Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Online Brew Supply Stores

I love shopping online; because of where I live in west michigan I often have to drive considerable distances to find anything. With the cost of gas often exceeding the cost of shipping and the competitive pricing of online stores it just makes sense to order online. I primarily use three online stores, each store has it's perks and draw backs, and no one store is perfect.

Midwest Brewing Supply
This is my go to website for ordering brewing equipment. They have a great selection, prompt shipping, and take care or pack items well. A good selection of ingredients for when I know what I want and can't find it at my LHBS(local home brew shop). They have an expansive selection of wine, and beer making equipment and ingrediants; they have most of everything I need. The website could function better, it could be faster, and the whole process could be sleeker. I was nervous the first time I bought from them because the website looked shotty; my fears were unfounded.

Northern Brewer
This is the site I always price check midwest against. The website is well made, and they feature 7.99 shipping on any sized order, excluding large heavy items(like glass carboys). I find the prices on ingredients to be competitive, and when I'm not ordering a lot the cheaper shipping option can save me money. On the whole the prices are a bit higher then midwest brewing, but the shipping makes it competitive. The shopping experience is also a bit easier because of the webpage design and overall attention to detail.

Rebel Brewer
This is also a good store, the prices are competitive. They are better on some products and worse on others and stock a few odds and ends I don't see other places. Typically I'll go here when the other two places and my local home brew shop are out of a type of hop I want to brew with. The website is functional and I would put it right along side midwest in terms of ease of navigation. I've had no problems with them in terms of shipping promptly or my package arriving intact.

I'd recommend all three stores to my friends, I've had nothing but good experiences.

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