Author Topic: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs  (Read 1643 times)

Offline guido

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Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« on: August 18, 2013, 07:06:18 AM »
My homebrew club is trying to make a bulk purchase of grain, about 30 bags--perhaps 50 if we can get another nearby club involved.  The problem is that no one will sell directly to a club, only to a brewery or a LHBS.  I can understand that.  The dealers don't want the distributors under-cutting them.  Country Malt (I think it might have been North Country previously?), has a program for homebrew clubs.  The minimum purchase is 20 bags.  The purchase is brokered through a LHBS.  The problem is that the cut for the LHBS is so small that no shop here wants any part of it.  We even approached another LHBS directly to make our bulk purchase, hoping they'd cut us a deal.  Their prices were ridiculous:  $82 for a bag of MO, for example.  Has anyone had success buying grain in bulk? I fear the days of paying 30-something of a bag of pale malt are long gone.
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Offline natebriscoe

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 07:46:01 AM »
There are a couple lhbs in kc that do grain buys fairly often, but the cheapest 2 row is still $48.

Offline duboman

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 08:18:34 AM »
Are you trying to broker a deal through an LHBS that everyone from your club buys from anyways? Are you planning on taking the bulk buy off their hands upon shipment?

Even if the cut for them is small I would think that any money earned with no need to hold inventory would be a no brainer for them and if that's where everyone is also buying other supplies and ingredients its a win win for everyone!
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Offline guido

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 08:27:54 AM »
There are a couple lhbs in kc that do grain buys fairly often, but the cheapest 2 row is still $48.

The one LHBS here has a yearly special on Rahr pale malt and 2-row for $45.  Good what others are paying elsewhere.
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Offline guido

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 08:34:05 AM »
Are you trying to broker a deal through an LHBS that everyone from your club buys from anyways? Are you planning on taking the bulk buy off their hands upon shipment?

Even if the cut for them is small I would think that any money earned with no need to hold inventory would be a no brainer for them and if that's where everyone is also buying other supplies and ingredients its a win win for everyone!

A few members in our club buy from them.  The grain would be ordered, delivered, and immediately picked up.  You'd think it would be a win-win no brainer for the LHBS.  They broker the deal and get a cut, no inventory space to take up, not to mention the additional traffic of homebrewers coming into the shop to pick up their malt.  No one would bite, even in this crappy economy.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 08:44:12 AM »
Thinking about this more I remembered that we have one LHBS that deals with several clubs. When he is placing an order he contacts the clubs and asks if they want in and orders accordingly.

The LHBS retains the grain but when club members come in they purchase at a reduced price for the buy in and the LHBS can still sell to regular clients at the higher retail price. He move s a lot of grain and makes money on all of it but the clubs get the better pricing so it's a win for all. Besides the grain benefit he also provides a 10% discount on everything else for club members that shop there.

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Offline fmader

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 09:04:14 AM »
About a month ago, I hit up a semi-annual grain sale in which grain is 25% off. A sack of Briess two row was $37. I'm kicking myself for not getting a sack of Maris Otter. This place is only 5 minutes from the LD Carlson distributor, so their overhead shipping is minimal. Then a couple weeks ago another LHBS in the opposite direction from where I live had Briess two row sacks for sale at $35 (limit two).
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Offline denny

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 09:09:13 AM »
Our club does a bulk buy through a local brewery.   Generally about $28-30 for a bag of domestic malt and 35ish for imported.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 09:51:44 AM »
Our club does a bi-annual buy through a small LHBS. They do get a small cut of the deal, but when the grain comes in, we do a "cash mob" type deal, where we encourage all club members, not just the ones picking up grain, to come in and shop as well as picking up their orders. It kind of sweetens the deal for the shop, and they in turn give our club members a 10% discount.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 11:54:33 AM »
This is the new policy from the wholesalers. Several would like to limit their business with HBS or cut it out entirely because there's so many new breweries that they can only ship so much at a time without increasing their shipping costs by increasing their fleet. HBS also complained a lot that the wholesalers were cutting them out of a lot of business. So that's how we got here.

Our most local HBS doesn't like doing club buys even though he's a member of our club. Thinks he's losing business, even though two other shops nearby sell bulk far cheaper than he will, even with the club discount he gives us. The problem with HBS not getting into the bulk buys is that the clubs are just going to look to local breweries to tag on their orders. The brewers benefit because larger orders are more likely to hit price breakpoints where grain is cheaper for everybody involved. Plus, if they can get the homebrewers to help unload the truck and unpack the shipment that (marginally) reduces labor needs.
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Offline guido

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 03:28:46 PM »
About a month ago, I hit up a semi-annual grain sale in which grain is 25% off. A sack of Briess two row was $37. I'm kicking myself for not getting a sack of Maris Otter. This place is only 5 minutes from the LD Carlson distributor, so their overhead shipping is minimal. Then a couple weeks ago another LHBS in the opposite direction from where I live had Briess two row sacks for sale at $35 (limit two).

Shoulda backed up the truck, dude.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 04:30:06 PM »
About a month ago, I hit up a semi-annual grain sale in which grain is 25% off. A sack of Briess two row was $37. I'm kicking myself for not getting a sack of Maris Otter. This place is only 5 minutes from the LD Carlson distributor, so their overhead shipping is minimal. Then a couple weeks ago another LHBS in the opposite direction from where I live had Briess two row sacks for sale at $35 (limit two).

Shoulda backed up the truck, dude.

Haha....I was already sitting on about 125 lb....Now it's about 200 lb (brewed a few times since then) lol. We just spent a bunch on keezer hardware, so 3 sacks (1 Maris Otter) was all we could justify at the time.

Both of these stores about 40-45 minutes away in each direction. I actually found a nice small homebrew store in the next town over. I went there a couple weeks ago to pick up some specialties. The guy was trying to sell me bulk grain. I had to explain to him the prices I landed....he said, "oh..that's good". But I assured him that I would certainly shop at his store for when I need small items in a pinch, like hops, yeast, and specialty grains. He much appreciated that.
Frank

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 06:33:33 PM »
Both MCMS and BSG has an homebrew shop distribution subsidiary.
So I would say this is a reason.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 04:53:01 AM »
Both MCMS and BSG has an homebrew shop distribution subsidiary.
So I would say this is a reason.
Yep, when Country Malt bought Brewcraft, they started restricting selling to homebrewers. I live 10 minutes from their Midwest warehouse and used to buy off the dock. They had grandfathered me in, but the last time I tried to buy they had "lost" me in their system and that was that. I wouldn't mind so much if there was a shop that was nearby where I could buy a sack, but the nearest is a 45 minute drive.
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Online AmandaK

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Re: Bulk buys of grain for homebrew clubs
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2013, 05:00:06 AM »
There are a couple lhbs in kc that do grain buys fairly often, but the cheapest 2 row is still $48.

Indeed, Nate. Seems like Apex is doing one every other month, G2G does one every three months, etc, etc. I LOVE that I can get Best Malz for damn near $50 a sack almost anytime I want it.

BTW, Apex is cheaper for 2-row last time I was there.  ;)
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