them very competitive for high quality malt- like the Baird Maris Otter and the Best line very much.

I live about 2 hours from their Plattsburg NY warehouse and visited it to save shipping Nov 09.
They are not well configured for small orders- cramped office and overstocked warehouse so I am not surprised.

Still I hope I can get a few bags dropping in. Will have to find another source otherwise.
Like the $0.70/pound versus > $1.75/pound at the LHBS or on-line + shipping.

Cheers