The AHA had an article on the hobby of homebrewing and its growing popularity. It was focused on the increased business of homebrew shops. If percentages are your thing, the shops that were surveyed reported a 26% increase in sales from 2011 and 2012.
I looked into the trending of homebrewing popularity a few years ago by using some online tools.
The data that came back was contrary to what I thought was happening. The data made it appear that the hobby was decreasing in popularity.
Knowing the growth in craft beer, I would assume homebrewing beer would be growing too. This survey confirmed it from the homebrewing supply shop side of the equation.
I type this post happy that the hobby is becoming more popular. More homebrewers is a good thing and more homebrewed beer is an even better thing.
The one thing that I am a bit wary about with the growth of sales is the increase in prices on homebrewing ingredients and accessories. Last week, I bought a few items at a homebrew shop that is near my new place of employment. Some of the things on my list were the largest size of both Powdered Brewery Wash and Star San sanitizer that they had in stock. I brought my stuff up to the counter and the guy at the register commented on my choices of the biggest size. My reply explained that buying in bulk makes sense for me.
The total came up on the register and it seemed a bit high at first glance. I paid and looked at the detailed receipt as I walked out the door. Both the PBW and the Star San were easily 7 to 10 dollars more than I have paid at other shops or online. I was a little floored by the markup.
Hey, I don’t blame a business trying to make a buck but price gouging is not something I can support. WIth increased demand, you can charge higher prices but the buyer can get around it by checking out other options.
Now I could out them here in this post, but that’s not my style. I could tweet them and ask them about it but the time has past to tweet.
At this point, I have to chalk it up as a lesson learned or at least a lesson reminder. In this growing hobby, make sure you compare prices and you won’t overpay if you take the time to avoid overly high prices.