MRB Josh R

Mr. Beer Homebrew Shop!!

45 posts in this topic

Wonderful news!! Congrats MRB team!! For me i would like a more local shop (closest one to me is about 30-45 min away) second: CO2 exchange/fill would be nice for a shop to offer for those that keg their beer ( i will be starting Kegging as soon as my supplies arrive and will need to find a place to fill up the new CO2 tank...)

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I've only been to the one LHBS in Louisville once, so I can't speak much from experience.  The store mostly caters to wine making, as the owner is from Italy, and it just seems like beer supplies are an after thought.  I do think it would be cool to every so often have classes on beer making, so that people realize how easy it really is.

 

And if/when you are ready to open one in Louisville, or if you sell franchises, let me know

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@MRB Josh R The once-local shop here (which has since closed up) used to host local homebrew competitions, which is great for promotion and expands interest in the craft. 

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47 minutes ago, hotrod3539 said:

Wonderful news!! Congrats MRB team!! For me i would like a more local shop (closest one to me is about 30-45 min away) second: CO2 exchange/fill would be nice for a shop to offer for those that keg their beer ( i will be starting Kegging as soon as my supplies arrive and will need to find a place to fill up the new CO2 tank...)

 

We will definitely be doing Co2 exchanges.

 

45 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

I've only been to the one LHBS in Louisville once, so I can't speak much from experience.  The store mostly caters to wine making, as the owner is from Italy, and it just seems like beer supplies are an after thought.  I do think it would be cool to every so often have classes on beer making, so that people realize how easy it really is.

 

And if/when you are ready to open one in Louisville, or if you sell franchises, let me know

 

Yes, we will be having classes and demos monthly (possibly weekly).

 

1 minute ago, Big Sarge said:

@MRB Josh R The once-local shop here (which has since closed up) used to host local homebrew competitions, which is great for promotion and expands interest in the craft. 

 

This is something we will be working with the local homebrew club on (Tucson Homebrew Club). I would like our competitions to be BJCP sanctioned.

 

Thanks guys! Keep the ideas coming! :D

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Listening to a podcast, Beer School episode on home brewing.  They are talking about a brew-it-myself beer store.  This place would provide all the equipment for brewing and bottling, plus storage space for fermentation, and an employee (hint hint) who is an expert at brewing, in order to help with the process if needed..  Plus since it is a store, if something is needed, they don't have to travel very far to buy it!  The person brewing only need to pay a fee for water, use of equipment, supplies (if needed), etc.

 

Oh, and I've mentioned here before that I have more than just gold bottling caps.  11 different colors plus one of the US flag.  Helps me co-ordinate what beer is what.  Might want to offer a selection of different bottling caps, if space in the store allows.

 

 

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It's not quite that simple.  In most (all?) states, a brew-it-yourself store is in fact a brewery, requiring licensing just like a brewery.  The beer brewed is in fact the brewery's beer, which they have to pay taxes on, and then sell to the consumer.  And, since they are making beer, they also have to comply with health department regulations for serving food...  

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

It's not quite that simple.  In most (all?) states, a brew-it-yourself store is in fact a brewery, requiring licensing just like a brewery.  The beer brewed is in fact the brewery's beer, which they have to pay taxes on, and then sell to the consumer.  And, since they are making beer, they also have to comply with health department regulations for serving food...  

 

Not entirely true. There are MANY states, including here in AZ, where BOP (brew-on-premises) is allowed. The beer is brewed by the customers and taken home by the customers for personal use - it is not being sold, therefore it isn't subject to the same licensing as a brewery. In some states, the employees of the BOP facility can offer advice, supplies, and some help with lifting, cleaning, discarding grains, etc., but they CANNOT help with the brewing/packaging process itself. This must be done by the customer (this bypasses the health code requirements). Any money charged is for ingredients and rental of the brewing systems - not for the finished beer. For more info see: https://www.ttb.gov/beer/beer-faqs.shtml

 

And yes, @MiniYoda, BOP is something we are looking at doing in the near future. And I will definitely be looking into different color bottle caps since we only have the plain gold ones right now.

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I don't think "many" is accurate, but I haven't studied the matter beyond knowing the Michigan regs and that most states follow similar.  TTB is only the federal guidelines.  Of course if the customer has no idea what he/she is doing, or had no idea of the length of the process...  Many brew on premises started years ago (20) quickly died.  

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"Many" is very accurate. 20 years ago there wasn't a craft beer craze like there is today and a LOT of states have been relaxing their brewing laws due to the revenue the brewing/homebrewing industry has been creating in the past 5 years. BOP is making a huge comeback. Trust me, I'm quite versed in current brewing trends and laws as it's part of my job to be. ;)

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Congrats Josh!

 

One thing I wish a LHBS would offer is:

Tasting/education nights followed by ability to purchase equipment/recipes.

 

I would love to be able to sign up for a session where we are tasting/being educated on hop profiles (or whatever) with a discussion on techniques. Then after, have the ability to purchase the needed ingredients.

 

For me, that would be awesome.

 

Or say a sampling of stout styles with history, education, technique, etc. then the opportunity to purchase.

 

I would absolutely pay for the tasting event and but the ingredients.

 

 

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There is a local shop by me on Long Island (NY) but they also are a hardware and gun shop (strange combination indeed). There was one in New York city near where I work, but they closed. Sure would be nice to have an outlet dedicated to brewing.

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14 hours ago, Brian N. said:

There is a local shop by me on Long Island (NY) but they also are a hardware and gun shop (strange combination indeed). There was one in New York city near where I work, but they closed. Sure would be nice to have an outlet dedicated to brewing.

 

That IS a strange combination! My last job was at a homebrew supply store that doubled as gardening supply store. In some areas, especially rural areas, it sometimes makes more monetary sense to have more to sell than just brewing supplies I guess. 

 

@MrWhy, yes! We will definitely have tasting events that will hopefully bring in people for our classes. We will probably heavily discount kits/ingredients to people registering to and attending these classes. We have a huge building with only 14 employees so there is a lot of space to do stuff. Plus many of our store displays/furniture has wheels so they can be moved for classes. We even have a projector with a large screen for viewing PowerPoint presentations, images, and movies (beer themed movie nights?).

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44 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

That IS a strange combination! My last job was at a homebrew supply store that doubled as gardening supply store. In some areas, especially rural areas, it sometimes makes more monetary sense to have more to sell than just brewing supplies I guess. 

 

@MrWhy, yes! We will definitely have tasting events that will hopefully bring in people for our classes. We will probably heavily discount kits/ingredients to people registering to and attending these classes. We have a huge building with only 14 employees so there is a lot of space to do stuff. Plus many of our store displays/furniture has wheels so they can be moved for classes. We even have a projector with a large screen for viewing PowerPoint presentations, images, and movies (beer themed movie nights?).

Like I needed any more reasons to move to Arizona!

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19 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

Also, anyone that expects to stay afloat strictly as a BOP and not also as a homebrew shop and/or actual brewery won't last long.

Well, there is just such a place here in Nashua, NH.  IncrediBrew is the oldest currently-operating BOP business in the US and seems to be doing very well as strictly BOP.  Of course, they've got over 15 years in business and have built up a loyal customer base.  They also offer wine and soda making on site to supplement the brewing side.  I brewed there for years before switching to homebrewing, and still occasionally take advantage of a special offer to use their facility.  The business is still going strong;  a local news program has been filming there all week for segments to be airing next week.   I certainly agree that a startup these days probably has to offer what you mention to survive long-term, but these guys have made their business model work for awhile.

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22 hours ago, RickBeer said:

I don't think "many" is accurate, but I haven't studied the matter beyond knowing the Michigan regs and that most states follow similar.  TTB is only the federal guidelines.  Of course if the customer has no idea what he/she is doing, or had no idea of the length of the process...  Many brew on premises started years ago (20) quickly died.  

@Rickbeer, there are several of these places in Ohio.  I just brewed at one with several friends a few weeks ago.  This one is also a brewery with a local following and distribution.  They do help with the process in so far as giving advice and showing how it is done.  They also break down the amount of time to the potential customer and because they do all of the cleaning, the time needed isn't that large.  They don't really count on their BYO business to keep them going, it is mostly a side offering.  Look up North High Brewing in Columbus for the information on it.

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22 hours ago, MichaelL said:

Well, there is just such a place here in Nashua, NH.  IncrediBrew is the oldest currently-operating BOP business in the US and seems to be doing very well as strictly BOP.  Of course, they've got over 15 years in business and have built up a loyal customer base.  They also offer wine and soda making on site to supplement the brewing side.  I brewed there for years before switching to homebrewing, and still occasionally take advantage of a special offer to use their facility.  The business is still going strong;  a local news program has been filming there all week for segments to be airing next week.   I certainly agree that a startup these days probably has to offer what you mention to survive long-term, but these guys have made their business model work for awhile.

 

Yeah, I'm familiar with IncrediBrew. I read about them awhile back. They are definitely the exception due to their long time reputation and loyal customer base.

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There's  LHBS, Sunset Hydroponics that is five minutes from where I work. They do a good job supplying almost everything needed for homebrewing but lack brew on premise classes and tastings. I'm not sure if that's because of New York beer and liquor laws or just the owners choice. Also some of the staff homebrew and some don't so it's a cr@pshoot if I'll catch a brewer to bounce suggestions off of or answer questions. 

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I think there is still a lot of snottiness and disdain from many AG brewers although I am doing my best to provide samples to overcome that where possible. So far, impressions have been favorable. So persuading LHBS to add a Mr B franchise where they may have limited space might require some good incentives and some good brewed examples to convince them.

 

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

I think there is still a lot of snottiness and disdain from many AG brewers although I am doing my best to provide samples to overcome that where possible. So far, impressions have been favorable. So persuading LHBS to add a Mr B franchise where they may have limited space might require some good incentives and some good brewed examples to convince them.

 

 

All you need is the grains, hops, and yeast in stock. We aren't trying to sell AG brewers Mr. Beer kits. They don't care about what our sign says, as long as we have what they need. And we aren't trying to get existing homebrew shops to become Mr. Beer Everything Homebrew shops. IF we franchise, these will be completely new stores in areas where LHBS' are lacking or the market is strong. 

 

But yeah, we will have plenty of tastings. ;)

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2 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

All you need is the grains, hops, and yeast in stock. We aren't trying to sell AG brewers Mr. Beer kits. They don't care about what our sign says, as long as we have what they need. And we aren't trying to get existing homebrew shops to become Mr. Beer Everything Homebrew shops. IF we franchise, these will be completely new stores in areas where LHBS' are lacking or the market is strong. 

 

But yeah, we will have plenty of tastings. ;)

Makes sense, location, location, location. With customers, customers, customers.

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7 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

All you need is the grains, hops, and yeast in stock. We aren't trying to sell AG brewers Mr. Beer kits. They don't care about what our sign says, as long as we have what they need. And we aren't trying to get existing homebrew shops to become Mr. Beer Everything Homebrew shops. IF we franchise, these will be completely new stores in areas where LHBS' are lacking or the market is strong. 

 

But yeah, we will have plenty of tastings. ;)

 

If you happen to expand to Rochester, NY area let me know. I would love to help out with some brew classes. 

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