Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by slowbie:
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
With the extravagant (albeit very amateur looking) red white and blue theme of the website, I was pretty surprised when I went here and found a nondescript brick building with a drab grey sign with white block letters that say "American Brewmaster".
However, that has nothing to do with whether or not I like the place.
The staff here are always happy to help, and if anything, I get asked too often if I need anything. The exception is Saturday mornings, when everyone's picking up those last couple ingredients for the weekend's batch. I try to avoid Saturday mornings after my one experience trying that.
They have a good selection of grain, hops, yeast, etc. as well as a range of equipment. Their grain isn't as cheap as online stores, but still cheaper than paying for shipping in most cases, and their bulk grain prices are just low enough that it's not worth buying online. Their hops are very reasonably priced with some varieties hovering around $2/ounce, much cheaper than the other stores I've been to. I've also found that if I don't see something and ask if they have it, it's usually in the back, and if it's not, they're happy to order it for me.
They also offer some good resources to help new brewers. They have beginners homebrewing classes pretty regularly, and they have the best brewing book selection I've seen in real life.
Overall, this store prices are good enough to keep me from shopping online, and for the items that are a bit more expensive, the service and convenience are too good to pass up.
03-28-2011 03:07:24 | More by slowbie
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
American Brewmaster is great. The best part about this place is the service. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They can tell you anything about brewing or kegging or ingredients and everything in between.
Ingredient selection is exceptional; almost never had a problem finding what I wanted except for the occasional "ran out, will be in stock soon". There isn't as much as i'd like for equipment however. There seems to be a lot of Wine making stuff as well though I've personally only shopped here for beer supplies.
They have a grain mill also and will allow you to crush your grains on premise. Very helpful for the homebrewer who doesn't have the machinery to crush their own.
Price is good for ingredients; steep for equipment. A tad outrageous for CO2/kegging.
Overall highly recommended!
01-24-2012 22:24:29 | More by Yoda22
3.95/5 rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
While living in Raleigh, this was my go-to homebrew store. The staff is awesome and very knowledgeable. I really enjoyed spending some time here, and they also allow you to mix ingredients and styles, to create your own recipe. I used to order supplies from them online, before I realized they were just down the road from me, and I started visiting everytime I was ready to brew another batch.
Whether you are just starting out or an advanced homebrewer, this spot has everythign you need to get started or to take it to the next level.
11-28-2011 19:39:36 | More by seanwhite
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is great. My friends and I have gotten into home brewing the last few months and have since brewed about 5 batches. Each time we stop in here we have questions and the guys are great about answering them. They walk with us throughout the store to pick our supplies, they help convert all grain recipes to extract, and hold lengthy conversations on equipment, hop varieties, and techniques. They have been so incredibly helpful. Their advice has helped us formulate some great recipes, brew some solid beer, and really become some efficient up and coming home brewers.
09-25-2011 23:12:29 | More by tdm168
4.24/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Kind of a drab little spot off of a random side road in a random little shopping area. Inside is a bit cramped, with beer supplies and ingredients occupying about 75% of the space with the remaining shelves going to wine stuff.
They have a good selection of base and specialty malts and a self-service grain mill. Most of the hops are pellets with a few varieties of leaf hops. Decent selection of yeast, and the Wyeast Smack Packs seem like they are usually pretty fresh. They also put together their own recipe kits (both extract and all-grain).
On the equipment end of things, they have a little bit of everything but not a ton of selection (two types of thermometers, two different chillers, one of this gadget, one of that doodad). They do have a bunch of nice bottles, but overall their focus seems to be on basic equipment. They do seem to have a fair amount of kegging stuff, though I haven't looked into it much because I bottle. One thing I did like was that they were cool with customizing a beginner kit for me...swapped out the racking cane for an autosiphon, added a better bottle to my kit, etc.
Prices seem to be a touch higher than online, but not enough to make much difference after shipping. I'm glad to have a local shop to support, but most of my larger equipment purchases are online (AB is great for little things like stoppers, not so great for, say, silicone tubing or a false bottom).
Staff is generally friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.
07-21-2011 02:43:53 | More by JebediahScooter
4.15/5 rDev -3.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Q-I have been a customer for American Brewmaster for several years. Since the new owner took over there have been several changes which have generally imporved the overall quality. My only real complaint in the topic of quality is the fact that the hops are not kept frozen. This being said, they rotate and go through their hops rapidly and I have never bought any old hops. The staff don't know the harvest year generally but you can count that is reasonably fresh.
S-The staff are helpfull to the nth degree but the downside of it is that they will let you stand around when you want to pay and leave in order to help the folks they are with...
S-The grain and hop selection is very good. No complaints. They will order whatever you need within reason.
V-The prices for most equipment is on par with what you will pay somewhere else. The grain and yeast seem to be fairly priced. The hops though are expensive. You definaitly pay for the selection. Overall though for the quality, service and selection that you get its the best option in North Carolina and I have made a pact to support them and not order from the larger cheaper retailers.
11-15-2010 00:06:30 | More by krausenman
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
After not brewing for ages and moving to another state, I found myself going to American Brewmaster as it is the LHBS. So far they've had everything I've needed at a pretty reasonable price, and the folks who works there have been incredibly helpful with getting my brewing rig going again. I got much advice on the water chemistry here (the polar opposite of Baltimore water), information on *exactly* what goes into the LME they carry, &c.
They have a good selection of reasonably priced LME--the 33 pound containers are extra reasonable, and great now that I am /teaching/ three friends to brew (more brewery minions!), and the DME selections looks fine ('tho I only got the cheapest light DME I could find for making starters). They have a good selection of the usual bulk grains and whatnot. They do lack more exotic grains and extracts like brown rice and sorghum, but that isn't really any issue for me (except I'm brewing a gluten free beer for someone I know, the usual story...).
There are a few kettles sitting around, and they have pretty reasonably priced wort chillers (the 25' immersion chiller they sell is not much more expensive than the cost of the copper tubing required--definitely worth them making it for me) and pretty much all of the brewing gadgets you might need.
They appear to have a pretty good wine making supply selection as well which should come in handy when I make something for the woman (*sniff*, she hates anything carbonated and thus beer).
They also carry a decent selection of brewing, winemaking, mead making, and ... cheesemaking books.
All in all a great supply shop.
11-14-2010 00:31:40 | More by unknownlamer
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I really like this place. They are a good group of guys who will always do what they can to help you out. They aren't experts, but they have pretty solid homebrewing knowledge overall and can give good answers to most questions. They hold classes on a pretty regular basis, and show great respect to their local customers. It can get a little busy around the weekends, and sometimes you have to wait to get checked out. There are lots of first-timers that come in who haven't done their homework and need extra attention though, which they always get.
Everything is fresh, especially their yeast - I don't think I have had a smack pack from there more than 2-3 weeks old. They cary almost all of the Wyeast strains, including the seasonals. They have a full range of grain and sell main base malts in bulk. The hops are a bit pricy though, so I just order them in bulk online instead. They have all of the equipment and hardware that a homebrewer would need, although they don't tend to cary multiple brands of many items, understandably. If you are looking for something crazy though like one of those multi-level structure, they might not have it. Some items can be a little expensive, but not outrageous. Grain mill is available in the store for anyone to use, with a setting that gives a decent crush. The store is always clean and well organized.
08-27-2010 11:58:57 | More by NCBeernut
4.3/5 rDev 0%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Picked up some supplies today, and as always the guys at American Brewmaster were nice and very helpful. I wouldnt consider myself an expert at homebrewing, so it is nice that the employees are willing to help you without being condescending. A couple times I have been looking for certain grains or hops that they were out of, but each time they have been able to recommend a replacement that worked out great. It is a small store, but very neat with nice products. There is a mill on site so that you can crush your grains there. I subscribe to their newsletter which is actually very informative. They also have homebrewing demonstrations from time to time at Tir Na Nog.
09-07-2009 02:40:09 | More by hopmonkeyhop
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
They are the closest brew shop to where I live, so naturally I choose them every time, but besides that, I have been happy with their selection of equipment and ingredients.
The startup kits are reasonable, and they come with all of the basics that you need to get started. The glass carboys are kind of pricey though, but worth it in quality and so you can watch your beer fermenting (which is always cool).
There has been one time when they were out of the malt extract I was looking for, but they always seem to have the grains I need.
I appreciate their refrigerated and vacuum-sealed selection of hops and yeast, and when they were out of the hops I was looking for one time, a helpful employee got me a substitute variety that was extremely similar and worked out perfectly.
The staff, as a whole, are very knowledgeable, which is good for new brewers trying to get into the hobby that have a lot of questions.
Overall, this place is worth a visit if you want to get into brewing.
06-02-2009 17:14:51 | More by FloppyDog
American Brewmaster in Raleigh, NC
94 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.