New LHBS, same old disappointment

Actually, more disappointment, as their prices were even higher than is the norm.

The place is run by a family that does BBQ in a few locations in my area of Va., and they failed at this one location, so decided to turn it into an HBS, with an eye to becoming a brewpub by next year, according to the paper. $14 for a case of bottles?!? Why? $10 for a pound of PBW? Why? The cheapest grain price I saw listed was $3 per pound!? Again, Why? Grain and yeast were about the only things they really had stock of, with the ever popular “I haven’t received this week’s delivery yet, I don’t know why it’s late” by way of explanation.

I guess if it’s an emergency in the middle of a brew day and I need something, I’ll go by there, but not as a regular customer.
My local store is pretty comprehensive as stock goes, with the exception of grain. They store offsite, so you have to order a day in advance. That can be annoying when the whim strikes and you have to wait a day.

Where in Va? I am in NOVA at least once a week

I know that homebrewers like to support local businesses and I am all for it. But when the company is poorly run, has high prices, has limited selection and no service, I don’t believe that they deserve my business. I have two local places I can go to. One was poor and the other was superior by far. The good one had a steady stream of customers and a great following. The other place was poorly run, had a bad selection and no helpful people onsite. But lately the good one has been run into the ground by its owner to the point that no one is sure they will stay in business and the poorly run one has vastly improved its selection and now has expanded hours, much more selection and decent prices. When I can’t get something (no White Labs yeast locally), I order online and hopefully without judgement. :expressionless:

I’m also in VA, a small town called Round Hill between Leesburg and Winchester. There’s LHBS in Winchester about 30 minutes from me. They have a great selection of equipment and ingredients and the owner is very knowledgable and helpful. I’ve bought some ingredients and an ale pale there and prices for extract kits seem at or below what I’d pay online including shipping. There’s also one in Frederick, MD about 40 minutes away that I haven’t visited yet. I like the convenience of having things delivered to my door but as I get more commited to this obsession I need to compare costs and I hope the LHBS will be cost effective because I’d like to support them by shopping there whenever possible.

Never pay for bottles. You can buy good bottles with beer already in them, or so I’ve been told. I call it doing my homework. :cheers:

The 750mL ones tend to come at a pretty high premium if you get them pre-filled.

That’s obnoxious. I understand hobby shops of any sort need to maintain margins, but gouging is ridiculous when there is remote/mail order alternatives that are just as, if not more convenient.

If you want to buy somewhat local, Annapolis Homebrew does great kits and I believe has flat rate shipping. Or you could of course, keep buying from our sponsor :cheers:

I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with reasonable beer prices. I picked up a couple of Rogue bombers of their lower gravity and lower IBU beers for something like $5 a while back. I’ve probably reused each bottle about a dozen times or so.

+1 for Northern VA. Chantilly represent.

Captured by Porches sells their Yggdrasil Imperial Pale and their Invasive species IPA in 750ml bottles with flip tops for like 5.95. A steal considering they cost about a dollar less at the homebrew store I go to.

When I go to Arlington VA I always stop by at " my local homebrew" in Falls Church.
Small shop but decent prices.

When I was just getting into brewing, I stopped there several times. Never once did they ask if they could help. I was clueless and looking for advice. They were a bit too busy. May have to stop again sometime, now that I have a clue.

I’m in Fredericksburg, VA. The shop in Question is called HOPS, and is on route 1 in Ladysmith. Take exit 110 off of 95, make a right into back side of shopping center just before you hit route 1, shop is on your left.

My local helpful shop, but with the grain storage issue, is off of exit 126. Head North on route 1, turn right at 208/Lafayette blvd. and it is 600’ down on the right.

I have had great experiences at The Weekend Brewer in Chester, as well. Take exit 61/route 10 West, go 5 lights, shop is on the left after the bridge.