Oh lord, I remember the days when one could have any malt one wanted as long as it was Briess or Muntons. I remember when Dewolf-Cosyns (DC) started to ship 50kg bags of malt to the U.S. At 110lbs, those bags were unbelievably heavy and I was young and strong. However. brewing with their ale and Pilsner malted barley was an eye-opening experience of what was to come. DC was a huge step up from what we were used to using. The only problem I had with DC malt was that it was floor malted and floor malted barley often as debris in it. The rollers on my first Schmidling malt mill had many scars from tangling with foreign debris in DW malt. My favorite domestic malt for a long time as Schreier. Their two-row was sweet and malty. It was kind of like Rahr and Great Western on steroids.
nice. i know, it must have been a crazy thing back in the day. the things i heard from people who knew people who did it pre 2000 was "bathtub beer" and stuff. must have been a long slog to even get to those days when i started where it was exciting to have -roasted barley/2row/pilsner/a few crystal malts. and i think that was about it.
It wasn't quite that bad, at least around here.
so, i know you're roughly in the american NW? or central west? the birthplace of the current incarnation of homebrewing.
when did you first feel like "wow, we really have a ton of malt hop and yeast selection now"?
if i lived in toronto in the early 2000s, it would have been better, but im in a medium sized town, not really close to any major city, so for a long time the LHBS was friendly but i couldnt really get the stuff others were talking about online. heck, no joke it still doesn't have liquid yeast, after at least 20-25 years of being open.
so, at least i can order online.