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Lhbs what grinds your gears?

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mrwoody1985

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Hey guys. I am in the process of opening a lhbs as I find it hard to get what I need within a 40min trip from home. I'm after advice on what you wish your lhbs did or held in stock. What grinds my gears is all my lhbs are closed sunday/Monday and I have to travel 40 mins to go to one which holds grains. All suggestions posative and negative will be helpful
 

goatchop41

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What grinds my gears is all my lhbs are closed sunday/Monday and I have to travel 40 mins to go to one which holds grains
Everyone needs a break, mate. Especially when they're open all week. Or maybe they can't afford to pay someone to staff it on a Sunday? Anyhow, I'm assuming that it annoys you because you can't make it there during the week/Saturdays?

Personally, one of my bugbears with LHBSs is when the staff either have minimal knowledge and therefore can't help customers, or just make up stuff that they don't know.
Oh, and when they solely stock extract, no supplies for AG (and the vast majority of that extract is out of date too :S)
 

nickxb

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If you have some around you, get to homebrew club meetings and ask them. They will be your customers. I find the best LHBS owners attend club meetings and are part of club.
 

philrob

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My local HB supplier is also a member of my brew club, and brews AG himself.
Very knowledgable, has expert assistance, and has all the AG stock I need.
OK, it's a 45 minutes drive to get there, but it's a scenic drive and even mrs philrob doesn't mind it.
Plus, they are a site sponsor.
 

wide eyed and legless

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Hey guys. I am in the process of opening a lhbs as I find it hard to get what I need within a 40min trip from home. I'm after advice on what you wish your lhbs did or held in stock. What grinds my gears is all my lhbs are closed sunday/Monday and I have to travel 40 mins to go to one which holds grains. All suggestions posative and negative will be helpful
Starting a business is a 100% commitment. If you are already asking advice from others then it shows you haven't a strong business plan. Some start for the wrong reasons, where the acumen is put to one side and the heart takes over. A business is all about getting a better return for your labour/input than you can get working for someone else, if you can't do that then forget it. We all have hobbies where it would be really good to make a living from, but unfortunately hard to put into practice.
If you are already committed then good luck with your venture.
 

Frothy Boi

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There's a chain of homebrew shops in western sydney that have been continuously overcharging me and they get the shits with me when I come back 2 minutes later, after reading the receipt and call them out for overcharging. I don't even want to do business with those people anymore. So If anyone can recommend a decent homebrew shop in south western sydney I'm keen to find a new supplier.
Also, not being open on weekends is a pain, I am at work during business hours on weekdays and so are probably most homebrewers, so can't get to a store.
 

Tomo

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It took a while for me to process to all grain, as lhbs in sunshine Coast as they did not stock grain at a good price. So found hoppy days in brisbane and there prices are good including freight. But to be fare to lhbs it must be hard to compete with online brew shops.
 

mrwoody1985

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Everyone needs a break, mate. Especially when they're open all week. Or maybe they can't afford to pay someone to staff it on a Sunday? Anyhow, I'm assuming that it annoys you because you can't make it there during the week/Saturdays?

Personally, one of my bugbears with LHBSs is when the staff either have minimal knowledge and therefore can't help customers, or just make up stuff that they don't know.
Oh, and when they solely stock extract, no supplies for AG (and the vast majority of that extract is out of date too :S)
you are correct, i cannot and a couple of friends cannot get there by close of business week days and its normally a lazy Sunday you wake and think. ill brew today..


Starting a business is a 100% commitment. If you are already asking advice from others then it shows you haven't a strong business plan. Some start for the wrong reasons, where the acumen is put to one side and the heart takes over. A business is all about getting a better return for your labour/input than you can get working for someone else, if you can't do that then forget it. We all have hobbies where it would be really good to make a living from, but unfortunately hard to put into practice.
If you are already committed then good luck with your venture.
i am not committed to the point of no return but have sourced a prime location, Gathered price catalogs, registered business name, ABN, Spoken to accountants, made website etc. now researching POS and a few other bits. i plan to be up and running in 6 months as i have a current employment incentive which will be complete at that time. I am asking as im sure weekends would be the busy time BUT thats only my thoughts so its worth asking what winds you brewers up so i can try and capitalize by making sure i excel there..

It took a while for me to process to all grain, as lhbs in sunshine Coast as they did not stock grain at a good price. So found hoppy days in brisbane and there prices are good including freight. But to be fare to lhbs it must be hard to compete with online brew shops.
competing with online is killer at the moment with such cheap stuff available online. but ive always been a firm believer in looking after lhbs also and i know alot of others are also. i plan on doing members brew nights, Competitive prices and stocking distillers yeasts etc also as i also enjoy that side of the coin but cannot get much of what i need locally..
 

Danscraftbeer

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Sourcing best ingredients is a constant point of view. I'm lucky location (Melbourne) Both online and local options that may be gems.
Search wisely. Fresh is best mostly as a chefs point of view. Then you can make good of older but depends on storage conditions etc.
 

Danscraftbeer

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Hey guys. I am in the process of opening a lhbs as I find it hard to get what I need within a 40min trip from home. I'm after advice on what you wish your lhbs did or held in stock. What grinds my gears is all my lhbs are closed sunday/Monday and I have to travel 40 mins to go to one which holds grains. All suggestions posative and negative will be helpful
No one can see your point of view exactly. What is your location?
I travel an area to have four local home brew stores to drop in on. They all have their options. They are all limited on product investment so they cant offer everything but they do have different options.
Give us a Big Amber Shed brewing store and I'll go there too.
 

golfandbrew

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Think about the things you expect a home brew shop to have when you stop in. Malts to brew a wide range of beers, plenty of US-05, good variety of hops and yeasts (for both ales and lagers) that appropriately packaged and stored. Sodium perc and sanitiser. A mill for customers to use for their brews. Ability for custom grain bills. Bottle caps, DME, brewing salts.

That's all I can think of right now. Good luck and thanks taking the leap to make sure the rest of us has have what we need to brew.
 

mrwoody1985

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I definitely plan on it. Things like calcium solfate/Carbonate are very important expecially for distillers. Salts. Brewers friend, dady, I'd also Guage if it's worth getting bulk yeasts and packaging 20gm lots to combat 2 pack pitches etc. I want to share my knowelage teach the importance of good practices to those willing and wanting to learn.
Think about the things you expect a home brew shop to have when you stop in. Malts to brew a wide range of beers, plenty of US-05, good variety of hops and yeasts (for both ales and lagers) that appropriately packaged and stored. Sodium perc and sanitiser. A mill for customers to use for their brews. Ability for custom grain bills. Bottle caps, DME, brewing salts.

That's all I can think of right now. Good luck and thanks taking the leap to make sure the rest of us has have what we need to brew.
 

sp0rk

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Hey guys. I am in the process of opening a lhbs as I find it hard to get what I need within a 40min trip from home. I'm after advice on what you wish your lhbs did or held in stock. What grinds my gears is all my lhbs are closed sunday/Monday and I have to travel 40 mins to go to one which holds grains. All suggestions posative and negative will be helpful
Just wondering, are you the bloke who posted on one of the facebook groups looking for suggestions for your shop name?
 

MHB

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Ask your customers and you will end up with a shop that is open 24*7*365, has everything ever invented thought of or fantasised about, 1 day after either manufacture or harvest.
All hops, malt and yeast are discounted by at least 50% under cost once they are a week old.
You will need a store within 1km of every customer.
You will need to be cheaper than any bulk buy, give free freight and able to make stock appear at their house with in 60 seconds of their pressing the enter key and make dam sure they get what they thought they wanted even if its not what they ordered!
Knowing everything there is to know about brewing, wine making, distilling, wiring fridges, making brewing equipment... is an obvious prerequisite.

OK 20 odd years as a retailer left me a bit jaded. Amused the hell out of me to see WEAL giving business advice, the king of bulk buys, getting hops in from the UK to save a couple of cents, in fact doing everything possible to kill off LHBS's (unless they are KegKing), but in this case there might even be some truth in what he says - there is in what he does, that's how your customer base (well a fair sized section of them) will act.

Based on experience, to make a living out of AG you will need to be in a very large city, even then it will take up much more of your time than will the other customers (K&K+, Distillers, Cheese makers...) who will be the ones paying your bills. There simply aren't enough AG customers to support more than a very few specialty stores.

I recommend you think very carefully before asking customers for advice, the advice you get will help them not necessarily you.
Mark
 

wide eyed and legless

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Business today is not what it was 30 years ago, it's a global market, and that's where one has to compete, no good bleating, and crying about, and blaming bulk buys.
I doubt very much an occasional bulk buy, or me buying hops from overseas which I can't get here or saving a couple of dollars on is going to send some LHB down the tube. It might give them an easy target to blame why their business went arseways that's all.
LHB is an extremely competitive market with small margins and a small customer base, there will be very few making a decent living from it, definitely something I would be giving a wide berth to.
 

adamsec

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I think try to keep your range relatively small and make sure your stock is fresh.

Shits me when yeast and hops aren't kept cold and vacuum sealed.

Shits me when I can't buy any grain at all.

Mostly shits me when the home brew shop owner is too rude to customers.

Give as much free advice as you can and you will get a loyal customer base.
 

ozdevil

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i think you know what your looking for in your business..

my closest is hour drive in any direction and i feel i need to be heading that location for me to drop in..

i would be looking at putting a cool room in with say x amount of taps for what you or employees have brewed

a fridge full of different beers the bottleshop cant provide but your customers love


you need to do something the others arent doing that sets you different to the others

forget the globel stuff Wael has said you may not have the cash flow like kegland or keg king


any business is hard to start now due to the internet and those that can bulk purchase and has investers behind them

i wish you luck and i hope you do great

don't make it complicated or 2 difficult and you will be great

everyones out for millions but ya better off making a quid and living great
 

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