Lack of quality selection at NSLC

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smallgains
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Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by smallgains » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:41 pm

Hello everyone,
Maybe it's just me, but the selection is beyond horrible. First, we all have our own tastes and I prefer bold higher abv beer. I am in Yarmouth where there is a lack of anything of quality that I would even spend money on. I used to be able to rely on Chimay Blue Grand Reserve but the NSLC pulled it, according to them, for lack of sales. I bought about 60-70 a year :cheers2: . I believe that Propeller Revolution is also being pulled from the Yarmouth store, another formerly available favorite. Garrison Imperial Pumpkin gone from all stores but I think that was a Garrison decision. These are just a few examples.

Over the last ten years or so, the foreign selection, specifically German and Belgium beer has declined to almost nothing, while being replaced with (IMO)average run of the mill local brews. I'm not going as far to say protectionism....but I guess I just did.

I am aware that I can special order in beer at an extra fee, but I feel that the NSLC considering it's leverage and the way it controls alcohol in the province has at least some responsibility to provide higher quality brews to smaller communities even if they are in small amounts. Most of us are not all functional alcoholics who will just drink what is put in front of us.

If I was in Halifax, I most likely would never set foot in an NSLC for the rest of my life because of Rockhead, Bishops and Harvest wines.....and with those options, why would I ever need to?
I'm heading to Halifax(stopping at Bad Apple along the way) next week to stock up, but it's not like I'm a well off person, so stocking up to me is $75-$100 tops :(

Anyway, thanks for the rant space and I look forward to reading through the forums.

Cheers

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mckay75
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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by mckay75 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:49 pm

Sounds like the only reasonable thing to do is start brewing what you want to drink. Isn't that the beauty of homebrewing?!

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GAM
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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by GAM » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:57 am

Set up a keg system and buy from Bad A, Old B, Unfiltered etc.

I an lucky to be in Hfx and I do have access to good beer but still brew my own too.

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by Toni » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:43 am

I know Bishop's Cellar ships within the province. You could always check out what they have online and see what shipping would cost. Probably cheaper than gas to come up to Halifax.

Too bad the province won't allow more than four private stores. Seems like the whole point of the "small business" experiment has been a failure when people of means are able to buy them up.

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John G
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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by John G » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:59 pm

I started brewing in 1992 because of the lack of supply of beer styles. I mean, finding a stout or a real India Pale Ale going to the Henry House - that was super exotic, and the only place you could get it (Paddy's pub may have had stout on tap at that point, I can't recall). Today in 2017, I think we have a crazy diverse supply of beer styles available in NS, although I do agree that the further from Hfx the less supply of interesting beers at the NSLC, a few stores being the exception.

I echo the posters above: if you can't find it, make it. Chimay Blue is a relatively easy one to pull off - it was a style I started brewing early on in my home brewing adventures. There are lots of recipes around for this style and the specific yeast is available from good home-brew shops, which is key to the signature flavors of this style.

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:56 pm

The NLC in Corner Brook would put any NSLC I've been in to shame.

Unfortunately they started bringing in a better variety after I moved to Halifax. On that note I moved to Halifax because there are things here I wanted to be a part of that didn't exist back home. Craft beer and a network of genre bending/pushing musicians being high on that list. It's also nice to be able to afford those things.

There's a price to pay either way, Yarmouth is a beautiful place as is Corner Brook but of course you are limiting yourself to the opportunities a city provides. It's all perspective though, plenty of benefits in a small town that you can't get in a city.

Time to start brewing if you haven't already!


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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by KB1138 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:30 pm

It's almost as if a monopoly on a consumer product won't be super responsive to consumer demands
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Bottled: Baltic Porter, Brett Saison, Dumb Idea Stouts, Sahti
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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by McGruff » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:31 am

Even if I could find great beer locally, I would still brew it myself.

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by CPR » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:46 am

Say it as loud and clear as possible to as many people will listen: government monopoly on beer/wine/spirits isn't right and needs to be abolished!

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by chalmers » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:26 am

Working within the current framework, the NSLC can move product between stores, so if it’s on the site, it can be brought to your local. Small batch 2C, Big Spruce, and North last time I was at The Port.
Bishop’s Cellar has free shipping anywhere in NS for orders above $150, and they do growler fills on that too, I’m 99% (may need to request via phone/email, not set up on site).

But yes, need more vocal folks getting at the NSLC to improve things. Current environment is no new private licenses, but you may see brewer retail shops being able to sell other breweries’ Beer eventually.

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by jason.loxton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:30 pm

Things have dramatically improved since I first got here. We used to have two local craft breweries available, and they weren't refrigerated. Now there are several dozen local and national craft breweries represented. Some things still aren't well stocked (e.g., Belgian beers), but that's got to be largely consumer preferences.

Things can be better, but I have to give some props to the NSLC for the big improvements they've made in recent years!

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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by elreplica » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:29 am

Blah blah blah...trying to procure a keg of commercial beer is harder than scoring dope...it's diabolical...now I know many here will wonder why I'd care lol.
At Bat: Czech Pils
On Deck: Marzen Lager, ESB
In the Hole: Maple Wheat
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clone
On tap: Pils, Marzen, Baltic Porter

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elreplica
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Re: Lack of quality selection at NSLC

Post by elreplica » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:38 am

smallgains wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:41 pm
Hello everyone,
Maybe it's just me, but the selection is beyond horrible. First, we all have our own tastes and I prefer bold higher abv beer. I am in Yarmouth where there is a lack of anything of quality that I would even spend money on. I used to be able to rely on Chimay Blue Grand Reserve but the NSLC pulled it, according to them, for lack of sales. I bought about 60-70 a year :cheers2: . I believe that Propeller Revolution is also being pulled from the Yarmouth store, another formerly available favorite. Garrison Imperial Pumpkin gone from all stores but I think that was a Garrison decision. These are just a few examples.

Over the last ten years or so, the foreign selection, specifically German and Belgium beer has declined to almost nothing, while being replaced with (IMO)average run of the mill local brews. I'm not going as far to say protectionism....but I guess I just did.

I am aware that I can special order in beer at an extra fee, but I feel that the NSLC considering it's leverage and the way it controls alcohol in the province has at least some responsibility to provide higher quality brews to smaller communities even if they are in small amounts. Most of us are not all functional alcoholics who will just drink what is put in front of us.

If I was in Halifax, I most likely would never set foot in an NSLC for the rest of my life because of Rockhead, Bishops and Harvest wines.....and with those options, why would I ever need to?
I'm heading to Halifax(stopping at Bad Apple along the way) next week to stock up, but it's not like I'm a well off person, so stocking up to me is $75-$100 tops :(

Anyway, thanks for the rant space and I look forward to reading through the forums.

Cheers

I agree with CPR on abolishing the monopoly but don't think it's going to happen. The robber barons will prevail in the upcoming Supreme Court interprovincial challenge where buddy brought beer back to NB from Quebec...to much at stake, not just beer. I'm fortunate to get a variety of brews like Mons Quad from bumfvck nowhere in Quebec (puts Chimay anything to shame and 2 x 750 mL for $13 as opposed to 1...that's why you have to brew here...and often you turn out good shit...I still love all the other gear going on and get lazy and drink others...hmmm...bought a shitty Cali IPA bomber at harvest for $9... we do SO much better here...
Last edited by elreplica on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
At Bat: Czech Pils
On Deck: Marzen Lager, ESB
In the Hole: Maple Wheat
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clone
On tap: Pils, Marzen, Baltic Porter

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