American Homebrew Innovations

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by BrewMartSheffieldUK, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. BrewMartSheffieldUK

    BrewMartSheffieldUK Initiate (15) Aug 3, 2018 England

    I am here on behalf of my son who has recently opened a homebrew shop in Sheffield England called
    Brew Mart.
    From looking at homebrew websites in America it seems that homebrew is much more advanced over the pond.
    Are there any homebrew experts on here and if so can you share any good innovations which are happening in America for us to look into
    Thanks in advanced
    Regina Kay
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,351) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Hello Regina,
    homebrew innovations are user based, and that explains why we are much more advanced. Even when I was getting started and looking at Dave Line's book "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy" I could see that it could be improved. If the customers aren't going to initiate it, things won't improve - but they will!

    As for specifics, there's so much out there that it would take me hours to try to go through it. This site is one source. I'd suggest, if he can, he start selling the books by Brewers Publications.

    I wish him good luck! I've thoroughly enjoyed all of the new craft brews that I've enjoyed in England and I think there's plenty of growth to be had.
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,714) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would recommend that your son do some competitive research via going through the numerous online homebrewing supply vendors websites. There are a large number of them but a few examples are:

    I recently attended HomebrewCon in Portland, OR. While I was there I got into a conversation with a gentleman from the Pittsburgh, PA area and part of the reason he was there was to do some research (e.g., visit the vendors in the Exhibit Hall) since his son is in the planning stages of opening a Homebrew store in the Pittsburgh area. Are there events in the UK like HomebrewCon? As a heads up HomebrewCon 2019 will be in Providence, RI next year.

    A product that is new to me that I learned about via visiting the YCH booth at HomebrewCon is Cryo Hops. Has your son started carrying that product yet?

  4. BrewMartSheffieldUK

    BrewMartSheffieldUK Initiate (15) Aug 3, 2018 England

    Thank you both for your reply it was very kind of you. My son will have plenty to look at when he gets home from his shop
    Any more good advice very welcome
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  5. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (239) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    Actually, they just had their first one this past year. Nowhere near the size of the US version, but gotta start somewhere:

    @BrewMartSheffieldUK , I would also be looking to some of the bigger Euro vendors as well such as Craft Co and Humlegardens and Brouwland to see what they have to offer on the continent. Obviously not sure what Brexit & Drumpf may do with trade negotiations and tariffs, but he'll definitely need to keep his options open and ready to renegotiate with wholesalers in this volatile market.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  6. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (394) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I'd have him watch the trends in beer. If he can compete with online sources for what is hot that's where he can make some money.

    I'd guess run of the mill brewing supplies might. Be a very close margin, but see what he locals want and keep watching.
    Beer brewing changes like the stock market, fast.
  7. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,250) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    Dammit Jack... why didn't you respond to the Who's Going thread I did? Would've loved to have met you and fought about Saison yeast face-to-face.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,714) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Justin, I am sorry about that. I was real busy those few days and I was not even able to meet up with all of the folks that I wanted.

    Will you be attending HomebrewCon 2019 in Providence? My lessons learned from this past event is that I need to be more disciplined in my planning. Maybe set up meeting times beforehand?


  9. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    Hi! As a UK homebrewer, there aren't that many US innovations that I'd like to see brought over here - mostly the range of interesting liquid yeast that seems to be available, although I can also see that you'd need a ridiculous turnover to be able to stock (say) ten different wild yeast blends without just ending up chucking them when they went out of date. In case it's helpful, though, I can give you a bit of insight into what would make me more likely to use a homebrew shop generally. It might be a bit of a braindump - sorry if it's just a load of stuff that you already know.

    Basically, if I'm buying online then I care first about whether I can actually get the ingredients that I want. If my recipe uses cara-red, Bobek hops and Bastogne yeast then I'm not going to use your shop unless you've got them available. If that doesn't restrict me to one specific shop, I'll probably use the one that gives me precise control over the quantities of malt - I'd rather not have most of a 500g bag of Special B or Carafa II kicking around or to have to weigh out 3.2kg from a 3.5kg bag of Maris Otter just because the shop only sells in multiples of 500g.

    Overall, online seems like a very crowded market at the moment, and I'd expect that you'd need something pretty special to stand out much or get people to switch from their established suppliers. The Malt Miller ( is basic killing it for me in most respects.

    I like the idea of buying stuff locally - it saves postage costs, avoids worries about transporting liquid yeast at ambient temperature and could mean pre-milled grain not hanging around for longer than necessary. I think the main things that prevents it working for me are that my local homebrew shop doesn't have a simple system for checking stock online and reserving it, so it'd be a punt whether they've got what I want (or I'd have to go to the faff of emailing them specially), and that they aren't open on weekday evenings so it's a pain in the arse to get the ingredients if I want to start brewing early on a Saturday morning. If I had a local shop with a respectable range that would do:
    * reserve online and pickup in store
    * late opening on Friday evening
    * grain weighed to order and milled on the spot
    they'd get a lot of business from me.
    riptorn likes this.
  10. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,250) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    It was fairly expensive for Portland, and I stayed at a friends and had my ticket paid for by another friend. No way I'd be able to do airfare, hotel, conference, breweries, food... I'd probably attend again if it is in Portland or Sacramento as I can stay with friends/family again. I was going to do the hot wing contest to try to win next year's conference but I had the MTF meet up during the first round and a friend's birthday surprise during the final round.
  11. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    All of the LHBS I go to will crush the amount you request or will let you do the weighing and crushing yourself in-shop. I haven't made call-ahead orders to all of them to have my order ready on arrival, but for those that I have made the request to it was not a problem.

    I agree that it's a hassle to try and swing by a LHBS that's open only during the same hours that you work.
    Without proper planning it seems ordering online has similar a drawback. If needing something critical on Friday for a Saturday morn brewing, a LHBS that's closed on Friday evening or ordering online will produce similar results....Saturday won't be brew day.

    I also agree with your main point, if I understand it correctly. If a LHBS is well-stocked and open at convenient times, you'd likely transfer some of your spending from online to a local merchant.
    Additionally, the proprietor is a factor in deciding which shop I visit. I' don't mind paying a little extra (within reason) to do business with someone with whom I've built a good rapport, understands my level of experience and can shoot the breeze with when I stop in.
  12. epk

    epk Initiate (164) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    Based on the comments above, I figured I'd check Brew Mart's hours. Closed by 5:30 PM every day they are open (and not open Wed and Sun). I think they might want to adjust them. My local operates from 11 AM - 8 PM weekdays, 10 AM - 6 PM on Satuday, and 10 AM - 4 PM on Sunday.

    Now I understand a new business may not have the bandwidth to be open seven days a week, but some later hours are a good idea. If you take Riptorn's scenario for instance, Friday could be a good night to stay open a bit later.

    So not innovation advise, but certainly some operating advise worth considering.

    Agreed. I like supporting a local business. I expect to pay a litle more, but then again, I'm not paying shipping. I even drive a litte out of my way to this particular shop because its so well maintained and staffed.
    #12 epk, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    riptorn likes this.
  13. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    It doesn't seem to be a thing with online shops in the UK - apart from a couple, you can generally choose 500g bag / 1kg bag / 25kg sack.
    Ah, I can get stuff delivered to work which makes everything very easy. Finalise the recipe and place the order on Wednesday night (with my brewing software and the internet to consult in case I need to make changes based on the availability of whatever), package turns up at my desk on Friday.
    Also true!
    riptorn likes this.