What's the consensus on buying brew ingredients from LHBS's? Price aside, do you use them? I imagine freshness would be a concern. Considering using one for hops and LME.
My LHBS does double duty as a wholesale supplier for my commercial brewery. We group our orders together to save on shipping. And when I need something quick, I always go to the LHBS. Most staff at these stores are experienced brewers that are willing to help the newbie.
(plus he hosts our club meeting, and gives paid members 10% discount after the meeting.
Even before I got the Brewer's Notice, I shopped almost exlusively at the LHBS. You don't always save money, but I don't mind spending a little more to keep my money circulating around town. The only thing I really did mail order was hops, and that was direct from a farm in Yakima, not Morebeer, Midwest or such. Although, for many folks, those places are their LHBS.