Author Topic: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong  (Read 710 times)

Offline skyler

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When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« on: January 06, 2018, 02:29:02 AM »
Are there certain little foibles about your LHBS that tick you off? What are the things your LHBS doesn’t do that you wish it did?

I went to an LHBS today that has three choices of British pale malt (which is awesome), but carries only domestic caramel malt, Munich malt, and Vienna malt. And they weren’t “out;” they just don’t carry imported caramel, Munich, or Vienna malts. To add salt to the wound, they also don’t carry oxygen tanks or epsom salt (I know I can get those elsewhere, but I go to the LHBS expecting to overpay and one-stop-shop (or else I’d buy everything online). Gears officially ground.

I mean, I’m very LHBS-blessed. I live within two miles of two decent LHBSes, one of which is excellent. And there are a half-dozen other options within 30 miles. But man is it frustrating to wade through rush hour traffic to be so disappointed.





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Offline Robert

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 02:51:29 AM »
Given time I'm sure I could think of a lot of things. But I must admit, they can't carry everything.  Bad choices of what to carry? Sure.  But my guys try.  If I mention that I drove 20 miles or went online to get a malt, pretty soon they start carrying it.  Maybe others have asked too, but the owner says, "hey, whatever you guys want I'll order it."  They are one of the better shops.  But what gets me lately apparently isn't LHBS but suppliers. They are so consolidated (and maybe subject to control by entities with ulterior motives, beholden to Amazon, whatever?) LHBS can't necessarily get what we want.  Went in the other day wanting a liquid dip tube for a Corny (curved.)  Nope, just Firestone (straight.)  They ordered Corny, got Firestone.  20 miles away same story.  Ordered Corny from Amazon, got Firestone.  Aaauugghhh!


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Offline Stevie

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 03:28:27 AM »
I am basically online only now. Nearest shop has questionable malt after the Thomas fire and the next nearest is priced about 50% high. I can order a sack of malt from MoreBeer, pay shipping, and still have it come out cheaper without the drive.

Offline Robert

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 03:44:04 AM »
Still gonna stick with my LHBS. I like to see before I buy and have a relationship,  but the whole business is getting squeezed it seems. Stevie, are you contributing to the problem? Mom & Pop getting steamrolled by The Man?  ;)
[Hey, glad YOU came through the fire.]
Rob Stein
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Offline Stevie

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 03:46:11 AM »
Still gonna stick with my LHBS. I like to see before I buy and have a relationship,  but the whole business is getting squeezed it seems. Stevie, are you contributing to the problem? Mom & Pop getting steamrolled by The Man?  ;)
[Hey, glad YOU came through the fire.]
I’d support local if the prices were fair. $80 for a sack of weyermann pils is outrageous. Many of the specialty malts are over $2. Plus it’s 45 minutes away.

Offline Robert

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 03:48:43 AM »
Ouch.  Can't blame you!
Rob Stein
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Offline BrewBama

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When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 12:24:43 PM »
My only gripe with my local is they don’t sell their bulk malts by the portion of a pound. If I go to a grocery store and buy a potato at $X per lb, if the potato weight .75 lbs I don’t pay for the full pound — I pay for 3/4 of a lb. The local makes you pay for the whole pound even though he’s weighing out a portion of a lb. Other than that they have a fairly complete albeit basic selection that’ll get you where you need to go. Yesterday I stopped in and bought a couple of packs of 34/70. ...but I generally shop online.

One thing I do like is they have a fairly eclectic tap list. I like to have a pint while I shop.


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« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:32:11 PM by BrewBama »
Huntsville AL

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 12:25:06 PM »
Keller HBS in The Dalles is the closest to me. Rick is a great guy. It's not very big but things are fresh and fair price. I use him mainly for grain yeast and odds and ends. I can email him a list and he has it ready for pickup.

Offline swampale

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 01:09:38 PM »
My problem is we don't have one. The nearest store is 2 hours away and my favourite store is 3 hours away. Online only :(

Offline coolman26

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 02:26:33 PM »
I would love to buy local all the time. I generally buy grain in bulk as I travel. I miss having Rebel in Nashville. Locally, I just send in an order and pickup my odds and ends. I wish I could buy sacks from them, just too high.


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Offline Robert

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 02:52:12 PM »
I'm starting to feel very fortunate.  I've had mixed results online, but live so close to a good LHBS (actually they do probably most of their business online.) Just hope LHBSs aren't fading.  After all, if you go online, you're ordering from SOMEBODY's LHBS, so they might know what they're doing, or an Amazon-type fulfillment center, where they definitely don't. A general merchandiser putting item number whatever in a box is how I keep getting the wrong dip tube, and there's nobody I can talk it through with.
Rob Stein
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 04:40:43 PM »
In terms of malts, I am usually understanding if a LHBS only carries one kind of Vienna, or only domestic, or whatever. Too many grains and not enough turnover, and you end up with stale product. The better stores will listen to customer feedback, and help you get what you need. I figure if I can get 90% of what I want at the store (as someone with sometimes fairly stringent recipe requirements), I'm in pretty good shape. Even big online retailers don't always have this variety of grains!

My one peeve--which is fairly common across many stores--is when they don't label malts with manufacturer, or don't update the labels. I really do want to know whose chocolate malt I'm using, for instance, because there can be a decent color and/or flavor difference between maltsters.

I'm lucky to have a really awesome shop near me...an excellent selection, and the owners are a family of super nice people who are really knowledgeable. Plus, they make my kids feel welcome in the shop, which is also a bonus!
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Offline denny

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 04:42:03 PM »
We're lucky on that for a fairly small urban area we have 2 shops.  One is very good, the other is excellent.
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Offline Robert

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 05:00:00 PM »
Andy has a good point about labels.  My LHBS which is very responsive as I've mentioned has largely kept up with what malts customers want, but the labels on some bins haven't changed in more than 10 years!  Regulars know that's, say, Weyermann CaraMunich and not Dingemans -- but newbies might ask for the one, see the bin labelled wrong, and wonder if they're getting cheated.
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Offline denny

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Re: When a LHBS Gets It Wrong
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 05:05:15 PM »
Andy has a good point about labels.  My LHBS which is very responsive as I've mentioned has largely kept up with what malts customers want, but the labels on some bins haven't changed in more than 10 years!  Regulars know that's, say, Weyermann CaraMunich and not Dingemans -- but newbies might ask for the one, see the bin labelled wrong, and wonder if they're getting cheated.

Man, hearing stuff like this makes me feel even luckier!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell