A homebrewer in a new neck of the woods, I’ve got a lot of exploring to do. This week I trekked up to Des Moines to pick up goodies for Saturday’s inaugural brew day for my new
brewery house. Keeping it as local as I can, I tramped through the door of Heartland Homebrew Supply looking to get connected with a new homebrew shop and a the “local” brewing community.
Oddly, that didn’t happen. And I was a little taken aback as I left. Most brewing folks are friendly, good people. Not necessarily passing judgement on the “good peopleness” of Heartland’s owner, but he just didn’t seem to care. About me. About his business. And it would seem about beer. Maybe he was having a bad day, I thought.
He did mill my grain. That was nice. Most shops I’m familiar with have some sort of self-serve scenario where the customer picks out his/her grain choices and can mill if they choose. Not so, he just asked for my shopping list and went in the back to get it for me. I’m generally not too controlling (or paranoid, for that matter), but after experiencing his flippant attitude toward customer service, or at least people skills, I wonder if he gave me exactly what I had written down.
When it came to yeast, I was disappointed that neither of the two yeasts I needed were in stock. And if Wyeast 1028 isn’t common, what is? “Father’s Day,” he said, “really wiped us out, and the 4th of July.” I’ll give you the 4th, maybe, but Father’s Day was a month ago. Wait, the 4th was over a week ago. Order some freakin’ yeast! Perhaps I’m spoiled, but he should be able to order weekly, right?
If I am way below my estimated OG, I won’t be surprised, as his mill looks to be set wider than my old homebrew shop’s was. My grain was hardly cracked. A ploy to make me buy more grain? Paranoia, indeed.
I wouldn’t simply be second-guessing this character on my experience alone. Well, maybe I would, but I went to BeerAdvocate to confirm the address yesterday and looked at some sorry reviews of other brewers with experiences like mine. How troubling. I will give this place another shot sometime down the road, but with MoreBeer so easy to access, I can’t see giving this guy my cash.