Clibit
Article in the Manchester Evening News about the popularity of home brewing in the region.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/manchester-beer-ale-home-brewing-14240403
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GHW
I don’t sense there is the same fervour where I live; there are few or no local shops or groups (other than ubrew) and even on forums like our own I sense that Scotland and the north of England are the hotbeds.

Which considering the cost of a pint in London and the south in general is perhaps surprising.

Perhaps I should lead the revolution?
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Clibit
GHW wrote:
I don’t sense there is the same fervour where I live; there are few or no local shops or groups (other than ubrew) and even on forums like our own I sense that Scotland and the north of England are the hotbeds. Which considering the cost of a pint in London and the south in general is perhaps surprising. Perhaps I should lead the revolution?


I think you should. You have great leadership potential.

We don't have much in the way of home brew shops, and the existing ones are pretty awful. But quite a few brewing clubs and meets have sprung up.
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AdrianDBW
Exactly the same here. The nearest brew shop is a 'wine making centre' with it's beer section mostly comprising of beer kits. All the other homebrew shops have closed down. I think I know only 1 homebrewer relatively local to me, and the nearest club is in Maidstone- about 15 miles away.
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Hops_and_Dreams
I feel for the local homebrew shops a bit in that there's no way they can compete with the online retailers. There's one in Norwich, about 15 miles from me, not been there for a good couple of years. I can order everything I need at home and get it delivered to work a couple of days later. The online range is far greater too.
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Clibit
Hops_and_Dreams wrote:
I feel for the local homebrew shops a bit in that there's no way they can compete with the online retailers. There's one in Norwich, about 15 miles from me, not been there for a good couple of years. I can order everything I need at home and get it delivered to work a couple of days later. The online range is far greater too.


Yes it's really difficult for them. Some of them don't help themselves though and, tbh, they nearly all cater only for kit brewers really. There's one in Stockport that I've heard is good, never been myself. There are LHBS's in Salford and Moston, both very poor areas, not catering for the likes of us.
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Hops_and_Dreams
Clibit wrote:


Yes it's really difficult for them. Some of them don't help themselves though and, tbh, they nearly all cater only for kit brewers really. There's one in Stockport that I've heard is good, never been myself. There are LHBS's in Salford and Moston, both very poor areas, not catering for the likes of us.

Yeah mine only sells Maris Otter by weight, everything else is pre-packed and crushed. Hops are leaf and not stored cold, as with the yeast. It was very kit focused too.

Should add that was when I was last there, could have changed now.
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Pinto
My "local" is abysmal - harks back to the bad old days of rows of aged Geordie kits and of hops pre packed and left on the shelf for years at room temp because no-one knew how to use em.  Guy only opens 4 days a week from 10-4, with none of those days being weekend ones !  He wouldn't know what grain was if you poured a sack on him.

I'd dearly love to open a proper HBS with the focus on AG brewing, but unless large quantities of cash flow my way, its just a dream atm.  The mail order system is well established in the UK, and the stores are good and knowledgeable (if a bit expensive)

For me tho, I'd be so much happier walking into a store where I can place hands on the things when I need, and be served by knowledgable people with love for the brew themselves.  No carriage, no waiting - these things would make me happily spend more.
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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Pinto
GHW wrote:
I don’t sense there is the same fervour where I live; there are few or no local shops or groups (other than ubrew) and even on forums like our own I sense that Scotland and the north of England are the hotbeds. Which considering the cost of a pint in London and the south in general is perhaps surprising. Perhaps I should lead the revolution?


In my opinion, Southerners are less likely to dirty their hands with making the brew, the London crew being the worst [rofl] why would they dirty their hands when they could just pull on their corduroys, put up their man bun and head for the nearest BrewDog pub ?  In the Cloud Cuckoo mile and surrounding suburbs, a pint costing £10 barely even registers....
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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Northern Brewster
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.
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Notlaw
I saw that article as I am in contact with the guys that run those clubs around Manchester.  It's great to see the hobby getting the coverage it deserves, but it still has a way to go to dispell the image of crusty buckets under the stairs with manky old Geordie Bitter kits and a kilo of sugar to boost the alcohol.

GHW wrote:
I don’t sense there is the same fervour where I live; there are few or no local shops or groups (other than ubrew) and even on forums like our own I sense that Scotland and the north of England are the hotbeds. Which considering the cost of a pint in London and the south in general is perhaps surprising. Perhaps I should lead the revolution?


Gareth, have you not tried getting involved with the London Amatuer Brewers club?  They are easily the biggest and best organised club in the country.  They've had guest speakers like Ron Pattinson and John Palmer go to meetings.  They run one of the biggest comps in the UK, in the London and South East Craft Brewing Competition.  Entry for that competition opened just over a week ago and there are 434 entries already at the time of writing this (including 3 of mine [wink]).  They meet every month, usually at Ubrew in Bermondsey.  You should hit them up, they are a great bunch.
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GHW
Notlaw wrote:
I saw that article as I am in contact with the guys that run those clubs around Manchester.  It's great to see the hobby getting the coverage it deserves, but it still has a way to go to dispell the image of crusty buckets under the stairs with manky old Geordie Bitter kits and a kilo of sugar to boost the alcohol.



Gareth, have you not tried getting involved with the London Amatuer Brewers club?  They are easily the biggest and best organised club in the country.  They've had guest speakers like Ron Pattinson and John Palmer go to meetings.  They run one of the biggest comps in the UK, in the London and South East Craft Brewing Competition.  Entry for that competition opened just over a week ago and there are 434 entries already at the time of writing this (including 3 of mine [wink]).  They meet every month, usually at Ubrew in Bermondsey.  You should hit them up, they are a great bunch.


I have thought about it jambo but Bermondsey is a bustard to get to from where I am, probably a 90m journey min. Opposite sides of south London with no decent transport links. If you want your beer tasted and feedback etc you have to take 2 L, too much to lug across town!

I think there is an opportunity for someone to open a hbs that treats homebrewing the way brewdog took to beer. Make it fashionable (as it is) and bright, not dusty and dingy.

Wouldn’t appeal to the old school but I bet you could do well in a city, esp if you added online sales

Anyone in?

I can sort the marketing!
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Notlaw
GHW wrote:
I have thought about it jambo but Bermondsey is a bustard to get to from where I am, probably a 90m journey min. Opposite sides of south London with no decent transport links. If you want your beer tasted and feedback etc you have to take 2 L, too much to lug across town! I think there is an opportunity for someone to open a hbs that treats homebrewing the way brewdog took to beer. Make it fashionable (as it is) and bright, not dusty and dingy. Wouldn’t appeal to the old school but I bet you could do well in a city, esp if you added online sales Anyone in? I can sort the marketing!


Start something up mate. I've started a club in Lancashire and we're regularly getting at least 12 of us turning out for it
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