The local homebrew shop (LHBS) is the lifeblood of the hobby. If you have one nearby it is the easiest place to buy ingredients. It is also where most homebrewers get started.
If you are a reader of this space and have considered getting involved in the hobby, a LHBS is the perfect place to start. If you have a loved one who loves beer, the staff at a LHBS can help you select the perfect kit to guy as a gift. You can walk in, talk to a human being, and ask questions. Their business depends on new customers like you. You’re not wasting their time by “asking stupid questions”.
Even after brewing for a couple of years I’ll still chat with the staff and other customers at the LHBS. When I picked up my stir-plate, they made sure I didn’t buy too small of a flask and made sure I had everything else I needed.
When you shop at a LHBS you are supporting a local business, its employees, and keeping the money you’re spending in the local economy. Find a LHBS using the American Homebrew Association’s directory. Check out your LHBS!