Author Topic: Opening a HBSS  (Read 1000 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Opening a HBSS
« on: October 07, 2010, 04:20:17 AM »
Hi all,

I've probably complained about this previously, but here in France there are ZERO HBSS unless you go wayyy up northeast to near Belgium. I've been talking it over with some of my homebrewing pals and we think it might be time to open a shop in Paris. Rents are around 700-1000 euros for a small boutique, which is within my budget under "crazy-ass ideas." Anyone ever opened one before? How did you go about getting materials? Did you keep Blichmanns in stock, or did you make your own buckets? How about grain - we've got a local Malterie (Malt making place) that provides the bigger breweries with most of their stuff, but it's pretty much only 2L light malt.

I'm on good terms with the two "big" beer shops in Paris and they'd let me put flyers up. I'd for sure be holding classes once a month to show people how to brew their own beer, etc etc... Basically I'd be trying to get a homebrewing scene started where there is none.

All comments (especially warnings!) welcome
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 08:46:38 AM »
You might want to start with a few bags of grains and stuff, and sell them from your home for a bit.  There could be a lot more homebrewers around than you know - or there could be very little interest.   This is just a way to gauge the market while you look for a place to put a shop  That's just my opinion though, and I tend to be overly cautious with my money.
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 09:18:22 AM »
Yeah, I was wondering how much interest France has in beer in general. Is there home wine making interest as well? Cheese making? Mushroom growing?

I don't really know anything about France, and obviously nothing of your particular area, but I would definitely consider diversifying and offering a variety of specialty epicurian supplies that might also be difficult for consumers to obtain locally.

The French are known for their love of all things edible, after all.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 10:12:15 AM »
Part of the struggle of a HBSS is figuring out how much to buy.  If you buy too much stock, you may end up with stale malt extract, old hops, old yeast etc.  I've definitely seen homebrew stores with too much old stock especially hops and yeast.  If you buy too little, you can't get bulk pricing.  Given that you would be the only HBSS in Paris, you might not have the problem of too much stock once you get the word out.  One of the better places I go to has an internet business which allows it have good selection and good turnover.

Don't know if having a Blichmann would be that useful unless you wanted one for your homebrewing.  Who has the space in their apartment for one?

I wonder if there are wholesalers for homebrew stuff in France.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 10:59:11 AM »
You might contact these people.  They started in their apartment, sold at flea markets, etc.  They sell 1 gallon kit aimed at apartment dwellers.  Saw those for sale at the Whole Foods Market on Houston in Manhattan in August, and there was a large selection.

Edit - the link.
http://brooklynbrewshop.com/
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 11:01:00 AM »
You might want to start with a few bags of grains and stuff, and sell them from your home for a bit.  There could be a lot more homebrewers around than you know - or there could be very little interest.   This is just a way to gauge the market while you look for a place to put a shop  That's just my opinion though, and I tend to be overly cautious with my money.

Doing it from home sounds like an excellent idea, and definitely prudent enough for my wife to pet me give it a shot. I am pretty sure that there's a big market for learning how to homebrew, and perhaps the best way to start would be with Tupperware-style parties where I invite a bunch of people over to brew and sample te stuf I've made, and if they decide they like it, awesome, here's a kit ready to go!

Re: cheese and wine making, the thing is, here, everywhere you go you can find EXCELLENT wine and cheese for bargain prices, it would be like opening up a bottled water supply shop in the US (even water might not work, I don't have good water through the pipes so I brew with evian. It's about the same price here as sam's club is in the US)

Sorry or any typos etc, I typed this on my iPhone and there's a bug that doesn't let you see what you're typing. Sheiciitbcucheh!
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 12:49:37 PM »
Sure, that makes sense. I just wasn't sure what the typical attitude towards making it yourself was. After all, there's plenty of good beer to be bought in most places, but a lot of folks homebrew anyway.

Now I know it's not a real popular product among those of us stateside, but have you taken a look at the OneDerBrew system?
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 01:28:01 AM »
You might contact these people.  They started in their apartment, sold at flea markets, etc.  They sell 1 gallon kit aimed at apartment dwellers.  Saw those for sale at the Whole Foods Market on Houston in Manhattan in August, and there was a large selection.

Edit - the link.
http://brooklynbrewshop.com/

They did fall victim of an unpredictable level of demand last xmas, when they ran out of grain.

Oh, and the equipment is very expensive from them - $50 for a 1 gallon kit and grain.

Still, it's a bright idea, and one I might use in the future....
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 05:13:17 AM »
You might contact these people.  They started in their apartment, sold at flea markets, etc.  They sell 1 gallon kit aimed at apartment dwellers.  Saw those for sale at the Whole Foods Market on Houston in Manhattan in August, and there was a large selection.
Edit - the link.
http://brooklynbrewshop.com/
They did fall victim of an unpredictable level of demand last xmas, when they ran out of grain.
Oh, and the equipment is very expensive from them - $50 for a 1 gallon kit and grain.
Still, it's a bright idea, and one I might use in the future....
It is NYC, everything is expensive!  They have some success now from the large amount of stuff for sale at the Whole Foods.   
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 05:46:18 AM »
I sent the Brooklyn guys an email, have not yet heard back.

< RANT >
Man is it ever annoying when you go to a website that offers shipping and they have ALL THESE COUNTRIES listed on the shipping to: field, but they DON'T ACTUALLY DELIVER THERE. Note to people who want to do any sort of eCommerce: if you don't ship somewhere, don't list it on your site; it doesn't look 'cool' or 'international,' it only serves to piss off the people who might want to order from you who don't happen to live in the US.
< /RANT >
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Offline tygo

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Re: Opening a HBSS
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2010, 07:16:12 AM »
Are those Brooklyn kits all grain?  They're not very descriptive of the ingredients but it looks like a little sack of crushed grain.  How do they propose that the apartment dweller mash that?  Brew in a bag?
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