Author Topic: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?  (Read 1044 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« on: December 26, 2014, 04:10:32 PM »
I'd be interested in how many of you have ready access to a home-brew store with ample supplies AND a knowledgeable staff?

I have my choice of two stores within about 25 miles of me one within and the other near a city of 120,00, but neither meet the above criteria. 

One is a restaurant equipment wholesaler that has the supplies, but no staffers who have ever brewed beer or wine and no equipment to grind malt. 

The other is an agricultural supply store with a grinder and ample supplies and one staffer that has brewed, but he will often give advice contrary to what John Palmer or other established authorities offer in their books.

What is your situation?
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline riceral

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 04:21:03 PM »
The local homebrew shop is about 3 miles from my house and on my way to and from work. Helpful, friendly, carries everything I need. Special orders what they don't have and get it by the end of the week. Recipe of the month each month. Membership in the local homebrew club gets me discounts on malt. Many of the people who work there are members of the local club and active in the activities.

Very satisfied with my local shop.
Ralph R.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 04:40:40 PM »
I have a hardware store within walking distance from my house that sells some brewing/winemaking supplies. They're good for last minute things (dry yeast in particular), or for equipment (buckets/better bottles/cleaning supplies, etc.). But they don't sell bulk grains, and they have a rather small hop supply (stored warm), so I can't really use them as a LHBS.

My nearest bona-fide homebrew shop is about 20-30 minutes away. They're only open odd hours, so it's tough to get there for me. They also only carry White Labs, but I use a lot of Wyeast. They're friendly enough, but they've been around for like 20 years and their information is just as old. Needless to say, I don't use them a whole lot. MoreBeer is more like a local homebrew shop to me than they are.
Eric B.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 04:43:34 PM »
I have a good one about 45 minutes from my house that's been there since the nineties with the same owner. I used to go there a lot when my son was in college in the nearby city and I met him for lunch each week. Now I get there less often because I'm not that way too often and don't usually have the time. Another one opened this year a half an hour in the other direction but I went there once and they had a lousy selection and the owners knowledge was very disappointing. I try to plan trips to the good one when I need a lot to give them my business but have to regularly get stuff online.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 04:50:06 PM »
Mine is 20 minutes away. Great staff and selection. They offer homebrewing and winemaking classes and host Big Brew day and other fun events.  And, to boot, there are food trucks in the parking lot and an excellent, award winning nano next door. I do pretty much all my shopping there except for buying bulk hops online. Just a great LHBS.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 05:00:08 PM »
I have two close by, and another two a bit of a ways out. Both shops nearby are solid.

Moving soon, so we will see what we get. I know there is a MoreBeer in Riverside, so I think I will make large grains lists and shop there once every few months. Cheap grain, here I come, again.

Offline brew inspector

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 05:02:21 PM »
I have a homebrew store about 10 minutes away.  Grains yeast kits equipment for beer and wine and knowledgeable staff.  Another store in the franchise about 20 minutes away is my preferred store.  Same supplies but only one person.  He seems to know what he's doing.  I also have a couple wine and beer stores ( like total wine) That carry DME beer kits. I even have a home kegging store less than 10 minutes away.  CO2. Supplies. Equipment.  Kegs. Sometimes DME kits

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 05:15:49 PM »
My LHBS is about 7 minutes from my house and owned/run by a good friend of mine.  He is well stocked with MOST hop varieties (kept cold) and a solid selection of base and specialty malts.  He only sells white labs and dry yeast (I prefer Wyeast) both with a nice selection including sour blends and bacteria (we have a lot of sour brewers in our local club = barrel crews).  He is quite knowledgeable and has brewed award winning beers, wines, and braggots. 

Lots of get togethers there with food and drink (including club meetings).  He also does something very unique.  If you buy a kit from him, he offers to brew it with you right at the shop using his equipment!  A standup righteous guy, and every year him and I brew a gigantic strong aging beer with him which we compare in vertical tastings every few years. 

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 06:35:41 PM »
To brewinhard,

I am envious of your situation.  I forgot to mention that neither of the stores I can get to have bulk grains available. 

I've only been brewing a bit more than a year starting with kits.  Yeast are doing the heavy lifting on only my second bath of all-grain.

You mentioned sour beers. I only recently found out I like them and am in the middle of reading American Sour Beers by Michael Tonsmeire.  Sour beers are now on my bucket once I gain enough confidence.
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline HobsonDrake

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 08:26:44 PM »
I think I live in the best place in the world for brewing.
The closest shop is about 1.5 miles away. It has limited supplies but is also a tap house and brewery.
The next closest is about 3 miles. It has the basics but is small. The people are nice and but I don't go there much after a bad experience once.
About 10-12 miles I have three great shops. Two are AMA members. All have extensive supplies and are very well versed in beer wine and meads.
Then there are four more that are 12-25 miles away. Never get to them but I try when I know I need something and I am in their neighborhoods.
There are probably 2 or 3 others that I am forgetting. But that means I haven't learned of them yet or they are really too far out of the way for me to get to.
If you haven't guessed, I leave in the Portland OR area. :)
Check out my brew history and recipes at http://www.hobsondrake.com/BrewList.html

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 10:35:06 PM »
I am very fortunate to have a great store a few miles from my house.  They also have a brewery, a tap room, a beer garden and food trucks on the weekends.  They are supportive of local clubs, let us hold meetings there,  and give us discounts and pretty good advice.  They have about 80 bulk grain bins and both major brands of liquid yeast, always fresh.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 10:43:26 PM »
I walk two blocks to catch a bus that drops me off across the street from Bader Brewing 15 minutes later. Since I brew three gallon batches all I need fits into my backpack. Good shop, good staff.
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Offline trapae

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 11:45:34 PM »
I have one on my way home from work. It carries really anything I would need. Pretty high turnover so everything is pretty fresh too. No complaints. As far as knowledgeable staff, they are all kind of crotchety and have a whatever attitude. They are very nice but never any good input. That's why read the forums.  I have ordered some specialty yeast from online several times and it is always pretty darn old. I make starters anyway so I guess it shouldn't really matter.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 11:50:04 PM »
I do not have a very good homebrew shop near me. There is  aplace that does have a handful of supplies and I will go in there to buy airlocks and stoppers and sometimes dry yeast but nothing else. They have hops but don't bother refrigerating them.  ::)

Offline BrewBama

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Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2014, 02:07:38 AM »
I just went to Wish You Were Beer and got all the ingredients for a Brown Ale.  It's a bottle shop and growler filling station on the other side of the county.  Not a huge selection but they had everything I needed.  For instance they didn't have CaraPils so I subbed Munton's CaraMalt and no Wyeast 1056 so I got WL001.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 02:17:43 AM by BrewBama »
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