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South Cheshire Ingredients Buying Club

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Rodcx500z

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Great - or if you live nearer to N Staffs than S Cheshire we could order together and meet at the brewery for the pick up

If you could create any interest from brewers close to you we could perhaps achieve the cheapest possible bracket i.e. 20+ bags
I am nearer to south cheshire than north staffs but will be glad to place an order for pick up
 

Northern_Brewer

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I still can't quite understand why brewing malt and yeast is non-VAT rated, when it's basically 'potential beer'. Mind you, so is water.
And yeast is "potential bread", and malt is used in all sorts of foods as well. The point is that it's a grey area, but for the purposes of VAT they have to draw a line somewhere in black and white. The need to set a boundary somewhere led to the famous case debating whether Jaffa Cakes were chocolate-covered biscuits or cakes, as the former are subject to VAT and the latter are not - the judge decided that they were on the cake side of the line.

So the tax man has taken the view that commercial brewing is part of the foodchain, whereas homebrewing is a hobby and so gets taxed in the same way as Airfix kits or golf clubs. So if it's packed for commercial brewing, it's VAT-free, whereas if something is obviously intended for homebrewers (like malt being packed in 1kg packs) then it is subject to VAT

Those prices are amazing. Wish I lived closer.
As I said - they're not that amazing, they're fairly typical wholesale prices, you're far better off just asking local breweries than travelling miles out of your way and burning £££ of petrol.

I'll say again - small breweries are really suffering at the moment, and really need your support - and if you can drop by and buy a sack of beer from them and a few beers, it all helps. Right now that's more important than quibbling over a few pennies.
 

Falco

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[/QUOTE]
I'll say again - small breweries are really suffering at the moment, and really need your support - and if you can drop by and buy a sack of beer from them and a few beers, it all helps. Right now that's more important than quibbling over a few pennies.
I agree with that sentiment however during this particular excercise I personally contacted by email three more local breweries to the one we purchased from and recieved one reply promising to deal with us but hasn't followed up, and didn't receive a reply from the other two. The invoice total from the supplier we used was a few pence short of £250 so a tidy sum in terms of cashflow for any business.

So make of that what you will :confused.:
 

chopps

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If they bothered to reply that might be an option. OB contacted around 8 and only two even responded.
This isn't a charity campaign to save the breweries, it's about saving money for the group.
Some of whom I'm sure have been personally affected financially too.
Charity begins at home.
If I have cash to spare, I willingly spend it locally at all manner of small businesses. If I don't then I go to Aldi.
 

Leon103

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And yeast is "potential bread", and malt is used in all sorts of foods as well. The point is that it's a grey area, but for the purposes of VAT they have to draw a line somewhere in black and white. The need to set a boundary somewhere led to the famous case debating whether Jaffa Cakes were chocolate-covered biscuits or cakes, as the former are subject to VAT and the latter are not - the judge decided that they were on the cake side of the line.

So the tax man has taken the view that commercial brewing is part of the foodchain, whereas homebrewing is a hobby and so gets taxed in the same way as Airfix kits or golf clubs. So if it's packed for commercial brewing, it's VAT-free, whereas if something is obviously intended for homebrewers (like malt being packed in 1kg packs) then it is subject to VAT



As I said - they're not that amazing, they're fairly typical wholesale prices, you're far better off just asking local breweries than travelling miles out of your way and burning £££ of petrol.

I'll say again - small breweries are really suffering at the moment, and really need your support - and if you can drop by and buy a sack of beer from them and a few beers, it all helps. Right now that's more important than quibbling over a few pennies.
I am comparing to what I pay. Unfortunately I don't know of any brewery near me. Nearest would be about 1 hour 15 mins drive each way.
 

Obadiah Boondoggle

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I am comparing to what I pay. Unfortunately I don't know of any brewery near me. Nearest would be about 1 hour 15 mins drive each way.
Would you be able to send us a link please so we can enjoy similar savings to you in future? You clearly have more experience in these matters than we do

I personally saved 4000 pennies and the group well over 20,000, saving money in these difficult times in order to pursue our hobby is important to some of us
 

Obadiah Boondoggle

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Would you be able to send us a link please so we can enjoy similar savings to you in future? You clearly have more experience in these matters than we do

I personally saved 4000 pennies and the group well over 20,000, saving money in these difficult times in order to pursue our hobby is important to some of us
Sorry Leon - this message clearly not meant for you
 

Obadiah Boondoggle

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And yeast is "potential bread", and malt is used in all sorts of foods as well. The point is that it's a grey area, but for the purposes of VAT they have to draw a line somewhere in black and white. The need to set a boundary somewhere led to the famous case debating whether Jaffa Cakes were chocolate-covered biscuits or cakes, as the former are subject to VAT and the latter are not - the judge decided that they were on the cake side of the line.

So the tax man has taken the view that commercial brewing is part of the foodchain, whereas homebrewing is a hobby and so gets taxed in the same way as Airfix kits or golf clubs. So if it's packed for commercial brewing, it's VAT-free, whereas if something is obviously intended for homebrewers (like malt being packed in 1kg packs) then it is subject to VAT



As I said - they're not that amazing, they're fairly typical wholesale prices, you're far better off just asking local breweries than travelling miles out of your way and burning £££ of petrol.

I'll say again - small breweries are really suffering at the moment, and really need your support - and if you can drop by and buy a sack of beer from them and a few beers, it all helps. Right now that's more important than quibbling over a few pennies.
Would you be able to send us a link please so we can enjoy similar savings to you in future? You clearly have more experience in these matters than we do

I personally saved 4000 pennies and the group well over 20,000, saving money in these difficult times in order to pursue our hobby is important to some of us
 

PhilBrew

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Hi All

I mentioned earlier in the thread that I'd had the benefit of an impromptu brewery tour on one occasion when I'd been to Staffs Brewery and, in light of the passions showing themselves in the discussion above, I thought I'd share some of the info I gleaned, to give some context.

Clearly, if us homebrewers were to be able to develop relationships with local (pro) brewers, get to know them and perhaps benefit from their bulk purchases, perhaps by buying some from them to help them get better bulk discounts, even, then that would be great all round. But as others have found, many pro brewers are too busy brewing and/or marketing to faff around dealing with a few homebrewers who want to buy some malt. In this respect, it's important to recognise that Staffs Brewery isn't (just) a local brewery. You see the owner explained to me back on that "tour", and this was a few years ago so the proportions may well be different now, that they're actually three business in one with, each bringing roughly equal revenues;
  • around a third of the business is from brewing and beer sales, and while some beer is Staffs Brewery branded a "large proportion" (and judging by bottles on shelves at the time, I'd have guessed a majority) is/was sold with novelty labelling and distributed through market stalls/gift shops ... you know the sort of thing "Old Fart's Best Bitter", "Stout for the BEST Grandad in the World", that sort of stuff
  • then another third is made from wholesale supplying many of the micro-breweries in the surrounding area ... buying in bulk from the suppliers, basically by the articulated lorry load and selling by the transit van full
  • and the final third (although growing rapidly, and I see they've since added a canning facility) is contract bottling for local micro-breweries ... they'd invested heavily in an automated bottling line and this portion of the business grew very rapidly as a result, beer arrives to them in 1 cubic metre poly containers, on a pallet, and for each of those they return 4 pallet loads of filled bottles.
Anyways, the point of all this is how the middle element of that is a major part of their business, they're not just selling off malt because they over ordered last week ... as a result they have staff in the office available to take calls, to take orders and to arrange collections/deliveries. They're set up to make up orders and take payments, they even take credit cards. They also know this side of their business well enough to work out that their "ideal" order size is a "transit van full", and have therefore worked out how much of a small order supplement they need to charge to make dealing with smaller orders worth their while.

I don't think buying malt from them should really be compared with "helping out some local breweries" :?:
Cheers, PhilB
 

chopps

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Thanks for the background Phil. Very interesting to understand their business model. I was reading their website and about their origins in a shed/garage and growth since. Clearly they have developed a business that benefits from the security of multiple revenue streams and that’s very smart. Good luck to them. They have thought about how to stay in business.

For the critics, as I mentioned in a previous post, our group’s interest is in accessing ingredients at reduced cost and distributing to the members, rather than setting up a venture to support businesses that might be struggling. I don’t believe that we need to justify this in any way. If anyone wants to set up a similar group to support failing/struggling breweries I will gladly contribute, but that’s not our mission here.
 

Obadiah Boondoggle

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Hi All

I mentioned earlier in the thread that I'd had the benefit of an impromptu brewery tour on one occasion when I'd been to Staffs Brewery and, in light of the passions showing themselves in the discussion above, I thought I'd share some of the info I gleaned, to give some context.

Clearly, if us homebrewers were to be able to develop relationships with local (pro) brewers, get to know them and perhaps benefit from their bulk purchases, perhaps by buying some from them to help them get better bulk discounts, even, then that would be great all round. But as others have found, many pro brewers are too busy brewing and/or marketing to faff around dealing with a few homebrewers who want to buy some malt. In this respect, it's important to recognise that Staffs Brewery isn't (just) a local brewery. You see the owner explained to me back on that "tour", and this was a few years ago so the proportions may well be different now, that they're actually three business in one with, each bringing roughly equal revenues;
  • around a third of the business is from brewing and beer sales, and while some beer is Staffs Brewery branded a "large proportion" (and judging by bottles on shelves at the time, I'd have guessed a majority) is/was sold with novelty labelling and distributed through market stalls/gift shops ... you know the sort of thing "Old Fart's Best Bitter", "Stout for the BEST Grandad in the World", that sort of stuff
  • then another third is made from wholesale supplying many of the micro-breweries in the surrounding area ... buying in bulk from the suppliers, basically by the articulated lorry load and selling by the transit van full
  • and the final third (although growing rapidly, and I see they've since added a canning facility) is contract bottling for local micro-breweries ... they'd invested heavily in an automated bottling line and this portion of the business grew very rapidly as a result, beer arrives to them in 1 cubic metre poly containers, on a pallet, and for each of those they return 4 pallet loads of filled bottles.
Anyways, the point of all this is how the middle element of that is a major part of their business, they're not just selling off malt because they over ordered last week ... as a result they have staff in the office available to take calls, to take orders and to arrange collections/deliveries. They're set up to make up orders and take payments, they even take credit cards. They also know this side of their business well enough to work out that their "ideal" order size is a "transit van full", and have therefore worked out how much of a small order supplement they need to charge to make dealing with smaller orders worth their while.

I don't think buying malt from them should really be compared with "helping out some local breweries" :?:
Cheers, PhilB
Thanks, a well considered post that puts what we have done and intend to continue to do into a sensible context

We found Staffs Brewery very helpful and responsive
 

emerson909

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Let’s not forget the social side, it’s great to connect with local brewers. Fantastic what you’ve sorted here OB 👍
 
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Obadiah Boondoggle

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Let’s not forget the social side, it’s great to connect with local brewers. Fantastic what you’ve sorted here OB 👍
And hopefully that "social side" might actually end up with us all being able to meet up for a pint somewhere, some time

Not too long away I hope
 
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