I’m north of Manchester, well away from any hipster types.
It’s interesting to read that lots of the new craft breweries in the region were started by homebrewers.
I can’t think of anything I’d least like to do with my brewing. Most of running a successful brewery is getting your marketing and sales right, not something I would be at all interested in.
On the homebrew shop front, I tend to buy from online for bulk items but I do have a local place that I like to support. He used to just stock kits for beer and wine as well as the usual fermentation buckets, bubblers etc and a bit of yeast. I think he has noticed an increase in interest in all grain as he now stocks smallish amounts of crushed pale malts, crystal and wheat. Really useful if you realise you’re a bit short of something on brew day! He also normally has a couple of small pbs with beer from various kits he’s brewed. I used to find that helpful when deciding what kit to buy next.
I don’t have hobbies. I’m developing a robust post-apocalyptic skill set.