My local Homebrew shop has closed down

Discussion in 'General Beer Discussion' started by cheshirehomebrew, Mar 14, 2019.

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  1. Mar 14, 2019 #1

    cheshirehomebrew

    cheshirehomebrew

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    This is the homebrew shop in Stockport, who have been there about 35 years or so.

    Its a bloody shame as the prices were pretty good and although it was only small, it was a proper Aladdin's cave of all sorts of things.

    Will have a look round for the next nearest one as I prefer to go in person and see what I am buying as well as talking to them.

    I was about to restock my grains for the next IPA/APA/Pilsner I was going to do (hadn't made my mind up yet)

    Bugger.
     
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  2. Mar 14, 2019 #2

    Banbeer

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    It's a shame as they obviously can't compete with online traders and the rent/rates being so high, I like you prefer to wander around a shop as sometimes you see something and think hey that will be great for..............but it will only get worse unfortunately, I travel over an hour away and buy in bulk, the first time I went in the guy said 'you buying for a group'.

    Good luck finding somewhere.
     
  3. Mar 14, 2019 #3

    Sadfield

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    It's a shame, although as much for being a missed opportunity than for them closing. Friendly and helpful people, however the shop was disorganised and didn't really cater for modern homebrewing. If anything, it drove most of the homebrewers I know to shop online. Through the frustration of a 30 mile round trip for only half the ingredients for a recipe. They had a website, and online sales, although this was limited and never appeared to reflect what was in stock in the shop. LHBS appear to survive elsewhere in the world, where they've embraced craft beer and homebrewing.
     
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  4. Mar 14, 2019 #4

    terrym

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    LHBSs might have been profitable 35 years ago before internet shopping, but there can't be much money in it now. It's not exactly a business that has a heavy footfall, and the occasional visitor on a Saturday afternoon to buy a few odds and ends is unlikely to pay the mortgage. I used to have a LHBS (it closed about 3 years ago) and there was rarely anyone in there when I went, and tbh their prices were quite high and there wasn't much choice. I found out before they closed that the internet was for me a better way to buy. And even if there was somewhere 25 miles away that did give good prices and had a reasonable range I wouldn't bother with it since I can get stuff delivered to my door for nothing off the internet provided I get organised to buy enough items to qualify for free P&P , which I do.
     
  5. Mar 14, 2019 #5

    stz

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    I've been to two nearby and we had a brief market stall setup as one which closed after a year. While I loved a chat and would buy everything that made sense to buy that I needed (dry yeast, air lock, bungs) I always thought they failed to capture the people who want to spend serious money, they didn't have much I wanted anyway. Some dusty kits, pressure barrels, small amounts of aged grain and hops and the odd packet of nottingham and us05. Great for the odd small purchase, £5-15 here and there, maybe the brewer who wants to make a bit of home brew because it is cheaper than buying it in, but you need to sell to the enthusiasts dropping £200-300 on equipment and stuff every few months because they enjoy a silly hobby, buying whole bags of base malt, a couple of kegs, 500g of mosaic at a time, interesting looking wet yeasts, all that jazz. I guess that kind of stock relies on customers, turn over and having the money to tie up in said stock and I admit I was the kind of **** that if they've everything except the 316g of pale chocolate I need for a recipe in stock I'd get the lot online because I'd have to to get up to free postage.

    I can imagine a physical retail presence working in this day and age if they had absolutely everything, knew absolutely everything, had a successful online shop as part of the physical shop, knew how to do events like brew days, tastings, meet the brewer, mini festivals and so on and was attached to a micro pub/coffee shop/play area. Sounds mad, but I think that is the nature of retail now. You've got to be a destination, a day out, an event, an experience otherwise people will just shop online from their sofa. If the idea of a home brew shop/business like that seems insane it is unless you have a thriving local scene or are prepared to be the person committed to building a scene. It does only take a few key individuals in the right place at the right time to make it happen.
     
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  6. Mar 14, 2019 #6

    stevic

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    'Tis indeed a shame. the last time i was in the shop Peter said he was trying to sell up and enjoy his retirement. Found him to be a really helpful guy and i wish him all the best.

    By the way Cheshirehomebrew did we meet once on the canal at Higher Poynton when i was moored there on my narrowboat and was washing my fermenting bucket etc at the water point?
     
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  7. Mar 14, 2019 #7

    Sadfield

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    Agree with @stz. Judging by the number of homebrew clubs, South Manchester certainly has the scene to support a good LHBS. A convenient supply of Liquid yeasts would be very popular.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2019 #8

    MmmBeer

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    I prefer to use LHBS's rather than the interweb where possible and am lucky to have three within reach. Unfortunately my favorite and best equipped one had a sign outside recently saying business for sale. I know you can't expect 20+ different malts and every hop variety known to man in a small backstreet shop and I expect to have to order a few bits online, but I would be very sorry to lose them.
     
  9. Mar 15, 2019 #9

    Chippy_Tea

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    I wonder how many people have been introduced to this hobby when noticing a brewing shop in a town centre, its seems (having read several threads here) they are closing regularly which is bad news.
     
  10. Mar 15, 2019 #10

    dan125

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    Last time I popped in to my LHBS to pick up a few odds & sods they didn't even know what Calcium Chloride was, let alone stock it - 'Is that gypsum?' they asked aheadbutt
     
  11. Mar 15, 2019 #11

    VW911

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    My homebrew department is part of a much bigger shop. We also sell hardware items, homeware and garden products.
    I don't think the homebrew part would survive as a single entity.
    I do find, however, that a lot of the older folk like to come and physically see what they are buying, as well as ask for help
    and advice. I have regular customers from as far away as Cornwall, and even France , Hong Kong and Canada. (We are in the middle of Somerset!)
    We do have an on line site, as well as selling on Amazon, but all of these market places are really slow at the moment...
     
  12. Mar 16, 2019 #12

    darrellm

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    I certainly was - had been past it a few times then finally popped in, owner couldn't stop chatting and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I came out with a load of kit to make my first extract brew. Shop is still there but sadly doesn't stock most of the things I usually want these days so I've gone mail order, shame as I want to support the shop but he just has a very limited stock geared towards beginners.
     
  13. Mar 18, 2019 #13

    cheshirehomebrew

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    There was always plenty to buy there and rarely did they not have the grain I wanted, and if they didn't there was always an alternative under a different brand name, as well as dozens of hop varieties, in fact I always had a rummage in their bargain bucket of hops and buy a couple every time, hence me not needing hops for a couple of years.

    Quick question, who do you all recommend for online shopping?, As am wondering if the cost of the delivery will be more than the cost of the grain I buy

    Hi stevic yes that was indeed me, how did your brew turn out in the end?

    Whereabouts in Somerset are you VW911?
     
  14. Mar 19, 2019 #14

    terrym

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    I mostly use The Homebrew Company, Their range is good and prices are keen and they have sales from time to time. The main disadvantage is the delivery charge only becomes foc above £70 but I simply plan ahead and bulk buy. However most online suppliers will have a similar restriction for large orders, unless the price is higher to include delivery.
    I also use Crossmyloof Brewery for hops and yeast.
    And both these suppliers offer a discount to forum members.
    Lots of others out there including Malt Miller, Worcester Hop Shop, Geterbrewed and the Homebrew Shop some of which offer forum discounts.
     
  15. Mar 19, 2019 #15

    chesters-mild

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  16. Mar 19, 2019 #16

    -Bezza-

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    Where be you to?

    I'm often down in that part of the world so would hunt out a homebrew place - there's always bits to pick up.
     
  17. Mar 19, 2019 #17

    BridgeBrew

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    Cant believe Stockport has gone i drove past a couple of months ago, and "closing down sale" was plastered across the window, popped in and not a lot left, just a few out of date Simply kit's, and bag's of DME. What a shame remember using the shop in the late 80s. I think Peter owned the building, so i suppose you cant blame him for selling up, and grabbing the cash at his time of life :(
     
  18. Mar 28, 2019 #18

    cheshirehomebrew

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    Amy suggestions for online supplies, as it stands its more expensive online than it was at my LHBS, unless I want 30kgs of grain - um no !

    and some of the online places I looked at don't have the range of grain or the ones I want to brew

    Moan over
     
  19. Mar 28, 2019 #19

    BridgeBrew

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    I use Art Of Brewing, or Love Brewing, same company one branch based in Chesterfield, other Liverpool. Free shipping on orders over £50, or if urgent Julie's just through Failsworth.
     
  20. Mar 29, 2019 #20

    mathorp

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    There are a huge number of craft brewers. Does anyone know where they get their grain/yeast/hops?

    There are thriving LHBS’s in Australia, the USA, and even in Thailand it is possible to buy quality fresh grain even though home brewing is illegal (it is for bread making, officer).

    Each of those countries has craft brewing, so my guess is that they use the LHBS and that keeps the business going. I am curious why not the same in large parts of the UK.

    My other observation is that a LHBS with no parking is at a big disadvantage for the customer who wants 25kg of PA malt.

    I do agree that there is real value in chatting to the shop owner.

    My role model for a LHBS is TWOC at Bibra Lake in West Australia (https://www.homebru.com.au/ )
     

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