Bruisin' Ales

BA SCORE
100
world-class

157 Reviews
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

66 Broadway St
Ste 1
Asheville, North Carolina, 28801-2916
United States

(828) 252-8999 | map
bruisin-ales.com

Notes:
Closed Monday
Tuesday - Thursday: 12pm - 8pm
Friday - Saturday: 12pm - 9pm
Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

Added by jatallah on 12-20-2006

PLACE STATS
Score:
100
Reviews:
157
Ratings:
258
Avg:
4.53
pDev:
9.27%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 258
Photo of Treyliff
4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I stopped in Bruisin' Ales during a weekend beercation to Asheville. As most have mentioned, its a small store and gets crowded when there are more than a few customers in there. It is however very organized and separated by country and region of the country for US beers.

I went to Appalachian Vintner the same weekend. Vintner had beers that I wanted that Bruisin Ales didn't, Bruisin Ales had beers that Vintner didn't. In terms of selection, they were pretty even, with subtle differences in selection. The biggest difference in the two stores for me was the service. Bruisin' Ales dominates that category. John was working when I went in and was very helpful without being intruding. He made some brewery and bar suggestions for me and even gave me a free pint and keg pour because it was my birthday. You can tell he has a passion for beer, which is refreshing to see in a beer store.

Any trip to Asheville should include Bruisin' Ales, well worth the visit.

 967 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I went to go check out Bruisin’ Ales when I was visiting Asheville because I heard it was the best beer store in town. Let me tell you, this place is nothing short of spectacular. Like a lot of great bottle shops I’ve been to, it’s not a big place but they make the most of their space. They have a fantastic selection that is organized very well. They have tons of local offerings as well as anything at all that is distributed in the Asheville area. I didn’t count how many taps they have, but they also have a nice growler station, as well as some pre-filled growlers in a fridge. Prices are comparable to anywhere else. Probably the best thing about this place was the staff. The guy that was working there when I went in was very friendly, asked me if I was looking for anything in particular, and let me do my own thing when I told him I was just looking around. There was another customer in there who was asking him lots of questions and it was clear that guy really knew his beer. When I finally made my way up to the counter with a bunch of Pisgah and other Asheville brews, he asked me if I had seen a very limited Pisgah release that I hadn’t picked up. I hadn’t seen it and was very thankful that he pointed it out to me. I see now that they also ship everywhere, which is a really sweet feature.

Overall, this place is fantastic. I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.

 1,422 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

It's not a large shop and it's pretty rustic, but the selection is great. There were 4 guys working when I stopped in and I literally got offered help from every one of them at some point. The prices are fair and just a touch higher than Appalachian Vintner, but not bank breaking. They have a few coolers with cold beer available and a couple local growlers as well.

They have quite a few gift boxes on top of their shelves which was a great surprise, and I don't think a lot of people know about them because they were pretty dusty; I suppose the eye doesn't gravitate towards that part of the shelf. I got a Duchesse De Bourgogne box for $30 that had two 750's and a really nice stem glass, and also a Boulevard Smokestack box that had four 12 oz bottles from their Smokestack series and a stem included, also. They have some other nice glassware for sale, too. '

Bruisin' Ales is a must stop bottle shop for Asheville, but I'd recommend checking it out after a stop in Appalachian Vintner who has a slightly larger selection and slightly cheaper prices.

 1,059 characters

Photo of BuckTuckian
4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Passing through Asheville on a recent trip and needed to stop and stretch...and buy beer of course.
This store has a smaller more cramped feel. It makes up for it in selection tho. There are lots of local beers along with some hard to find bottles where I'm from.
This place is worth the stop and I will always need to "get out of the car" when passing through Asheville

 370 characters

Photo of Beerstorian
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

We stopped by here while in town for a little R&R. We wanted to pick up a few beers we can't get back home, and this was definitely the place to do it. The staff was helpful ("I like this sort of beer, what do you have that's similar . . .") and responsible, despite the fact that it was very busy. I'd agree with other reviews that the staff was friendly, but not the owner. Where they were helpful he was trying to out-geek me on beer knowledge (which he clearly had more of anyway). I'm not there to compare bottle sizes, just buy beer.

Still, we'll be back here, for sure, next time we're in town.

 602 characters

Photo of theyeastyboy
4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Brusin' Ales is nearly everything one could desire in a bottle shop. Knowledgeable people working there, a constantly rotating stock and an incredible selection. The fact that this shop specializes solely in craft beer makes it particularly appealing. They have limited releases from nearly every brewery they carry, most notably Founders, Bell's, Dogfish Head, Stone, Jolly Pumpkin and many more. One downside is that due to their popularity, the "rarer" beers fly off the shelves pretty quickly. The flip side of that coin is that you can always assure that the IPA's are fresh. All in all, one of the best bottle shops and craft beer experiences I have had.

 660 characters

Photo of mrw1zard
4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped in while in Asheville to pick up some things I can't get at home. I actually emailed them in advance to make sure some of what I wanted would be in stock. A quick reply later and I was all set. Ending up going twice while in town to grab some more for home. Great service all the way around. Definitely will be back!

 324 characters

Photo of NastyNate11
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Definitely the nicest place in town. Totally focused on beer, no wine or snacks. Thursday night tastings. Service is great, they get just about all special releases and the shop is always well stocked. Prices are a little higher compared to other shops in town. Must stop shop for out of towners.

 296 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Lots of buzz about this place. I've read all the reviews, but I wanted to check it out for myself.
As mentioned in previous reviews, it's small, but I would not say its "cramped". I felt like I had plenty of room to stand back and take in their well stocked shelves.
Their selection covers just about everything under the sun, with a good representation of South Atlantic goodies, and most all NC brews you can get.
They have a little tap station that sells a couple beers at a time, and the prices for sample size glasses were very affordable.
Staff was very friendly (not the owner), initiated conversation with us, asked if we needed help, and didn't bother us too much. He was very energetic, a bit in your face.
They were my final bottle stop in Asheville, and I did notice that the prices were a dollar or two higher than the other places I had visited. Prices are prices, it's not easy to stock a store like they have.
Definitely a very solid bottle shop. Nothing mind blowing. I'd stop again if every in town.

 1,023 characters

Photo of goatsby
3.79/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Based on previous review I had high expectations for Bruisin' Ales, which was my downfall. As others have said the place is small, but there is a lot of ground covered. Unfortunately most of what they had I can find in south Florida so there were not any revaluations for me, and their Founders stock was low (actually better at Asheville Wine Market down the street). The thing that kept me from stocking up was the very high prices, definately the highest in Asheville. Guess it was a good thing that this was my last stop as I got to visit most of the other places before this and get what I wanted elsewhere at a savings. But this place had beers I did not see anywhere else in Asheville; Ballast Point, Stone, and a few others. Do your homework before buying here, but bring the bank for the stuff they have.

 813 characters

Photo of JosephThompson
3.66/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Came to this place off a lot of hype both on here and through their adverts in nearly any beer magazine. I found a very good store but not one I would consider upper echelon.

It's a smaller space but still packs a good sized selection. Majority of selection I'm fortunate to see up in Jersey so my focus was mostly on the Carolina products. Was my first stop in Asheville so only picked up Foothills People's Porter and Highland Mocha Stout as I knew I'd try most anything else at the breweries/taverns later.

My disappointment came in finding out that Bruisin charges more than most any other place in Asheville so to see that downgrades my visit a bit. Did pick up a Weyerbacher 15 which has been long gone in Jersey but as good as that is it's likely emblematic of my visit being a bit underwhelming.

Also, one last note, the man behind the counter was very nice in telling me where he normally drinks but his information was wildly inaccurate. I was there on a Tuesday and he told me to expect most everything to be quieted down by 10 P.M. which I chuckled about as I ordered my last pint just after 1 A.M. Wednesday morning.

 1,132 characters

Photo of adam42381
4.8/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The wife and I were in Asheville recently after going to Bonnaroo and I decided that we had to stop by Bruisin' Ales based on the reviews I had read on BeerAdvocate. The place didn't disappoint. They had an excellent selection of beers that we don't get in Fort Myers, FL. I ended up buying a few Founders brews along with Hopsickle from Moylan's and something from Fantome. I would definitely recommend stopping by Bruisin' Ales if you're in the Asheville area. It's easily one of the best beer stores we've ever visited.

 522 characters

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Post-dinner on Saturday at Mellow Mushroom and Bruisin' is right down the street.

Atmosphere: Another eclectic space, wide open front window, narrow entrance and then beer beer and more beer. Coolers immediately on entrance and singles galore after that. Asheville has its share of cute-looking shops and this is no exception.

Quality: A little busy on a Saturday night. Nice staff and price stickers on everything - always a nice touch.

Service: I was given a tour of the local NC beers, including several rather unusual specimens that made it into my cart.

Selection: A good to better than good selection. Highlights included a barrel aged beer from OBBS. Sure its the other side of the state but impressive nonetheless. I also found a hidden Stillwater that I had been looking for. A good selection but the store isn't big enough to have a great selection. I will shop there again though.

Food: N/A

 906 characters

Photo of raszputini
4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place has a great atmosphere, including a little tasting bar used to host events sometimes. The folks are very knowledgeable and cool to chat with. The selection is incredible - a lot of limited editions, rarer stuff and representations of every style. The only drawback is that in a town like Asheville there are a lot of places with solid beer/ale selection, and Bruisin Ales is slightly more expensive than many of the other options for items carried elsewhere. You're paying for the selection, and I'm OK with that, but if I can buy something else, I often do.

 569 characters

Photo of JCaweinstein
4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Very cool atmosphere in downtown Asheville. The building was older which added to the feel of the place. It was fairly small but the space is utilized nicely. I was here for local beers only and there was a fantastic selection of NC brews. Was only there for 15 minutes and got very good service. The only thing is I thought I paid too much for my mixed 6 pack, bomber, and snifter. Like the terminator however, I will be back. They did not have food available but I did notice a growler fill station.

 501 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The selection is absolutely amazing. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. If you don't see what you want on the shelves, just ask and they may have some in the back. It can be a bit crowded at times, as it is a fairly small store, but you'll want to take your time to browse the wide variety of beers anyway. I drive over an hour and a half to get to this place, and it's worth the trip. I love this place. If you're passing through Asheville along I-40 or I-26, be sure to stop in. Probably the best beer store in America's top beer city.

 547 characters

Photo of rojos
4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited on 2-19-2012

Great selection of many different styles of beer. Fortunately, it was not crowded so I had time to really look around and take my time. I loved the fact that the selection included both local/regional beers, as well as, many from outside the area and the country.

What really sold me was the recommendation by the checkout guy of somewhere else to try finding Hopslam, since they were sold out. He did not try to sell me another beer in stock or anything like that, just recommended another shop he had seen it earlier in the week, who fortunately for me still had a few sixers left. I can say this move definitely earned future stops to bruisin Ales by me.

 680 characters

Photo of JdoubleA
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

A- a Bit crowded, but it's crowded with beer, so no complaints. I know I'll jinx myself by saying this, but I've always managed to score a parking place right outside the front door when I've gone.

Q- Great.

S- They know their stuff and have a good handle on what they've got and what they've just got in.

S2- Amazing. Just go check out their website and the mostly accurate list they keep updated. Lovely selection of belgians that I wish I could afford.

F- N/A

V- Perfectly fine for what your are getting.

 512 characters

Photo of Lantern
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I stopped in here during a much needed restful weekend in Asheville. I'm so glad I took the time to check out several places I'd been meaning to go. Bruisin' Ales was one of them, and man, was I ever excited to see it was all I'd hoped for!

The place is relatively small, but packs in a lottt of beer, without being cluttered. There's a cooler with a pretty good selection, including a few growlers. The rest is a collection of brews from near and far, both familiar and not-so. The best thing about the shop is also the worst! It's soooo hard to choose without just going nuts and buying all you can carry! 

I ended up with three different brews and a couple of beer glasses (good selection of these as well). I seriously had to limit myself!

I highly recommend Bruisin' Ales if you're a fan of beer like myself. I'll stop in from now on for sure!

 852 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.71/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I found this place quite by accident a couple of years ago when I was visiting Asheville on vacation and it was just as good as I remembered when I went back. Since I just happened upon when arriving into town and before I had done any research on places to check out for beer, I had no expectations going in but the store did wow me with the selection and knowledge of the staff. In fact, when I was visiting the manager was being interviewed by a magazine author and they were setting up a photo shoot including him... and he overheard my wife and I discussing a few different selections they had and made some recommendations.

The store had a really great selection and offered the majority of beers as singles... the store was really well organized and the staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. In addition to finding a couple of beers that I had wanted to try, I was recommended a couple by the manager that I really enjoyed.

The vibe in the store was low-key and no pressure with a lot of enthusiasm about beer. They gave a number of recommendations for local restaurants that had great food and good beer pairings. I also enjoyed a Mikkeller with the staff that they had just gotten in that day (a first sampling for both myself and the staff).

I will definitely visit the store again the next time I'm in Asheville.

 1,335 characters

Photo of DCon
4.71/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Coming to a red-bricked building, you see red boxing gloves and then Bruisin' Ales has its logo above. I walked in to be helped immediately! Mike was the manager who helped me twice (coming back here a second time because of such a great experience). It was an easy going place, tons of cider upon walking in by the check out desk and then 3 stools next to a bar to do some sampling. Everything VERY organized and well lit.

Quality was fantastic! Everything had good dates, extremely organized by brewery, and also clean.

Mike not only helped me picking out many beers that I was looking for but did a trade with what I brought into the store from Missouri. We also had a tasting of a Duck Rabbit Porter (on him) and this was extremely nice. Will be keeping in touch to do more trades! Thats customer service.

The selection was UNREAL! Over a hundred beers were represented and if there wasn't something you were looking for, they could order it for you. Everything was priced just fine and what I was expecting.

I recommend you coming here because of both their selection and extremely helpful and knowledgeable staff. Can't pass over this if in Asheville!

 1,163 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I found out about this place on this website and visited on my recent holiday travels. This is a wonderful beer store. It's a bit small, but the selection is remarkable. The people there are friendly and helpful and they had some outstanding beers that I have never seen anywhere else in the southeast. One thing that was noticeably missing was mass-market beer from B, M, and C. I don't think I've ever visited a beer-only store that did not sell a few craft beers and imports, yet `pay the bills' with BMC. The only negative I can point out is that familiar items were generally priced about 10% higher than I've seen at home (but I challenge you to find me something in Asheville that is not).

 696 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I visited this during a beer mini-tour of North Carolina. You walk in the place, and immediately you know that you are in a truly world-class beer store. There is ONLY beer, and only GOOD beer - nary a drop of industrial cat p***. It is rather small, but this lends a cozy, boutique atmosphere to it. Sure, it can get a bit tight when crowded, but the personnel are very helpful and latch on to you. They are friendly but not overly so, and the man who helped me was more than happy to steer me towards the best North Carolina beers. They have a ginormous selection of Belgians and a couple shelves dedicated entirely to local brews, nearly all of which I have not seen anywhere else.

One more item crossed off my beer bucket list!

 732 characters

Photo of CBlack85
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was passing through Asheville and decided to stop by here since I had heard so much about this place. The place was easy enough to find, with ample parking.

The place is fairly small, but has a fairly wide selection of beer packed in there. It has been referred to as a "boutique" beer store, and that seems to be right on the money. For a smaller space it is very thoughtfully laid out, making it easy to find what you are looking for. If you have any issues finding a particular beer, the staff is very helpful, and accommodating.

Really, a gem of a store. It would be good if it were a little bigger, but it definately reflects the surrounding area.

 657 characters

Photo of Acephale
4.8/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Was in Asheville for a night and had to stop by Bruisin' Ales. When I walked in I was like a kid in a candy store. I was so overwhelmed by the selection. So many beers that I have not seen around other bottle shops in NC. They had a superb mix of domestic and international brews. I feel though you need to go at the right time of the day in order to really look through whole store because when there is a lot of people it is hard to maneuver around. I will definitely stop by when ever I am back in Asheville.

 511 characters

Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC
4.53 out of 5 based on 258 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe