When I first moved near L.A., I had a lot of trouble finding a homebrew supply place. I thought I was going to have to drive hours and hours to get ingredients. I’m all for supporting my local marketplace, yet I was contemplating getting grains shipped for convenience and price. Then I found Culver City Homebrew. I have to say that I’m glad I didn’t get my stuff from a faraway impersonal company.
That’s the thing about homebrew supplies. There are various sources from which they can be purchased, but there’s no one with whom to speak. Brewing advice or just shooting the shit are some of the most rewarding aspects of shopping for homebrew supplies locally. There is room to bounce ideas off one another and to help the more fledgling homebrew neophytes. I actually had the privilege of offering some sound advice to a guy who was doing an extract brew. I suggested some German Chocolate Wheat malt to help with head retention and get more of the chocolate tones (and less coffee) that he was looking for. I also advised him to be careful with the vanilla beans he was putting in bourbon, reminding him that the higher ABV would be more efficient in extraction and to be cautious about it.
More than that, the fellows there are ready, willing, and very able to help. I had ordered some special 6.3 ounce bottles for some of my more rare and strong brews. They got them quickly and had them waiting for me. Beyond this, their selection of grains, adjuncts, sugars, equipment and beyond is very nice. If they don’t have it, they can get it.
So, I want to commend this homebrew supply shop to you. Isn’t it time that we’ve moved toward having more personal aspects of brewing in a very impersonal world? Check them out and support your local businesses.
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I agree…I love going to my LHBS. The guys there know me and my family. Plus, if the owner gets me my grain, he gives me a healthy discount. they don’t’ always have exactly what I need…then I’ll order, but i always go local first. Lord knows our economy here needs it.
That place sounds like Heaven, Mike. I live in the center of the universe (just ask any New Yorker) and I can’t find a decent homebrew shop in northern NJ. I get all of my stuff (gear, supplies and advice) over the Internet. I wih there was a place like this by me.
I’ll come open it.
Local… I have ALWAYS gone local with my brewing supplies and ingredients. My local shop is Homebrew Heaven. Prices aren’t always the best, but they are close by and I enjoy talking shop with the staff. If they don’t have what I’m looking for, they are good about ordering, but that takes time. They have helpful references in the store for hop substitutions as well. When I lived in Austin, Austin Homebrew Supply was the place I patronized. Again, good folks, good help, good selection, good times.
Now, it’s time I introduce y’all to the Beer Mapping Project. I present you with Seattle, New York, Toledo, and Los Angeles. Carry on.
April 1st, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Like you said, it’s not always the cheapest route but it’s still nice to buy local and have some geeks with which to speak.