Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Atlanta Unfriendly to Homebrewers

I hate shopping online. There's something about seeing and touching the merchandise that's much more satisfying than reading a description of an item. Then there's that whole instant gratification deal and the spontaneity factor that you don't get from the World Wide Web. And who wants to pay for shipping, not that it wasn't embedded in the prices at the walk-in store, but at least you can pretend you're getting a deal when the shipping price is not in black and white right in front of your face. And it's more expensive than the sales tax I would pay so there goes that argument.

Up until about 6 months ago, I had a homebrew shop that was conveniently located between work and home and it's only 6 miles to work. A short commute by Atlanta standards and totally counterflow to traffic. But it seems that the owner became ill and eventually died. I never met him, I started shopping there after he became ill and a friend was kind enough to run the shop for him. When he finally died, the friend decided it wasn't lucrative enough and determined that records were too sloppy to provide the necessary data to potential buyers so he just ended up closing. I found out just a little too late, just after the liquidation sale. Too bad, but it's not like selection was that great to begin with. I think that location played a part in it's demise as well. It was in a dingy corner of an antiquated shopping center that is home to a Big Lots, a discount store called Fred's, and several consignment shops. Not exactly the prime location for business traffic but I'm sure the rent was a bargain!

I found a shop about 30 miles away and I tried using them once, but 30 miles in Atlanta traffic just don't cut it for the Chris-meister. It was cleaner than Marietta Homebrew Supply and had better selection, but it just doesn't seem worth it. I'll just ruin the fun of shopping and order online unless something closer opens up.

I tried two websites, Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies. I put the same order in both and compared totals. Almost exactly the same. I ended up ordering from Northern Brewer, mostly because I was hoping shipping time would be less thanks to the relative proximity. For all I know, there could be better suppliers. If you know of others or have good/bad/horror story experiences, leave a comment!

Here's to technology!


  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    Check out these guys:

    They're around the corner from me, but they have a pretty considerable online business as well. I don't know how their prices stack up on the web.

    I can say, however, that they definitely know what they are doing. Very friendly, very helpful, very knowledgeable.

    Also, if shipping costs are ridiculous, I can probably pick something up and FedEx it to you.


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