Bruisin' Ales


258 Ratings

Type: Store

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

(828) 252-8999 | map

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

Added by jatallah on 12-20-2006

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 258
Photo of House1680
1.6/5  rDev -64.7%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2

Tried to have two limited release beers shipped to me. The release dates were two weeks apart. Talked to them on the day of the first release, they told me it wouldn't be a problem to hold a six pack until the second beer was released. They promised to call me the day the 2nd beer was in stock. Not only did they not call me, they also sold the 6-pack of the 1st beer they were holding. All I got from the is laughed at on the phone for trying to buy the 2nd release beer after it sold out and a weak promise that more of the 1st release beer would show up even though it was also sold out.

 596 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
2/5  rDev -55.8%

Pretentious atmosphere, tried to get a workers attention but he was posted up flirting with some girl. Prices are also more expensive than other stores around. Did not feel I was "worthy" to be in their presence. Appalachian Vintner was much friendlier and cool.

 265 characters

Photo of jpskydawg
2.76/5  rDev -39.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.75

Came in to grab some beers to take back home and the Guy checking out everyone was a total douche. Asked a question about a beer and he acted like it pained him to answer.. Selection is ok, somewhat small. I'm going to try app vintners instead today.

 250 characters

Photo of PEDXING
2.94/5  rDev -35.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Experience here totally depends on who's working--about half their staff is enthusiastic and super helpful, but then there's a couple who are the stereotypical record-store guy, total dbags, pretentious, with not nearly enough time to waste imparting their wisdom on you.

It's a nice enough shop, with a great selection of imported beers, but if there's more than 2-3 customers at a time it's crowded, and parking is always a hassle. I decided that those factors, combined with the employees, are enough that I just don't shop here any more. 5 years ago it probably was one of the top beer stores in the country; now I'd rather spend my money at Tasty, Appalachian Vintner, or even Whole Foods, all of which have similar selection, are easier to get to, and have better customer service.

 794 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.21/5  rDev -29.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

Not as large a selection as Tasty Beverage Co., but a large selection in its own right with lots of imported and local brews, both six-packs and individuals, as well as bombers and an extensive glassware selection. Also, the cutest little dog roams the shop seeking attention.

 276 characters

Photo of FostersF1
3.25/5  rDev -28.3%

Okay. I gave them a second chance, but I'm not giving Bruisin' Ales any more of my money.

The good- Their selection, as has been noted, is outstanding. Great variety of hard-to-find Belgians, and great selection of local beers. Also good variety of other American micro-brews and beer from other parts of Europe. They will sell singles of ANYTHING. They keep an up-to-date inventory on their website.

The bad- I went to Bruisin' Ales in June while visiting Asheville. They were reasonably busy. I had a basket-full of beers and was ready to check out. (I had found everything on my own, and no one had asked me if I needed help.) After I waited in line to pay, and was next, I sat my basket on the checkout counter. The man on the register (probably one of the owners?) looked at the guys behind me, each with only 2-3 bottles each, and asked me if I would let them go first. I'm not an unreasonable guy. I didn't have THAT much to ring up, but I said, "Sure, no problem," and stepped aside. The guy working the register rang up the other guys, chatting with them. My turn comes again. Does he thank me? No, he rings me up while chatting with the guy in line behind me. The only other time he spoke to me was when it was time for me to pay, and all he said to me was my total. Okay, fine. I chalked it up to them being busy, maybe the other people were regulars, whatever. Didn't dwell on it.

However, last week, I was going down to visit Asheville again, and was planning another trip to Bruisin' Ales. I emailed them, asking if they would open over the holiday weekend, and asked them a couple of questions about their stock. I got no reply. Okay, no big deal. But then, I get to store, and the lady working there (another of the owners, maybe?) never said anything to me except when it was time for me to pay. I stood there at the register, while she rang up another basket-full of beer I'd picked out myself, and she looked straight past me while chatting with the guy in line behind me. Of course, the only time she spoke to me was when she wanted my money.

So, that's it. I've had it. I don't expect to be coddled, but at least acknowledge my presence. Maybe a hello or a thank you. Whatever. There are other beer stores.

 2,231 characters

Photo of pathman
3.48/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5

I've been going to Bruisin' Ales a few times a year since they opened. For a while they were the biggest fish in town. The great selection of usually high quality beers was enough for me to overlook the short comings. A couple years ago a fearsome competitor opened up down the road and now Bruisin' Ales is playin' second fiddle. You'll pay a bit more at Bruisin' Ales. Fresh beers do come in and out of there, but the core inventory seems to sit there a while... I'm relatively OK with these things-- you just have to shop with a sharp eye. However, my interactions with the personnel, especially one of the owners, have been most disappointing. Perhaps I'm expecting too much... This should be the kind of place where the staff are open to talking beer. Actually, it IS the place to talk beer, IF you work there. If you're not an employee, you're just there to buy what they're sellin'. To be fair, most of the guys will put on a good show once they disengage from their "private" chatter. I've received nothing but thinly-veiled snobbery from the highest level of management though. Underestimating your customer is a mortal sin in the business world. Go here to find the few things you can't get elsewhere. Leave quickly and then go make some friends at the "other place" down the road.

 1,291 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.66/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.25

Good selection of local bottles here, but price tags seemed on the higher side. Nice glassware shelf as well. The guy running the place was a hipster jerk, basically, cleaning up my language for the sake of this site. And the whole time I browsed he was just staring me down, as if he just couldn't wait until I left and was out of his way. Oh well, I can ignore bad people easily enough, thus I still ended up walking out with a couple bottles.

Worth checking out if you're in the area; expect good selection, bad service.

 525 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 CarolinaKevin
3.69/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Went in to Bruisin Ales a few days ago, and have to admit I like the place. The selection was outstanding, but the service was far from that. Seems as though everytime I'm in the place, I feel like I'm holding up the guys working there because they have to ring me up. It is a small store on a busy street, with convenient parking right beside it. I may have just come in the store at the wrong times, but I do like the selection....Pisgah is mostly what I'm looking for when I go in, but they do have an assortment of great choices, along with the fact that they ship, makes this place a quality stop.

 602 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 MTNboy
3.81/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I am pretty sure there are going to be some people that will disagree with my rating of this establishment but this is what I experienced. Its selection is great I will give it that but not as good as what some people have made it out to be. It is a small store with a lot of beers. I did not think it had as many regional brews as it could have carried and what ones it did have were extremely overpriced. Honestly, the whole store is overpriced. There are a lot of good foreign beers and that seems to be the main focus. They do have a good selection of growlers from local in the area breweries but once again they are pricy. As most of us know growlers also do not have a great shelf life. I asked one of the gentlemen working there about a seasonal that I knew was a little older and he admitted that some of the growlers had been there for a while and they sit until they sell.

Service, as with clientele it is a Beer Snob haven. I talked to man on the phone that worked there a few nights prior to my visit to Asheville just to make sure I was on the right track. He was good to go and polite enough. In the store however was a different story. I received dirty looks and sort of an attitude when I asked questions. Maybe if you ask someone if you can help them you should mean it.

The atmosphere is great. It is very beer centric with a small but classy section breweriana.

 1,386 characters

Photo of jimixr
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I make it to Asheville a few times a year and on my last trip I made a point of stopping in here. The atmosphere here is great. Its very inviting and organized. The selection is great, but not as good as I had heard. The Belgian selection is fantastic. However there aren't as many local or regional breweries represented here as I would like to see. The staff was helpful for the most part. One thing that bothered me was that they seem to keep more sought after thing in the back. I asked about a couple of things and the guy working went and got them from the back, but he acted like it was killing him to do it. The prices are for sure on the high side but not ridiculous. This place is worth checking out but is not my favorite store by far.

 746 characters

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Great location but overpriced and the staff was not very friendly. They have a lot of bottles but the store is very small so it gets crowded fast. Prices are a few dollars more than the other large bottle shop in town.

 218 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 humuloner22
4/5  rDev -11.7%

The selection was alright, it was a small place and a pain in the ass to find parking. I have had people tell me for ages about how great this place is. I wasn't all that impressed. I know of two stores that have a much better selection and are not all that much bigger. One is Peabody's in Boone and the other is Sam's Quick Shop in Durham. Overall, if I was in Asheville staying downtown and needed some beer for the room, then I would go here, but, I wouldn't go out of my way. Unless I missed some other room full of beer. I asked for a few things I figured would be hard to find and they didn't have them. I found the same beer I was looking for down the road at Appalachian Vintner.

 689 characters

Photo of cbros
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Coming back from a trip to the lake I made a point to go out of our way to visit this place. And I am glad that I did. I arrived right after they opened on a Sun. I was warmly greeted at the door by the clerk and he asked me if I needed any help. I told he that I want to look around and soak it all in and that if I had a question I would find him.
As you walk in there are 2 coolers to your right filled with growlers and bottles, then too your left and beyond are the room temp bottle selection. Now it does say on their site that they have over 700 beers and maybe because it was a Sun and had a busy shopping weekend, but they didn't seem to have that many.(I didn't count all the beers but it looked far less than 700) After looking over what they had to offer I picked up some local stuff i.e. Pisgah and Highland.
Their slection isn't bad, Belgians and some German stuff, but where they really shine is their selection of local brews. Pisgah was in growlers in the fridge and bombers out on the racks. They had Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, and good stuff from Highland.
Overal the guy was nice and even threw in a free glass, this was after seeing that I was about to spend over $60. Prices where resonable, like I said the selection left a little to be desired but I plan on going back again when I make a trip up to Asheville later on in the year.

 1,358 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.01/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Definitely my favourite beer store in all the world. The selection for such a small space is astonishing. A bit pricey at times, yes, but to be able to buy such an amazing selection of single beers in one spot is incredible. I've been there on several occasions. When the customers were few, the staff was friendly, and even when it was busy there was still at least one person offering help. Sometimes, probably due to the busyness on the weekend, it can be hard to get personal customer service though. However, you can linger a LONG time over the shelves of brews. Its the best selection I've seen in one spot anywhere in the world, to date.

 644 characters

Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Upon visiting Bruisin Ales today, the first thought that crossed my mind was "this is it?" Bruisin ales is not very large, though God knows the owners do everything they can with the space they have. On the other hand, except for a few beer knicknacks and beer glasses, beer is the only thing they sell here. There is a good selection of local stuff and imports here, but it just felt as if the rest of the US was not as well represented as I'd like. Also, as already mentioned, the available space is small, so you just aren't going to see a large selection of Italian beers, European stuff, etc. Nevertheless, the selection here is certainly solid, and what they have is of very good qualitiy.

Service was friendly and attentive. A couple from out of town stopped by to ask for directions and information regarding places to go in town, and the staff happily spent 5 or 10 minutes making suggestions and recommendations.

One thing that's kind of interesting is the cold box here. It's fairly small and contains almost exclusively local beers, but at the bottom of the cold box there are full growlers from a number of the local breweries. I've never seen this before and am not sure what to think about it. On the one hand I think it's nice to have growlers available for pick-up at a beer store, but on the other hand I would worry about freshness. If the turnover is good, then it's probably not much of a problem. However, I think most of the breweries in the area will fill growlers, and I know if it were me and given a choice, I'd always opt for fresh beer straight from the brewery's tap handle. So I have to wonder how fast the growlers in the cold box move.

Whatever. This is a very solid place and a store I'd always stop at to stock up or load up before heading out of town.

 1,791 characters

Photo of Duster72
4.05/5  rDev -10.6%

Stopped in Bruisin' Ales on my recent trip to Asheville. Do not park in the reserved lot just north of the store even if there are several spots available. Trust me. I was politely told by a lady that I was in her spot and needed to move.

Anyway, the store is very nice. Much nicer than the typical liquor store I am used to. Unfortunately, I was less impressed with the selection. I am not familiar at all with what is available in North Carolina, so maybe they carry everything, but I wasn't seeing as much as I expected based on the reviews here. This place was leagues away from Indiana and Ohio stores with similar ratings. They had lots of the "typical" craft beer. DFH, Bell's, Brooklyn, etc. I was rather disappointed in the local/regional selection.

I was also disappointed that they only had singles available for imports and a few best selling micros. I didn't have room in my car for tons of six packs, so I had to pass on things like Duck Rabbit because they wouldn't break up the six packs. The micro singles they had available were all common beers I can get in Indiana. The friendly staffer told me that it was just too confusing to sell everything as singles. I was polite, but believe me, there are stores here with 5 times the beers all available as singles.

Anyway, it's a nice store and if you're local, I'm sure it would be a regular stop. Just not as road-trip friendly as I would prefer.

 1,421 characters

Photo of TaddyPorter
4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I stopped in Bruisin' Ales to outfit myself with a fine selection of local brews not available in my local area(s) (NYC/Ohio/Delaware).

Selection as absolutely outstanding--rarities from every corner of the earth, no crap, plenty of local choices for the out-of-towner (or local for that matter).

It was a bit cramped and tiny, and more of a "beer boutique" in price and selection, but I guarantee any beer geek will find plenty to spend their money on.

Great place; I'd go back any time I'm in Asheville.

 508 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 mattkoon
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

went to asheville twice this year- i like bruisin' ales so much ill definitely make sure i hit it every time im in the area. the staff was friendly and helpful. they weren't snarky. seemed to enjoy talking about beer. with the beer scene exploding in asheville they are the ground zero beer store- if youre downtown stop by and get a sticker for your beer fridge.

 363 characters

Photo of tlema1
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was pretty impressed...very nice selection of imports and local beers...nice vibe to the store, the guy working there was knowledgeable and helpful, I will definitely go back, there's even a nice little parking lot right next to it, which is nice to have downtown

 265 characters

Photo of khargro2
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

The first place that I went in Asheville was Bruisin' Ales, and I was not disappointed. A relatively small shop on the main strip of Asheville and not far from the highway. It cost me $1.00 to park.

It is easy to find the local beers of NC and everything was well organized. Wicked Weed, Fullsteam, Burial, even several breweries from NC that I had never heard of. There was only one person working and they were very knowledgeable and helpful when asked upon, but otherwise let me go about my business. Great selection! I was able to get a good mix of what I was looking for without knocking out my budget.

 616 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
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.