Author Topic: Dedicated home-brew supply store?  (Read 1229 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:21:13 PM »
How many of you have access to a LHBS where brewing supplies are the primary business?

I live in S. Indiana and my three choices within a 25 mile radius are: a hardware store, a restaurant supply store, and an agricultural supply store. Home brew supplies are a sideline.

As one might expect, only the most commonly used malts, hops, and yeasts are available, and only one of the three has anyone on staff with any knowledge of brewing.  And that person says 7 days is adequate for fermentation!  Also two of them keep hops at ambient room temp.

While I like to support local merchants, I frequently end up ordering supplies on line.

Comments  on your situation please.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 12:25:39 PM »
How many of you have access to a LHBS where brewing supplies are the primary business?

I live in S. Indiana and my three choices within a 25 mile radius are: a hardware store, a restaurant supply store, and an agricultural supply store. Home brew supplies are a sideline.

As one might expect, only the most commonly used malts, hops, and yeasts are available, and only one of the three has anyone on staff with any knowledge of brewing.  And that person says 7 days is adequate for fermentation!  Also two of them keep hops at ambient room temp.

While I like to support local merchants, I frequently end up ordering supplies on line.

Comments  on your situation please.


It's a shame you don't live closer to Indianapolis. Great Fermentations is a dedicated LHBS (with a great nano next door) - they have a great selection and good staff. I know it's not totally like buying locally but they're online and loosely local.
Jon H.

Offline Erik_Mog

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 01:14:34 PM »
I have Atlantic Brew Supply about 15 min from home. They are connected with Raleigh Brewing, and only carry brewing supplies and a small selection of wine making stuff. Being the sister company of a brewery, there is a good selection of ingredients.


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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 01:25:17 PM »
Adventures in Homebrewing is where I do most of my shopping, 35 miles, but mostly expressway. There is a small dedicated one closer, 12 miles,  nice place, not as much selection as AiH. There is another about 18 miles away, but much more traffic, lots of stop lights, and I feel like I can get to AiH in about the same time. Combining shopping stops in Ann Arbor results in most of my business going to AiH. I also know most of the employees at AiH, so it is nice to hear your name," Hi Jeff", when you walk in the door.
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Offline slabtownebc

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 01:37:05 PM »
I tried real hard to support the 3 LHBS with in 30 minutes of me, one is ridiculously over priced and the other 2 have horrible business models.  I would routinely place an order via email tell them I would be over on my lunch break, they would respond all set.  I would get over there and either get the owe we are all out of that or some other excuse.  I now rely on one of the big online suppliers for 70% I my supplies.  The third local place has been closed for renovations for 4 months, I emailed then about estimated opening date and never heard back.  Guess I will stay with the online ordering for a while.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 02:01:07 PM »
Most of the shops in NH and Maine that I've been too are dedicated homebrew shops.  But some also have wine and cheese making supplies as well.

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Offline zwiller

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 02:06:16 PM »
I smell opportunity... 

Having a LHBS is mostly convenience.  I still get stuff online.  I try and support local businesses and these modern days with the web I consider anything in my state local and even adjoining states basically.  That said, as far as I know, none of the "big" online merchants are owned by huge corporate entities so I think it's all good. 

Back in the days when my LHBS was a good hour away, I would make a run and stock up.  I usually saved like 10% going well over $100.  The shop was great and remembered I was a big customer and treated me accordingly (load the car/help carry).  I would typically call the order in/pay and it would be waiting for me.  I would take the family on a road trip, pick the order up, and shop/hit a local micro after.  Other times, I would drop the family off to shop and I would get stuff and meet back up.  It did take a little planning but worked out quite well.  Good times...
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Offline Chris S

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 02:08:26 PM »
I have the good fortune to have the best homebrew shop in the world about 10 minutes from my house. It's The Homebrewer, and that's all they do. The entire crew is super friendly and knowledgeable. They have a vast supply and variety of grains, they have yeast from at least three different outfits, and they have hops in both pellet and cone varieties. You need gear? Brew kettles, mash tuns, cornies, etc. They recently opened a small tasting room adjacent to the shop, where, after you have devised your bill, you can kick back, drink beer, and talk about making beer with a bunch of other obsessives. Pretty awesome.

Offline riceral

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 02:11:03 PM »
LHBS is on the way home from work so dropping by isn't out of my way. Very knowledgeable staff who all brew and some have gone pro. Most if not all are members of the local club. They have started a monthly bottle share and other open events. Yea, I could get some items cheaper by using an online shop but then I would miss dropping by after work or on a Saturday or Sunday to see what's on tap or to share one of my beers and get their take on things. They do have wine supplies but I think that is less than the beer supplies.
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Online tommymorris

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 02:23:24 PM »
There are 2 places with small selections in Huntsville. One has liquid yeast which is nice. They keep hops warm so I avoid those. They also mostly cater to extract brewers. The few grains they sell don't make since. The staff are not knowledgeable at all. The staff doesn't know anything about beer either even though they sell growler fills. If you ask a question they consult a database on their computer.

The other store with homebrew supplies is a health food store. They have a better grain selection (but mostly just in 1 lb bags).  They don't sell liquid yeast. They also keep the hops warm and again the staff are not brewers so their knowledge is limited.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 02:41:15 PM »
There are a few dedicated homebrew shops in the larger metro area and one mixed general store-type place that carries supplies. The latter is closest to my house but has the oldest ingredients and outrageous hop prices ($4/oz cascades that are at least a year old, easily more). I don't shop there too much and when I do it's for emergency non-yeast/hops/grain pickups.

I tend to shop online a lot because it's convenient, cheaper and unfortunately tends to be better customer service. When I buy locally it's usually an online order for pickup to one of the furthest shops in the area because their prices, selection and support are better than closer options. I occasionally buy grains from the closest full-time homebrew shop when I'm in that area because they carry Avangard at a low price. Otherwise I don't particularly care for that shop. The others in the area are in areas I don't often visit.

 
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 02:45:10 PM »
Here in the Des Moines area we have an excellent LHBS called Beer Crazy.  The folks who work there brew and make wine and they have cheese making supplies too.  It has most everything you need or want.  Their prices are reasonable for a local shop and I get most of my supplies there.  It's really nice that it is on my route home and only a block off the main road and only about 1.5 miles from my house.  They pride themselves on having every beer that can be sold in Iowa on the shelf and sell by the bottle in mix/match packs so no having to buy a six pack of something you just want to try.

We have (had?) another shop in town called Heartland Homebrew that is (was?) in Valley Junction.  He got us through a time when all the shops in town were going out of business.  I haven't been there in years so I'm not sure he is still open.  He always had a great selection and good prices.

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Offline rob_f

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 02:54:50 PM »
I live halfway between a full-service LHBS, Maryland Homebrew, and a corner of the 3 Stars Brewery called the DC Homebrew Shop. Each is about a half-hour drive.  Because of its much bigger inventory, I will always head toward Maryland Homebrew unless I have another reason to go to 3 Stars Brewery.

The benefits of living in a crowded, East-coast metroplex, I guess.
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Offline toby

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2016, 03:26:29 PM »
I have one on my way home from work (name is LA Homebrew) that stocks 90-95% of everything I need.  Occasionally, I'll have to make the ~60 minute drive to Brewstock in New Orleans for a few things (LA Homebrew almost never stocks Spalt hops which I use in my Kolsch and will sometimes not have the yeast I want in stock for a spur of the moment brew).  The only things I don't get from one of them are the occasional piece of equipment (usually small relatively rarely used fitting like an NPT-MFL adapter for a regulator) or bulk hops.  I use Adventures in Homebrewing for most of that stuff lately (or their Austin branch).

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Re: Dedicated home-brew supply store?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2016, 03:32:13 PM »
We have 2 here that are strictly brewing.
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