Wyeast vs White Labs: Why we’re switching sides.

Wyeast vs White LabsWe have been a Wyeast shop since the beginning. I really like Wyeast. But with all things there comes a time for change. White Labs is opening a facility in Asheville and that means we can get yeast from them in a day instead of 2 days. It also means that we will be supporting local NC jobs which is important to me. Switching to White Labs is a big decision and as with all big decisions I wrote a pro/cons list to help me.

First the cons:

  1. Loss of a few wonderful strains most notably 3763 Roeselare and Denny’s Favorite 50, not to mention the 3711 French Saison.
  2. Due to Wyeast ordering minimums we will not be able to special order yeast.
  3. As a customer I love Wyeast packaging. Proofing your yeast in advance to pitching is a great idea.

Now the pros:

  1. White Labs will be local.
  2. They have a larger selection. 4 different strains of Brett, WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast, WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale Yeast, and Charlie Papazian’s WLP862 Cry Havoc just to name a few.
  3. We will have access to The Yeast Bay increasing our selection even further.
  4. White Labs has new packaging that fixes several issues with their old packaging.
  5. Once the facility opens in Asheville shipping will be significantly cheaper. Shipping Wyeast is over 1/3 the cost of the yeast!

As you can see the pros outweigh the cons. Some of you may be asking why not carry both? Well we tried that about 2 years ago and we couldn’t keep the yeast fresh. What we’ve heard from customers is that fresh yeast is very important.

So what do I do if I’m used to using 1968 London ESB Ale Yeast and I want the same character in my beer? Well according to this chart you would use WLP002 English Ale Yeast. We will have copies of the conversion chart in the store to help anyone choose an equivalent yeast.

We will begin phasing out Wyeast towards the end of December, by the first of the year we will no longer be able to order Wyeast. I believe that this will be positive change and I can’t wait to try the WLP860 Munich Helles!

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3 Responses to Wyeast vs White Labs: Why we’re switching sides.

  1. This is great news! I love White Labs Yeast/ The Yeast Bay.

  2. Bill DeLoache says:

    There are rumors that White Labs wholesale prices are going up effective 2/15, as high as $9/vial for orders less than 25 vials. Can you confirm, and if so will it affect the plans to switch or retail prices?

    • Kyle says:

      White Labs will be increasing their wholesale prices. Margins on yeast are razor thin so unfortunately this increase will affect retail prices. We have already transitioned to White Labs and only have a few strains of Wyeast left. We are excited to support the new facility in Asheville and feel that our customers want the freshest yeast possible.

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