Author Topic: Home Brew Supply Startup  (Read 3678 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2013, 07:38:18 AM »
We have a fairly new, very small shop in a nearby town and I've helped them figure out what to stock.  Its tough as heck to have everything in stock though, even farily large shops don't stock every specialty grain there is.

That said, if the prices are too much over mail order then you will lose business, plain and simple.  The new people started with some pretty high prices and turned off a lot of new customers right off the bat, and I think they're suffering for it.  I would at least start on the low side and ramp up slowly, or run regular sales. 

Something our LHBS does is to run regular pallet orders and offer a discount on those, it helps them defray their shipping costs, make a few bucks and not have to store so much stuff at the store.  It gives club members (and anyone else) the opportunity to order exactly what they want.  This is also how the next closest LHBS runs, and they vary which supplier they go through which gives me access to great variety of malts and products.

You might also find a source for corny kegs and offer them at decent prices.  Equipping your customer base properly will make it easier for them to brew more beer.


Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline micsager

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2013, 07:41:33 AM »
For me it's a no brainer.  I have one LHBS within 75 miles or so.  This guy is fairly new, and since we opened a nano production brewery, we share supply/ingredient orders of many things.  It's much better to pay $100 for a 50lb bucket of PBW, than the $6-7 for each pound.  But we are too small to order on our own. 


Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2013, 10:16:50 AM »
Oddly enough, I just found out our LHBS is going out of business.  The guy got a new job and his wife is tired to working 50hr/wk for sub-minimum wage.

Actually, the fellow is supposed to become the brewer at a new brewpub thats going in here in little old Hannibal MO.  I expect they'll be up and running by the spring.  So he's definitely upgrading and staying "in the business".  In fact, maybe he can run the LHBS out of the brewpub, I've heard fo this before.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline landsrud

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2013, 05:54:25 PM »
Top of the list is friendly staff.  The closest HBS to me (10 min drive) doesn't have the most welcoming atmosphere. 

And did I mention friendly?  Staff should be happy to help you, not look annoyed that you're in their store.

I go to the close store if I need a last-minute item for brew day that I know they'll have.  As much as I like to support local business, I make the drive whenever I can.

I second that - and a CLEAN shop. I bought all my first stuff at the LHBS - they are actually kind of expensive and the store is dirty - but I try to support the local business. I bought all the stuff for all my brews there until one day I brought a question to the guy I couldn't figure out on my own (luckily the board helped me out!). 

Now, I know people get tired of hearing the same stupid beginning questions all the time, and the guy can be condescending anyway - but that day the owner was so arrogant and discouraging that I've ordered stuff from Northern Brewer ever since. In fact, my wife doesn't want me to give the guy another penny.

So yeah, the customer service stuff and remember that everyone starts a newbie and one really bad experience can mean a loyal customer lost. There's little or no chance of you turning into comic book guy, though.

Keep all essentials in stock
Do special orders
Keep the website up to date and don't make people have to call to see if their stuff is in
Make a solid logo so people will want your T-shirt. 

All the Best
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 06:11:30 PM by landsrud »
-----------------------------------
in the primary:
:(

in the secondary:
:(

conditioning:
Westvleteren quadrupel clone (2.5 gal)
http://beerrecipes.org/showrecipe.php?recipeid=1241

in bottles:
Imperial Stout

Offline tonyp

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2013, 08:51:02 AM »
Please tell your customers if you are out of a certain ingredient. My LHBS didn't have c60 so they took it upon themselves to "make" c60 by giving me half c20 and half c40 because "its basically the same thing".

I now only shop there if I'm desperate for time and need something that will take a few days to get from Northern Brewer.

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Offline anthony

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2013, 09:39:42 AM »
Please tell your customers if you are out of a certain ingredient. My LHBS didn't have c60 so they took it upon themselves to "make" c60 by giving me half c20 and half c40 because "its basically the same thing".

I now only shop there if I'm desperate for time and need something that will take a few days to get from Northern Brewer.

Half c40, half c20 would be c30!

I will never forget the time that a friend and I were touring a fairly well known midwest microbrewery and the tour guide was sharing a story about how they knew exactly how much grain the grist-case held:

"Well, one day, we ran out of Crystal 80, so we decided to just use twice as much Crystal 40, unfortunately it was more than the grist case could support and the chains holding it buckled..."

We slowly looked at each other, didn't say s***, drank our free sample beers and high-tailed it out of there.

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2013, 01:29:52 PM »

I will never forget the time that a friend and I were touring a fairly well known midwest microbrewery and the tour guide was sharing a story about how they knew exactly how much grain the grist-case held:

"Well, one day, we ran out of Crystal 80, so we decided to just use twice as much Crystal 40, unfortunately it was more than the grist case could support and the chains holding it buckled..."

We slowly looked at each other, didn't say s***, drank our free sample beers and high-tailed it out of there.
Years ago, a tour guide at a popular Delaware brewery ;) told us that their beers are balanced because they contain equal amounts of barley and hops. Yeeaaah...
 
I've heard so many 'funny' stories from tour guides I hardly listen anymore. I just look at all the equipment and try to stay near the group.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2013, 07:32:46 AM »
I think it is quite difficult to run stand alone secesful HBS. Majority of sales are in extract and kit market. Some are going to be in All grain and these customers want specific grain and some can be in bulk grain.
Liquid yeast has so many varieties and limited shelf life that it is hard to satisfy everybody.

Pricing should be in ball park of price point.

Make your own brew kits.
Please do not get the brewers best or another packaged kit.

You will not sell a lot of brew kettles  or pH meters so focus on brewing supply. Have recommendations where to buy brewing equipment or buy it for them (take money up front).

Your destiguishing factor is customer service.

You avoid middle men like LD Carlson to get your pricing in control and buy in bulk from brew supply companies like MCMS.

Consider on line sales as well as walk in sales.
Consider having bottle shop or tap room in the shop.

At the end of the day you want to pay yourself.
Good luck.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2013, 07:47:16 AM »

I will never forget the time that a friend and I were touring a fairly well known midwest microbrewery and the tour guide was sharing a story about how they knew exactly how much grain the grist-case held:

"Well, one day, we ran out of Crystal 80, so we decided to just use twice as much Crystal 40, unfortunately it was more than the grist case could support and the chains holding it buckled..."

We slowly looked at each other, didn't say s***, drank our free sample beers and high-tailed it out of there.
Years ago, a tour guide at a popular Delaware brewery ;) told us that their beers are balanced because they contain equal amounts of barley and hops. Yeeaaah...
 
I've heard so many 'funny' stories from tour guides I hardly listen anymore. I just look at all the equipment and try to stay near the group.

I hear ya about the tour guides.  We're headed on an Alaska cruise next month, so of course they will have many different types of beer tastings with Alaskan Brewing Co beers.  It will be funny to hear what some cruise line guy has to say about the beer. 

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2013, 07:51:17 AM »
Winery guides are no better, sometimes worse.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2013, 08:45:01 AM »

I will never forget the time that a friend and I were touring a fairly well known midwest microbrewery and the tour guide was sharing a story about how they knew exactly how much grain the grist-case held:

"Well, one day, we ran out of Crystal 80, so we decided to just use twice as much Crystal 40, unfortunately it was more than the grist case could support and the chains holding it buckled..."

We slowly looked at each other, didn't say s***, drank our free sample beers and high-tailed it out of there.
Years ago, a tour guide at a popular Delaware brewery ;) told us that their beers are balanced because they contain equal amounts of barley and hops. Yeeaaah...
 
I've heard so many 'funny' stories from tour guides I hardly listen anymore. I just look at all the equipment and try to stay near the group.

I was on a tour somewhere, I forget where, and the tour guide found out me and a friend were homebrewers. She proceeded to tell us we must not have been very good because homebrewers always ask a lot of questions. Then I asked her if she could explain the metabolic pathways of the house yeast during anaerobic fermentation and to what extent that information played a role in selection of the house yeast. When she stared blankly at me I told her that was why I wasn't asking any questions. I know it was kind of douchey of me but her question was rude and wrong. It warranted an equally rude response.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2013, 09:46:58 AM »

I will never forget the time that a friend and I were touring a fairly well known midwest microbrewery and the tour guide was sharing a story about how they knew exactly how much grain the grist-case held:

"Well, one day, we ran out of Crystal 80, so we decided to just use twice as much Crystal 40, unfortunately it was more than the grist case could support and the chains holding it buckled..."

We slowly looked at each other, didn't say s***, drank our free sample beers and high-tailed it out of there.
Years ago, a tour guide at a popular Delaware brewery ;) told us that their beers are balanced because they contain equal amounts of barley and hops. Yeeaaah...
 
I've heard so many 'funny' stories from tour guides I hardly listen anymore. I just look at all the equipment and try to stay near the group.

I was on a tour somewhere, I forget where, and the tour guide found out me and a friend were homebrewers. She proceeded to tell us we must not have been very good because homebrewers always ask a lot of questions. Then I asked her if she could explain the metabolic pathways of the house yeast during anaerobic fermentation and to what extent that information played a role in selection of the house yeast. When she stared blankly at me I told her that was why I wasn't asking any questions. I know it was kind of douchey of me but her question was rude and wrong. It warranted an equally rude response.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2013, 01:51:01 PM »
That's not rude. What I would have told her is rude.

Offline Three

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2013, 07:13:20 PM »
My LHBS :  1.  Is owned by excellent brewers, one of whom is a BJCP
                2. Has a great selection
                3. Has a knowledgeable staff
                4. Prevents me from having to have liquid yeast shipped.
                5. Does a good job of getting new hop varieties when available.
                6. Has a very good nano next door started by a former employee,so the overall atmosphere is   
                    terrific.

I 2nd this as I shop here as well.  Awesome inventory.  Liquid yeast. And the nano brewery rocks!  Just wish it wasn't a 20 mile drive (to both the LHBS and the nano :)!)

I know, I know.  I apologize in advance.  Quoting myself and off topic as well....  BUT

My wish came true (well, for the LHBS anyway).  They just expanded and now have a shop less than 5 minutes away.  Opened yesterday! Now if we can just get that nano to expand as well!!!

This could get expensive!

Anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passin by........

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »
My LHBS :  1.  Is owned by excellent brewers, one of whom is a BJCP
                2. Has a great selection
                3. Has a knowledgeable staff
                4. Prevents me from having to have liquid yeast shipped.
                5. Does a good job of getting new hop varieties when available.
                6. Has a very good nano next door started by a former employee,so the overall atmosphere is   
                    terrific.

I 2nd this as I shop here as well.  Awesome inventory.  Liquid yeast. And the nano brewery rocks!  Just wish it wasn't a 20 mile drive (to both the LHBS and the nano :)!)

I know, I know.  I apologize in advance.  Quoting myself and off topic as well....  BUT

My wish came true (well, for the LHBS anyway).  They just expanded and now have a shop less than 5 minutes away.  Opened yesterday! Now if we can just get that nano to expand as well!!!

This could get expensive!


No kidding!  It's already been there for me. I got the email about the Avon store today. Congrats - it can only be a good thing.  They do an outstanding job.
Jon H.