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Alternative Beverage

Not Rated.
Alternative BeverageAlternative Beverage
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 19.75%
[ Homebrew Store ]

4450 South Blvd
Charlotte, North Carolina, 28209-2673
United States
phone: (800) 365-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of D-Money
4/5  rDev +1.3%

D-Money, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of AlexJ
5/5  rDev +26.6%

AlexJ, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of cptbenjamin
4/5  rDev +1.3%

cptbenjamin, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of Ddrabenstadt
2.04/5  rDev -48.4%

Ddrabenstadt, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Mantooth
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%

Been in several times over the years, the service was poor - young guys who'd rather bullshit than help you out. Luckily I live close to their warehouse in Belmont, NC - that place is fantastic, killer service and huge stock on premises. I also prefer the store in Mooresville.

Mantooth, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of CRJungleBeer
5/5  rDev +26.6%

I visited the warehouse and was blown away by selection and friendly staff (Blake), who helped me address my biggest issues for brewing in Costa Rica.

I will probably exclusively work with Alternative Beverage to get what I need shipped to me.

I realize there were some bad reviews for a South Blvd location. I can't speak to that, but take the time to check out the warehouse in Belmont and see that these guys really know their stuff.

CRJungleBeer, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of rakessler1
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%

The staff are knowledgeable but not friendly. After shopping here for several years I got tired of the complete lack of respect for costumers and the piss-poor attitude of one staff member in particular and starting buying my ingredients online. Overall, if you can handle being talk down too and like felling awkward when asking for advice on your next batch this is the place for you.

rakessler1, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of Kirkman
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%

This review is for the Mount Holly, NC location. Awesome place to get supplies for a novice or experienced brewer. After my first batch, they gave me some free advice! I will definitely be back for supplies and advice as I continue brewing. I loved that I could go on to their website www.ebrew.com and scout out everything that I wanted/needed before I went into the store to buy. It allowed me to do research and prepare accordingly.

Kirkman, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of francus
2.97/5  rDev -24.8%

I have been going here for years (the South Blvd location). Originally I felt the service was good and the staff had a decent knowledge base, but now the staff is pretty much clueless about brewing above a basic level. It also takes an act of God to get them out from behind the counter to provide assistance. They are more or less friendly, just not very accomodating. And if you have questions about some of the more advanced equipment they usually refer you to do a web search for information. This is their job, they should learn the product, or do the web search right there for you! I shouldn't have to dig out my iPhone and try and get the answers that way.

The selection is decent. But if something is out of stock the staff seems unable to let you know when something is coming in from the Belmont warehouse. Again, they should just pick up the phone and find out. In the hops area they have really cut back on offerings of leaf hops. They used to have a great selection, but now it is pretty much only pellets. Not even plugs. And, again, if they're out they won't bother to call and see when more are coming in. I'm not sure how their inventory software works, but i would think it would warn them when they are low on items. Who knows?

The prices are sometimes on the high side. They're the only game in town so that is to be expected. But since if I have a question I have to go on the web anyway, I have taken to getting what I can online. Usually I can get stuff online for less or about the same and that includes shipping. And then I don't have to drive there and put up with the service.

A decent store still, but going downhill in certain aspects. And if you don't have time to order something you can pop in and often find what you need. But you pay for the convenience.

francus, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Avi8tor
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%

My son and I visited this store a few times in the past several weeks. Both times, the employee we dealt with at checkout didn't seem to be too friendly. It appeared that we were taking time away from his day - both times we visited.

The folks in the back were friendlier and one nice lady gave my boy a tootsie pop.

Most prices are reasonable. Big items such as new kegs, CO2 regulators, and beer towers appear to be overpriced a bit compared to online retailers. Of course you save on shipping by visiting locally.

Based on our experience, we will pay for shipping.

We won't be back even though I have been a long term customer as customer service up front is not friendly at all.

Avi8tor, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of jpro
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

I've been here a few times to pick up equipment and/or ingredients over the last year. Since there's no homebrew shop in Charleston, it seems I end up getting a fair amount of stuff here, when I'm visiting Charlotte. It's a bit of an overwhelming layout - made more perplexing by the pricing issue (or lack thereof). The staff is helpful, but only when their assistance is requested - I get the feeling that they aren't really going out of their way to help you sometimes. All of this being said, their inventory is huge and I've had zero problems with their ingredients, most notably, yeast (which is always very fresh). Prices are about average. If you need something, they likely have it (or, at least, can order it).

jpro, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of CBlack85
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

They have a really good selection of homebrew supplies that they seem to keep well stocked. Employees are friendly and seem to know their stuff. It is a little frustrating that most items are not priced, so you have to keep asking, or looking at their website on your phone while you shop.

I have been to this location as well as the wharehouse in Belmont, and have found the employees to be very helpful and knowledgable at both locations. Overall a very good place to get your brewing supplies...

CBlack85, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%

It is impossible to get a change in the system here. I have tried to submit a change to no avail. I visited the South Blvd location (4550 I think).

They have an awesome selection of homebrew materials. My only gripe, and it is a big gripe, is that there are no prices on ANYTHING in the store. It is so annoying to try to price shop and compare this place to another when there are no prices on anything. I had to walk up to the counter, where the guy working seemed busy on the computer, and ask how much everything is. I eventually just gave up and didnt worry about buying anything. I just window shopped.

The guy working asked if I needed anything when I walked in but I seemed to be putting him out when I asked for a price of an item.

The selection and variety of stuff here is enormous but the hassle of asking for prices is a huge turnoff. I doubt I will revisit.

SaCkErZ9, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of smoorenc
5/5  rDev +26.6%

When I decided to start with my own homebrew I went to Alternative Beverage's warehouse in Belmont 2 times before I ever purchased anything. I went to get advice and to figure out what I level I wanted to start out at. Both of these times Jess was very helpful and not pushy at all. This sealed my decision to purchase everything from Alternative Beverage. I have even gone back to purchase a few things and I was told a better and less expensive way to do it. How many places these days put the customer first over profits. Well now they have a customer for life! I would highly recommend Alternative Beverage to anyone.
Yesterday I visited their new store in Charlotte off of South Blvd. The employees there were also very friendly. The only thing i wish is they would have the prices available on the products in the store.

smoorenc, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of oldhippie247
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Months before I brewed my first batch of beer I went in to inquire about the cost of taking up homebrewing as a hobby. I unfortunately forgot the gentleman's name who assisted me (he's still there, though), but he was very knowledgeable and helpful. After a full year of homebrewing, I still get 100% of my ingredients from Alternative Beverage. Any day now they will be back on South Boulevard, which makes everything that much better. A definite destination for those interested in homebrewing, in need of equipment upgrades, or feedback on your latest efforts.

oldhippie247, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%

I happened to find Alternative Beverage (e-brew and Homebrew Adventures) today in Charlotte. It was quite a well kept and large store with a place for everything and everything in it's place. The service was attentive and helpful, but the really odd thing was there were no prices on any items. The staff attributed it to shipping (to them) costs, but I'm not buying that argument. The cost of the products on the shelves will not change if shipping costs increase.

Anyway, a great homebrewing selection for anyone and the prices are on the two websites. I'd return to browse merchandise, but would probably continue to purchase online since I can see the price front and center.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of eao64
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Jess and his team are great. They are all knowledgable. If they don't know the answer to your question, they'll find it for you. My husband & I made some homebrew about for a few years 13 years ago. A few years ago he took it up again and recruited my brother. Everyone at AB has been helpful. Recommending good equiptment chioces, beer/recipe selections etc. If you already do or are interested in homebrewing, they are THE place to check out anywhere in the Charlotte area. Soda and wine making supplies too.

eao64, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of rodrot
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%

This used to be one of my favorite haunts years ago when I was a homebrewer. The store has been in business for close to 15 years and their impeccable service and selection of supples is the main reason. I stopped by the other day to pick up some yeast for a friend of mine who makes wine and decided to browse the store a bit. I was greeted by a gentleman as soon as I walked in the door. Basically, anything you need for homebrewing or winemaking, they've got it or can order it for you. Recipes are available for any style of beer you want to make. There is also a good selection of homebrewing books and manuals. The staff are very knowledgable and can help you with any problems or questions you might have. An added bonus is that they usually have a batch or two of homebrew available for sampling. Whenever I decide to get back into the world of homebrewing, this will be my first stop.

rodrot, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%

How many other places on BeerFly send a birthday card with $100 gift card in it? Okay, even if the gift card was purchased by someone else, they were nice enough to take the credit card order over the phone and have it mailed the next day.

This will be the place frequented by me at least once every month to six weeks and so far the service and quality have been great. I purchased a two stage system and Hefe recipe and in no time I was loaded up and ready to go. The value seems fair enough (though I haven't compared to any other alternatives in the area, what little there are). Lots of selections will not make this place go out of style any time soon.

Backer2004, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of SSGPat
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%

Jess (owner) is a beer god. What he has forgotten about making beer is more than most have ever learned (except for some monks in Belgium).

Best home brew store in town. Best selection, service, recipes and knowledge. I've been to the other one, and compared to Alternative, it feels small.

Jess has every gadget known to man. We (my beer partner and I) have purchased corny keg system, upgraded our brew pot to a 10 gallon, and almost enough beer recipes for 200 gallons of brew (it's needed in our family... my wife is one of 6 kids and I have a brother in town).

If you want to make beer, this is the place to go... in person or on the internet.

SSGPat, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of gabe
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

I've been to Alternative Beverage twice now and both times have been enjoyable. The layout of the store is pleasing and it is very easy to do some browsing. They carry pretty much anything you would need for your homebrewing requirements. I personally purchased a Corny Keg system from here and am very pleased. Alternative also has a wide variety of pre made 'beer kits' with rotating monthly specials on them. They carry supplies for beer & wine making. I would definately recommend this store. I would say that its neither better nor worse than the other homebrew store in town. They both have their perks.

gabe, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of finepaws
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

This a nice store. Beer brewing on one side, and wine making on the other. Lots of beer kits, and they make delicious beer. My questions were answered easily, and if one person didn't know, they'd go in the back and find someone who did. Usually Jess, (owner?) who is more than happy to help you. I had questions about the yeast to use, and they broke out the chart to help me figure out which one I'd like. Prices are decent, and the have monthly specials. Very comfortable atmosphere. Very easy to work with.

finepaws, Jul 12, 2005
Alternative Beverage in Charlotte, NC
90 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.