Gave up on LHBS

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by MrBIP, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Not really "good times brewing", but ...

    Actually gave up on the closest LHBS several months ago after another trip resulting in substitutions and lack of ingredients. Have been ordering everything from Midwest since. They've been doing free shipping for seems like 2 months now. Doesn't matter if you're ordering 30 pounds of grain, still free shipping. I type in what I want (they always have it), add to cart, check out, shows up at my door three days later. No substitutes, no shortages, anything I want, when I want it, and all from the comfort of my lazy boy.
     
  2. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    It must be hard to run a good LHBS. There are so many different grains, yeast and hops now, keeping everything in stock in a small building would be difficult. Not to mention trying to keep the prices competitive with the big shops selling over the net.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    What a shame. We in the southeast Denver area have the luck to have the Brew Hut, a great LHBS staffed by knowledgeable brewers and vintners, well-stocked and next door to and attached to an awesome craft brewery! I have only ordered on line when I needed smoked wheat malt and the Brew Hut didn't have it. Reasonable prices, great people, a great homebrew club and a great microbrewery next door. If this sounds like an ad, it isn't, I'm just that happy with the shop!
     
  4. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0

    +1
    The Brew Hut has it all. I feel ya Mr Bip. Cant be easy to brew with that set up. Sometimes I forget how good we got it.
     
  5. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    No doubt, which is why I kept trying for a long time. But after the last shortage for me and a week later having a fellow brewer tell me they were out of all base malts .. no base malt at all ?!?!? I just started ordering. Midwest has been flawless, have everything I could want and generally have my stuff within 3-4 days of ordering. Eventually the free shipping deal will come off, then I'll get popped for another $20 or so every time I order.
     
  6. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul

    That's a shame - Midwest's storefront is about 20-30 minutes from my house :D . I usually go to Northern Brewer though because that's closer, although a much smaller store. Midwest's store is not a small place though. Big ol' warehouse. They also sell various gardening stuff on top of the brewing and winemaking supplies.
     
  7. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    there are a couple other places with free shipping. More Beer and Adventures in Homebrewing offer it. Other places have flat rate shipping for about $8. It pays to compare the total cost of an order at a few different shops.

    running completely out of base malt is pretty bad. I can see running out of 2 row from one maltster, but they really should have it from a second company. Even if you prefer the one they ran out of, you could at least substitute.
     
  8. grainy one

    grainy one New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    minnesota
    I find that the small shops are important in many ways to us home brewers. without them your options would be smaller and the prices would go up with the supply and demand law. keep in mind though that the small shops must and I repeat must sell quality goods. Some think its ok to sell old hops and yeast. this could not be farther from the truth. the small shops must sell only the freshest stuff but to do this they also have to keep there innovatory low. so we have to give them small shops a break on some fronts , except on quality.
    Also to all you small shops out there, hang in there and sell only good stuff. you can not expect repeat business if the beer is not tasting right.
     
  9. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    622
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mentor, Ohio
    I'll chime in....
    I'm a co-owner, Manager, Brewer, Wine maker, speaker/presenter, radio host, etc.
    To say it's easy to successfully run a LHBS shop would be quite an understatement!
    This is a job that I work very hard at!
    Juggling the right amount of product to insure high quality and freshness can be very difficult and many times there's no rhyme or reason to what's sold in a week or 2!
    What I think you'll find as a common thread with shop owners is a deep passion for what we're doing.
    I love being able to help out someone and have them succeeded!
    That being said, running out of basic items is a mistake that shouldn't happen.

    If I had to guess, I'd say most LHBS owners started their shops thinking that there is a need locally for the products, that they can set up and cater to brewers and winemakers better and more personally than a giant online provider, and have fresher products than maybe a beverage store or some other store offering just a small section of some basic items as an add on product line in there already existing business.
    Oh yea, and maybe to make a couple of dollars doing it as well.
    Some do it better than others.

    After almost 4 years in the business, I still love what I'm doing!

    Every day, people walk into my shop that I know on a first name basis, (many that I know their spouses, kids, places of employment, etc) and either thank me or ask me for some help or guidance. It can be from the most basic questions all the way through actually brewing a batch of beer with them on my 30 gallon Ruby Street system to help them with their newest purchase!
    So, all and all, I'd say don't give up on the little guy's. Mainly we want to help and have what you need. Sometimes there are bumps in the road but not likely a lack of effort.

    Brian
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    And a sobering thought: Despite having tracking data on every sale and massive big-data analytics behind them, even Walmart has stock-outs. If I know how much of product x you move on a daily basis over the course of a few months, I can tell you the amount of inventory to keep on hand to guarantee a given probability you'll have it (yes, that's the kind of thing I really do for a living) but I can never guarantee that you will never sell out. If you're small enough and five guys decide to brew on a given day, you may run out of base malt. If you're the sixth guy, you're a victim of random chance but, fundamental attribution error, you blame the inept management of the store rather than the previous five guys who bought up all of a rational stock level of what you needed. Tell your LHBS what's happening and ask them how they determine their stock levels and if they can't answer or use rules of thumb, send them to me - I could use a little side consulting money.
     
  11. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    I'll try again sometime ... but a 50/50 shot time after time ... to many times for coincidence in my opinion.
     
  12. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I feel kind of spoiled. Living near the Wisconsin/Illinois border I have at least 5 great homebrew shops in my area. The one I go to the most even has a rewards program now so I get $10 for every $100 I spend. I think I would go elsewhere if I were you. Especially the quality you can get online now. My go to for online supplies and ingredients is Northern Brewer, $7.99 flat rate shipping and great customer service.
     
  13. Arbe0

    Arbe0 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Aurora , Co
    love the brew Hut, have most everything I need to brew with, and great people that have all the answers to my questions.
    Wouldn't be brewing with out them.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white