Ashley's

Not Rated.
Ashley'sAshley's
BA SCORE
96
world-class

112 Ratings
Ratings: 112
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: n/a
Taps: 72
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

338 S State St
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-2412
United States
phone: (734) 996-9191

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @a2ashleys

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alebird
3.1/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have been an Ashley's patron (half the time reluctantly) for years. It's a love hate relationship. About 8:30 or so until midnight when it begins to clear out, the atmosphere is great. They have a solid selection of beers and their food is quite good, but I have never, EVER, had good service there, even when there were only half a dozen other occupied tables in the place. And for the most part, 3 out of 4 pours are short. Pay for a pint and receive 13 or 14 ounces. If I had only been there one or two times, I wouldn't write such a review, but I've been there dozens of times and they almost always disappoint when it comes to service and the kindness of their pours. And as far as knowledge of their staff toward the product they sell, one time a 30-something bartender told me that a beer cannot be both sweet and bitter at the same time. Really? If you're in A2 and have time to check out all the quality beer joints, stop by Ashley's, but if you don't have a lot of time, hit the more prominent breweries instead. You will be much better rewarded.

Photo of AVDeuph
3.4/5  rDev -21.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Well there isn't too much to say about Ashley's that hasn't been said already. Beer selection, particularly tap, is very good. They have 3 beers on cask, include 90-minute. I've had Founder's KBS, Goose Island Imperial IPA (underrated!), and other great beers on tap here as their rotating selection is ever-changing and excellent.

Main issue with Ashley's (besides crazy crowds essentially every day) is the service. I understand it gets ridiculous in there but I can't believe that they aren't able to just throw in a few more waitstaff sometimes to get things running more smoothly.

A perfect place to have dinner and great beer on a weekday at 5pm.

Photo of botham
3.48/5  rDev -19.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Ashley's Pub is right in Downtown Ann Arbor, across the street from the University. The atmosphere inside is fairly laid back, with wood being fairly ubiquitous, and an ambiance of amiable comradery. the bar is straight ahead as one enters, with seating on the streetside and a dining room in back. the bar area is nicely open, to show off the sixty-plus taps available.

quality is decent. with this many taps, one must question how often the lines get cleaned, especially when most of them are permanent taps. this BA stuck to the rotating taps, to be sure that they were fresh. One hand pump cask was available, which was quite good. the service was lacking quite a bit. the bartender would disappear for minutes at a time doing something in the back, leaving those at the bar without service, usually when it was needed most.

selection was great. a good variety of food offerings with sixty-plus taps. impressive while considering the context. food was good. the BBQ pork wings were good, albeit a bit dry.

overall, this is a solid stop for those in and passing by Ann Arbor. its location in proximity to the University is quite nice, and the offerings for beer are notable. cheers!

Photo of diamond_mind
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Beer was good, service average

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.5/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Atmosphere: nothing special, loud music, no dancing some tvs. not a college bar but nothing that makes it special or stand out.

Quality: They usually have a few gems on the rotating tap board but the regular menu can be bought at most bottle shops for much less

Service: sometimes its good sometimes it bad. no different from any other place

Selection: I generally will only go for tap takeovers now. They have some very good events at a good frequency that just can't be found elsewhere

Food: average bar food with some pretty disappointing items for a high price

Overall: I have very mixed feelings about Ashley's. Their regular beer menu is not hard to find and very overpriced, the rotating tend to have a few rarer beers for a high price, but they have very good and frequent tap events.

Photo of liquidcraft
3.5/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I find myself at Ashley's regularly which probably leads me to be more critical than many. I also live 5 minutes from Hopcat in Grand Rapids so I get spoiled.

Ashley's keeps the rotating tap list pretty interesting and the bottle list is certainly the most substantial in the area. If you like beer and you're in Ann Arbor then this is the stop to make. The atmosphere is laid back, sometimes it gets a little loud. They always have a few casks...badass, and the beer tour? I'll take free stuff for beers I would have drank anyways.

You never know how the service is going to be; some nights I'd give it a 5, other nights a 1. On more than one occasion we've gotten the wrong beers brought to us and the beer list is updated rarely (the rotating taps listed online were last updated december 2009). Always pick out two beers because often enough they won't have the first one you chose. While the food is pretty average, the late-night food menu should generally be avoided. Save yourself the money, go home and microwave some frozen TV dinners. Same quality. Also, this last remark is more observation than criticism, but if there's any sort of a wait the line gets jammed into a space about 3 ft x 10 ft, not for the claustrophobic.

Photo of marburg
3.53/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

When I first began my quest for beer perfection, Ashley's was my favorite bar, hands down. As an undergrad at U-M, it was right next to campus and thus a perfect place to grab a beer. With 60 taps, it seemed pretty daunting.

But as I began to leave the nest a bit, so to speak, and find other bars, I realized that the chairs were all breaking, the beer was getting more expensive, some of the kegs must have been ancient, beers were consistently being served at a variety of temperatures that weren't necessarily correct, there was little variety in glassware, if they run out of the proper glass you'll get your beer in a juice glass, and it was pretty smoky (which I'd never minded until it started impeding my beer drinking). Oh, and there are lots of beer bars in the world with better selections -- so even that wasn't too impressive anymore.

Definitely order two beers at once. Maybe your server will make it back by the time you're finishing that second brew. (OK, slight exaggeration.)

I still visit Ashley's -- but generally nowhere near peak times. Some of the food is pretty good (the Jerk Chicken sandwich is awesome), though it pales in comparison to the Heidelberg or even Conor O'Neill's, and they obviously have a good amount of beer for a Detroit/Ann Arbor area bar. But you can tell it's a student hang out because it gets run like one.

Photo of MichiganBeerAddict
3.69/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is the beer Mecca of southeastern Michigan. If you are fortunate enough to get a server or bartender that know their beer it will be a great time! I love stopping in for a beer or two every time I'm in AA. Lucky for me, my wife enjoys this place as much as I do!

Photo of jrallen34
3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

In Ann Arbor to check out the beer scene and despite the many brew pubs this is the best place to head by far, however, it totally has its downsides. First of all we were there two consecutive nights and it was just way to crowded, I can't imagine it when school is in session. The atmosphere was nothing special at all, almost down right boring...The quality and selection of beer was pretty good. They have something like 70 taps and a couple hundred bottles which is impressive, but almost too overwhelming. The taps were of decent quality and lot of local stuff, but also a lot of easy to find bs that really shouldn't be there. They did have dragonsmeade and Kuhnhenn, which is really nice. The bottle list was nothing great, I didn't see anything I had to get. Now I am being pretty picky, this place has nice beer that anyone can find something good to drink.

My real problem with this place comes down to the service, again two nights at least four different bartenders who didn't know jack about beer. We constantly asked them for suggestions and they always kept offering us easy to find crap. Me and my friend told them each, hey we've had a ton of stuff, show me something good and local. The first clown goes why don't you try a delirium tremens, we say no, then he goes how about a delirium nocturnum? REALLY GUY? REALLY?

So basically, get better service, offer a little higher standard on taps and this place could be world class.

Photo of Drk93TT
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of JackNip
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of rjcoy06
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of ballewblake
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I'm actually a bit mixed on the atmosphere here. The smoke was bad in the place, almost like half the bar was smoking. The food was okay, I got a burger that was decent, and about what you'd expect from a bar, nothing fancy or really great. When I showed up on a Friday afternoon around noon the bartender was the manager, whom didn't even drink, therefore knew nothing of the selection of beers, styles or anything. I got a Michigan sampler to start, which took her about 4-5 minutes to find all the taps (with the help of a local) and fill the 4 ounce tasters. After about an hour of this the normal bartender showed up from moving kegs around in the cooler. The service bumped up a notch after that. Fuzzy on his name at this point but I stayed until his shift ended. Met lots of students and interesting people. The selection was a bit middle of the road for me on this visit, which I'm sure isn't really the standard based on the other reviews. There were lots of mediocre labels or starter beers, and no American macros, mostly euro or British macros, which makes me think I just happened to come at a bad time. Most of the interesting bottles I wanted they were out of. Everything I had tasted fine and of the quality I expected. I'd go back and likely have a good time, and raise the rating of the review.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Nice relatively small pub right on the corner of U of M campus. Somewhat small "dining room" and very small bar. There is a much bigger bar in the basement which was a prett cool place, very cave-like.
Food was average to slighly above average pub grub. Menu was pretty varied and something for everyone, even are Vegan friends.
Beer and whiskey list is very impressive Issue for me is that they don't have everything they advertise on draught and not sure about some of the slower moving kegs or the cleanliness and maintenance of the lines.
Service also quite frankly sucked and was not a high point.
All that said, it was very cool to see 50-60 taps lined up in about a 30 sq. ft. area and they get very high marks for having some cask conditioned beers available for trying to promote draught beer as key part of the experience.

Photo of tapman
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

My new number one stop when visiting family in Ann Arbor.

At the time of my patronage 70 taps were available approximately. Many I had heard of and many I haven't which is usually surprising for most of the bars I have been in in the last year, even strictly beer bars. They have rotating sampler trays which have a common theme. I tried the stout & porter sampler and found my next love, Arcadia's Starboard stout, so if you're out lookin for that special beer, there is a good chance they'll carry it potentialy if not right now.

The food is decent and certainly hits the spot after a long morning of U of M graduation ceremony and is not unreasonably priced. Also they have a great selection of whiskey's at a competitive price. A definite must when visiting Ann Arbor. Go BLUE!

Photo of Higravity
3.86/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A welcome site in the Ann Arbor area. The place is a little small and there are a decent amount of seating for the resturant crowd but he upstairs bar is a touch small, which is a bummer since it holds the vast majority of the taps at the place. There is a bar down stairs with more room but a far more limited selection on the tap and bottle list. We ended up downstairs and it was good at first but the single bartender got overwhelmed as the crowd rolled in and we ended up trying to get upstairs but there was no room so we beat it out of there. The weekend night might be a bit crowded but it should be fun to checkout and enjoy during the non-rush time. Man am I getting old.

Photo of olacub
3.93/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

I've been here a few times before, but after stopping in this week I'm finally getting around to a review. First and foremost, Ashley's easily sports the best and biggest beer selection anywhere between Cleveland and Chicago. Many great taps, and many more bottles. Yesterday I sampled several drafts: a delicious Maudite, a big Dragonmead Final Absolution, kick-ass Celis Grand Cru, Crooked Tree IPA, and a Dark Horse Black Bier. All drafts were in good shape, except my sister-in-law's Delirium Tremens was flat.

The service was competent and fairly quick, but the food is always a notch or two below what even cheap pub food should be IMO. The atmosphere is interesting - nice brick walls with lots of chalkboards, but a weirdish set of lighting, and old (and kind of dirty) tables and booths - which speaks to its location across the street from the UM campus.

Overall though, a GREAT stop for the beer - easily the best within a 2 to 3 hour radius.

Photo of BMoney575
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I visited Ashley's (and Ann Arbor) for the first time last weekend. Immediately, I liked it. The atmosphere was quite nice, maybe a little more upscale than I'm used to. The upstairs has a central bar with about a million taps, surrounded by tables. The basement provides a darker, seedier side for when you're feeling a little more divey. The quality was good, they seemed to take care of each different beer, even serving it in the correct glassware. The service was average, but the selection was almost mind-blowing. With choices from breweries like Jolly Pumpkin and Kuhnhenn on tap, they carried many beers you don't see often. There is a huge selection of bottled beers as well, and even many on cask. I didn't get to sample many, as my visit was short, but I'll definitely have to stop by when I'm in the area.

Photo of maviola
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of MarcatGSB
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Arrived at Ashley's shortly after the Jolly Pumpkin La Roja GR release. First time visit, and I was very pleased. The draft list is displayed by a chalk board on the wall, and appeared to be keep up to date.

They had some really nice draft selections, things that you won't find elsewhere, such as Short's Sour Puss, and La Parcela on cask. A real treat both of those were. The place is rather small, and kind of has a college bar feel to it. A few TV's, and a really nice whisk(e)y selection.

Server was cordial, and seemed interested enough in the beer she was serving. Somewhat knowledgeable. I will revisit whenever in the A2 area. Great little spot.

Photo of swtchuck
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of little_star
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

When I visited: March 2012.

What I had: Bell’s Third Coast Beer (draught), Founders All Day IPA (draught), Bay Chowder, Yardbird Sandwich, some of my friend’s Flander’s Red Ale.

What I liked: Massive tap list with excellent representation of Michigan crafters, tasty pub grub, ample seating, fun and approachable atmosphere, great location in the heart of downtown.

What I disliked: Mediocre and somewhat neglectful service, getting the stare down from a group of locals because we took their regular seats, bottles and draughts are extensive but I had tried almost everything on the menu (very few rarities).

Would I go back? Yes.

Overall Rating: 80

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Over 60 beers on tap. My only concern is whether they keep the beer fresh and care for the lines properly with that many taps. More available in bottles. Large selection of Michigan microbreweries. Great selection, obviously.
Beer tap handles, signs, posters, bottles, etc. cover the walls and shelves creating a neat atmosphere for a beer lover. Could use a little freshening up though. Beer bottles look like they haven't been touched in years.
Service was fast and friendly, but our waitress didn't have a lot of knowledge about the beer side of things. We didn't test the bartenders knowledge.
My brother-in-law and I were both thoroughly pleased with our food which arrived very quickly.
Was surprisingly empty for 6pm on a Saturday night, but I'm sure that changes when U. of M. isn't on summer break.

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

We stopped in over the Xmas holidays after visiting the Jolly Pumpkin brewpub. Decent atmosphere, it really seemed like a bar near a college, lots of (what appeared to be) students hanging out with friends having a drink. Restrooms are located in the basement and the steep stairs seemed to serve a dual purpose as a soberness test. Great beer selection, dozens on tap and dozens more in bottles. It seems that the main list doesn't change much because the beer menus appear to be printed only once every few months, but there are new additions on the chalkboard that look like they rotate on a more regular basis. Local brews were well represented, as were larger craft brewers and foreign outfits. Just check out their website to see what I mean. Service was decent, quick and accurate though our server was clearly still learning about the craft beer scene. Prices were reasonable for both pints and bottles. This would certainly be a regular spot for me if I were attending U of M and I'll likely be back on my next trip to Ann Arbor.

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Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI
96 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.