Bruisin' Ales


157 Reviews

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

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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 257
Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Review is based on an online order, so "vibe" doesn't apply, but you can peruse the shop on google maps to get an idea.
It looks to be a smaller place but very well organized and easy to navigate. Dedicated sections for Belgians (including 2 dozen lambics), Scandinavia/Italy/Europe, US craft (grouped by brewery), German, and English ales. Seasonal case displays on the floor, a dedicated glassware shelf, and a small tasting bar on the right past the coolers full of singles in front.

Not many reviews describe their selection in much detail, but here's a few locals worth checking out:
Green Man, Steel String, D9, Hi-Wire, Pisgah, Burial, Foothills, Haw River, Zebulon, and more.
From SC: Westbrook, Birds Fly South, and Quest. They update new arrivals on their web shop.

I had contacted several shops, and Bruisin' Ales was the quickest and most helpful in their communication.
Shipping was 3-4 days which is reasonable. Overall I was satisfied with my experience, and would definitely order again.

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Photo of Gavage
4.29/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in to pick up some local beers to bring home. Unfortunately parking sucks so expect to carry a box down the sidewalk to your car. This is a smallish store but beers are stacked from floor to ceiling. Several Wicked Weed Sours are displayed up front and seem to be the focal display point. Not too many Burial beers here which was disappointing, but I found most other I was looking for. Service was so-so, as I expected a bit more interaction other than checkout. Prices were a bit high.

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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.

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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.

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

As many have noted, the place is very small, but well-stocked and organized. The excellent/ knowledgeable service is what's great about this store. The staff is clearly into beer, points out recent releases and newly stocked beers, and makes useful suggestions on both beer and other Asheville destinations. The place has a very beer-geek vibe and they sell single 12oz bottles...which is a huge plus for me. A must stop at whenever I'm in Asheville.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

I was in Asheville for the day so after checking BA, I knew I had to stop in for a visit at Bruisin' Ales.

This is a beer only shop with lots of NC beers, some key representatives from the rest of the US and quite a few Belgians. I was immediately impressed by the presentation. I've been to some great beer stores on business travel and while I've seen a few with more of a selection, this place has the best combination of presentation and selection that I've seen. They have one especially cool area with a nice wooden wine display filled with 750ml bottles of beer.

The owner was there and he had some great recommendations for me. He was very helpful and outgoing. He clearly loves what he does. You don't find his passion and commitment to the customer very often.

I really hope this place takes off and becomes the model for beer sales in the southeast. I know I'll stop in to load up whenever I'm passing through town. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of sholland119
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

This is *the* place to go for beer in Asheville. Conveniently located in a storefront on Broadway, Bruisin' is among the smallest beer stores I have ever been in, but there is not a speck of wasted space.

Several sets of shelving are set up sort of geographically, attractively displayed. The import section is quite extensive, with the largest collection of BFM I have ever seen. Local selection is outstanding, whether it's bottles of Hickory, Highland or (when their bottling line is not broken) Pisgah or growlers of French Broad, Pisgah or Craggie. National and regional brands distributed in NC are also well represented.

The owners are very knowledgeable and one or both of them can almost always be found on site. Hours are a bit idiosyncratic (opening at noon?) but otherwise, this place is about perfect. An easy place to drop $200 on great bottles.


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Photo of mikesgroove
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Welcome to Asheville Bruisin' Ales!! Wow did we need a store completly dedicated to High Gravity beers. Perfect spot right on Broadway(just down the street from Mellow Mushroom). The owner Jason is great. Very knowledgeable about all things beer, especially Belgians. The selection is awesome, and as previously stated they will order anything for you if they don't have it. The selection is top notch. Very nice to see a store that only sells beer.You must go down to visit, great place, easily the must stop in Asheville for beer!!

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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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

first visit, located in the downtown district. about 2 blocks from our hotel and 2 blocks from the mellow mushroom

like entering some sort of beer cave - not a bad beer in the building.

there was a ton of belgians, an overwhelming amount of local stuff (pisgah, asheville brewing, french broad, highland, catawba growlers, pisgah growlers, green man growlers, wedge stuff, etc).

there was a TON of stuff not available anywhere else in the state to my knowledge and a lot of rarer beers including some new belgium lips of faith stuff.

i could have spent hundreds of dollars but only had room in my suitcase for 3 additional bombers.

service seemed like they knew their stuff but i do have a few complaints. I asked for a different bottle of the pisgah solstice because the one in my hand was "caked". I got a rather condescending reply about bottle conditioning (no shit) and replied that i meant the outside of the bottle was filthy. We were clearly looking for locals and stressed that - even still racer 5 and some other super-common beer were recommended. lastly, we were directed towards the thirsty monk and told it was "much better" than barleys and mellow mushroom... i didnt come to asheville to drink midwest micros and belgians

prices were great, store was great - will visit every time i am in asheville

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
5/5  rDev +10.4%

What more can be said that hasn't been said already? First of all the worker as well as the partons really knew their beer. I knew I was in the beer capital of the United States. Was able to pick up some things despite having stopped already in Boone, Winston-Salem, and Roanoke. Unlike the employees of cookie cutter stores, this place had workers who lived beer, and enjoyed beer. There even was a sampling area to try beers, which doesn't happen too often up north if at all. Wanted to go back again on the way home but ran out of time. Worker even hooked me up with a rare Sweetwater release for some New Glarus. First Class all the way.

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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

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Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

If you like the Belgians, this is the place. I don't, but this place has a great selection of other dark and strong ales as well. Good selection of the locals, a fair amount of domestic micros and some good imports. There is some good local stuff that cycles through also. Staff seems knowledgeable. Prices are ok, could be better, but it is Asheville and a specialty shop. I guess I just don't like I deserve a glass. I get the feeling this is something reserved for the Belgian lovers, which as far as I'm concerned are folks that really prefer champagne to beer. Oh well, same thing happens to me at everywhere else.

Did not realize they ship, will have to look into that and re-rate later for that segment of the business. Otherwise, this is a must stop for some bottles after indulging in the drafts at the local pubs.

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Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev -4%

Stopped off at Bruisin' Ales on my way from Missouri to the coast. It is very easy to find right off I-240 in Asheville. I ate at the Mellow Mushroom (had a couple brews) then stopped in at Bruisin'. It is small but very well set up and is just beer. There is a small section of coolers with local singles and local growlers. There is a small tasting bar with a tap or two. (No tasting while I was there.) Good organization with NC brews group together, Colorado brews, East coast beers, imports/750s and even a small shelf of Dogfih Head. I grabbed 2 sixers of (mostly) local brews and a couple bombers. I found a Cascade The Vine for a friend of mine. Since I spent over $75 they threw in a free pint glass (I got a Weyerbacher one). I've sampled a handful of the brews and they have been superb quality and good freshness. A can't miss spot if you are driving into Carolina from the west.

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Photo of mrcraft
4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

My review is for an online order. I was looking for something from Tennessee and noticed they sold beers from Blackberry Farms. I then perused their selection and also bought beers from Wicked Weed and Westbrook.

My beers were packaged well, and the shipment was very fast.

I will definitely visit Bruisin' Ales when I'm Ashville.

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Photo of blackie
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

quality: Great stuff, growlers kept cold and rotations seems to be excellent. Drank a Bell's Cherry Stout while camping after my visit and it was prefect. Nice little location and setup they have, too.

service: Great service. Everybody was very friendly, helpful, and very accomodating.

selection: Very respectable selection by any standard. Most beer was room temp, but there was a cooler with some sixers and bombers, along with some French Broad and Pisgah Growlers. There was a whole wall of Belgians, and a great representation of American micros. Noticed some JW Lees aged in Port and Lagavulin, but I still haven't been able to accept the price. I went for the Bell's Cherry Stout, Bell's Double Cream, and Highland Imperial Kashmir. They also allow singles of anything they carry, which I love even though they seemed to come at a premium.

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Photo of shivtim
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

A very nice (though pretty small) beer store on the north side of downtown Asheville. Lots of great beer to choose from, including refrigerated growlers from local breweries and bottles from the midwest and west coast. Large selection of Belgians on one wall. Very clean and organized. There was a big monk with beer bottles inside him. There is even a small "tasting room" alcove underneath the stairs. Seems to contribute to Asheville's excellent beer scene.
The guy behind the counter was extremely friendly.
No complaints here!

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Photo of Deuane
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Jason and Julie run a quality establishment. We first went a few months after opening and then later in September 2007. It was nice to see the increased inventory over those 6+ months. It is a beer only store and I would say it kicks butt.

Everything is very nicely arranged and easy to see. There aren't any weird, dark corners for beer to get lost into or not seen. J/J are so friendly and helpful, if you cannot find or do not know what you are looking for they are more than eager to help you out. They also promote weekly or bi-monthly (depends on season) beer tastings on Thursday that are always great and usually free.

As stated before parking can be a bit tricky at times but this is the nature of the beast when operating a downtown store. I think the location is great though as it is but a few blocks from some of the cities best beer bars and brew pubs.

Prices are good...especially for the single 750 ml Belgian beers. Some of the "local" six pack prices are a little higher than near by competition but one cannot complain too much based on the service you get.

Heck, they were even nice enough to set me back some of the harder to find local stuff, like Pisgah Vortex II and hold it till I came into that is service!

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Photo of gatornation
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

a smaller store with a great selection Brusin only sells beer, as you walk in on the wood floors you get a sense that this place sells what you are looking for if your in town and need some brew for your room this is the store to go to have great selection of local,regional and imported beer i like that you may break any sixer or 4pk to create your own sixer i ended up getting 2 6pks of various local brew like green man foot hills catawaba pisgah and some regional like ska sweetwater allagash store is a little hard to find but worth the effort

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Photo of jophish17
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by on my way home a few days ago

The main reason I picked Bruisn Ales over the other beer shops in western NC was mostly due to the stellar reviews here. I must say that this place deserves all the praise it can get.

My only real goal in stopping in was to pick up some Weyerbacher, whom ironically announced they will be distributing to Georgia just 2 days before my trip. The selection of Weyerbacher itself was great, at least half a dozen offerings including Insanity and Twelve, both of which made me extremely happy. They also carried Bells products, which is another thing I cannot get in GA, so I picked up a few as well.

However, despite my initial plans just to load up on stuff I cant get at home, I discovered a beer store that is truly awesome. If it wasn't for the fact that I was already buying stuff I didn't really have room for, I would have bought a lot more. I loved the store.

The bookstore like setup was great, all micros and premium imports. The store was pretty small but the quality was great. Nothing bad in this store... well, with the exception of the Farson's Lacto, ick! Lots of Belgians, strong representation of other European products, and then a bunch of local beers and great American micros available in NC. Bonus points for having a great selection of glassware, including some pretty rare stuff.

I was beginning to wish I had more room in my fridge, as I would love to help support the couple running the place. They were incredibly nice, helpful and knowledgeable. To me, this is what a beer store should be like. Their overall selection can be beaten, but not without compromising quality or shelf space to Bud. The prices were right on, and the ability to pull singles was delightful. The key is quality, both in the store, the product offering, and the staff.

Bruisin Ales is an awesome place, and I will let my stockpile dwindle down before my next visit so I can fully take advantage of this gem of a shop.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Edit: After dealing with this store a couple more times since my last review, I decided to edit my review to reflect the killer service I've received here. Great people run this place and I love the fact that they'll toss free glassware in if you purchase a reasonable amount of beer- and they have a very nice selection of glassware. They are also willing to take a phone order and hold it for pick-up. Superb, knowledgeable service raises my score to a 5. On the price issue, I've decided that NC is just more expensive than GA. It's probably the distributors and the lack of deal levels in the state. For what you get, this store is a good value, and I'm happy to shop here.

Very nice all beer store in downtown Asheville. Nicely displayed bottles, mostly warm, and six packs in a small space. Everything is well organized and easy to find, the store is clean, and the staff are helpful and nice- not to mention that the are BAs. Pretty good selection of Belgians and other desirable imports, but smaller than what I can get in Atlanta. For me, the real reason to come here are for the excellent selection of local beers available in sixpacks, growlers, and bombers, and for the selection of out of state craft brews not available in the Atlanta market. I usually pick up some Bell's, Weyerbacher, Southampton, and Ska, in addition to North Carolina brews like Duck Rabbit and Pisgah. They also have an excellent selection of glassware, something that is sadly lacking in Atlanta. All that being said, the one downside is that many of their beers are shockingly expensive. I understand the economics of the situation, and I expect all beer stores to have higher prices so that they can concentrate on selection. The problem is that this store often quickly runs out of some desirable beers that it would be nice to find on the shelf at least a month after they were released. Highly allocated beers aside, at least a few beers could be done at higher deal levels from the distributor so that prices come down a little on some items and so that beer lasts a little longer. It is a balance to be struck, and I feel they are still a little on the wrong side of the cost/stocking level. As its stands I'll check Greenlife 1st and then visit here to pick up the rarities. I'd love to change that equation in the future.

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Photo of claspada
4.16/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Small and quite highly priced IMO. The staff was nice but I had a hard time pulling the trigger on anything because of the prices.

After I went to the Greenlife Grocery store up the road and everything was at least a dollar or two more at Brusin'Ales.

There was an above average selection and I believe you can make your own sixer if desired.

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Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Nice to find another dedicated beer store in NC!

Overall the quality of the beers I purchased were pretty darn good to include imports

Service was 1st rate was offered samples of a belgian ale while I shopped. The salesman was tolerant of my helion boys & loved talking beer

Selection of Belgians was very impressive. The regional & local offerings could've been a little more extensive. I do give credit them for having growlers of French Broad beer on offer.

I thought their prices were pretty reasonable

Next time I'm in Ashville I will stop through again

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

I may only have visited this place in an online sense, but I feel I understand how they operate through these dealings. The selection is downright fantastic, with some awesome NC locals and a nice smattering of bottles from all over the place, domestic and imported. In terms of rarity, they can hook you up if'n ya do it right. The service is nothing but top-notch: The day following my order placement (I did this at night, so I don't blame them) I received a phone call making sure that the order was right and to get my billing info. The guy at the other end was very congenial and even chatted with me for a bit about my selections, something no other online retailer has ever done. The pricing is more than reasonable, and the shipping isn't really too bad, especially considering what other sites charge. Overall, I really do want to someday make it out to Carolina to visit this place in person, but until then I feel more than happy to use their online shop. Huge recommendation, baby!

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Photo of glid02
4.8/5  rDev +6%

Went here on a recent excursion.

Quality is good. Everything is away from sunlight and up to date. A lot of bombers are kept in wine racks.

Service was very good. The one guy there found everything I asked for with no problem and answered all questions I had.

Selection...Wow. I'm used to Green's in Atlanta where I have to wade through mediocre micro's and lots of macros to find the good stuff - well not wade through, but it's there. Here that's not the case. I had to grab what I came for and get out of there, or else I would've needed a shopping cart to get back to my car. All local beers - Pisgah, Catawba Valley, French Broad - are there, along with other rare beers - Black Albert, Pannepot, Backwoods Bastard and tons of others. Lots of Belgian and other imports that went along with growlers of local brews. Really, there's so much in such a small package.

Value was good, the prices seemed reasonable to me, although I don't have any experience with those brewers to compare them with.

Overall this place is worth going out of the way for. I was very impressed, and will be back if I'm ever within a 100 mile radius.

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Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC
4.53 out of 5 based on 257 ratings.
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