Ass Clown Brewing

Ass Clown BrewingAss Clown Brewing
Ass Clown BrewingAss Clown Brewing
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

10620 Bailey Rd Ste E
Cornelius, North Carolina, 28031-9364
United States

(704) 995-7767 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 46 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.51/5  rDev -16.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3

How could you not stop because of the name? Sadly, the beers do not hold up. Service was pretty welcoming upon arrival, but it was hard to get a pour after due to the bartender chatting with her friends, and bragging about a "bottle share" for a good half hour.
Awesome vibe at this place! Wanted to appreciate the experience more than I did.

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PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts, Oct 30, 2018
Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Stopped in here because... why not? The name says it all. The beers weren't great by any means but the vibe was cool, the service was great and it was just a fun place to finally see in person. Definitely a bucket list stop but had a nice time there.

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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania, Oct 03, 2018
Photo of Badgertaxman
5/5  rDev +18.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

A group of four guys were in town for the Packer game and ran into this nugget of brewing gold. The brewery had the most unique atmosphere and just inviting to sit and chill and drink your beer. The selection was amazing. All four of us had a flight....16 of the 30 taps and everyone was good. Flavors were rich and well thought out. They do sours, stouts, ipas, ales...all are a must try even if one may not be your flavor.

We drank not just one and and we weren’t one....ass clown.

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Badgertaxman from Wisconsin, Dec 25, 2017
Photo of srletend
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Arrived on a Wed night around 8 PM. A little tough to find since in the back of an industrial complex behind trees and not visible from the road. Smell of brewing-in-progress when I walked in. A smaller size place with a very nice vibe. Great bottle collection, beer memorabilia, beer mags around for decor. Free chips on the table. Decent crowd who knew their beer. Good selection of stuff and every one I tried was pretty good. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Right down the road from D9 and I'd pick this place over that one.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Small cozy tap room. Excellent vibe with some very unique offerings. Tried a flight that included a ghost pepper IPA, rhubarb sour and an oak barrel cabernet Brown ale. All exceptional. Definitely a do over for me next time I'm in Charlotte area.

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MarkLinton1 from West Virginia, Aug 16, 2015
Photo of David63Olson
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I felt very comfortable in their tap room... For a small space, it was laid out excellent. On the day I was there, the beer selection and the service were both exceptional. I would visit again.

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Photo of ajcalhoun
1.72/5  rDev -59.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1 | service: 1.25 | selection: 2

This place is tucked away, but really not that hard to find if you plug it in your GPS. Very similar to other small breweries/taprooms I've visited. I'm from Charlotte and am trying Ass Clown in an attempt to try all of the local breweries. The atmosphere is great, a small taproom with a good vibe, they even have a wall of the "cool" beers their staff has tried. Getting closer to this wall I noticed the first red flag, the beer they were showing off wasn't really that good, a number of gypsy bottles even a westy 12 but really on closer inspection most were cheap Bells or Westbrook bottles you can pick up in any grocery store. I went ahead and ordered a flight trying as I usually do to sample a few old standards according to the bartender and a few very strange concoctions. The bartender was curt to me when I asked his opinions about their incredibly extensive (like over 20 beers) tap list, seemed annoyed that I was troubling him over his regulars. All the while I had to listen to the two guys behind me in line talking about "this new brewery I just found called Allagash" I knew I was far from beer Mecca. Sampling the popular dark chocolate sea salt stout, 30 ghost pepper, wet hopped semicoe, and rhubarb sour. The 30 was impressive in the fact that it actually was painful to drink it was so spicy, the others were lacking in body just coming off kinda watery and it took me a few sips to even get basic tasting notes from the popular stout. Overall I would say it makes sense why they aren't bottling or tapping anywhere outside the brewery. Maybe they should stick to one or two beers and make them really good instead of offering plenty of average ones. Skip this one, the vibe might be cool but the beer isn't.

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ajcalhoun from South Carolina, Jan 03, 2015
Photo of JamesBell
5/5  rDev +18.5%

I thought about this before I gave a 5, if there was anything I should drop it down for and I just couldn't come up with anything. They could be a little hard to find at first I guess as they are in the back of a business park and will not be visible when your GPS says you have arrived.

However, one you are inside it's great! We have stopp several times traveling through Charlotte and have never been disappointed. They can be a bit crowded, as they were last time we were there but we expected it at 5PM on a Friday!

The beer: Simply put its fantastic. They have a nicely varied menu that changes often. Last time there I had a 15% Vanilla stout that I never would have guessed to be 15%. It was so rich and smooth. I am not a huge hop head, so I can't comment much on that side of the menu. They do a lot with peppers, and if you like spicy beer they usually have at least one on tap. I have had their Raspberry Jalapeño Porter and it was pretty good. It was s bit strong on the pepper taste, but the heat was perfect.
Oh, and they make wine! My wife even likes stopping here because of that, so it's a win-win. She says their barrel aged Pinot Noire is one of the best she has ever had.

The People: I haven't been enough to "know" the guys or be a regular, but the one time we got to sit at the front bar you would have thought we were there every week. Very friendly staff. Informative and excited about their products. Also gave great recommendations for local eating for us travelers.

They don't serve food but there were some chips and pretzels scattered around. The last time we stopped a couple had a pizza delivered to have with their beer.

All in all a great place!

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JamesBell from Georgia, Dec 16, 2014
Photo of Yetiman420
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Stop # 456 on my world brewery tour and boy what a doozey.

Cozy place located in an out-of-the-way industrial part about 20 minutes north of Charlotte. Wes was tending bar and pretty much set me up. Had samples of all the beers and while they may not be for everyone, they were all unique and well done. Stayed too long and probably drank to much....thanks Wes!

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Photo of nickomus
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Incredibly interesting tap room in what us basically a strip/industrial mall. Bartender/brewer was fascinating to talk with and very interested in sharing his creations. Beer choices go well beyond the ordinary and are a must for anyone interested in new styles and the art of brewing.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was recently in the area and stopped by the brewery, I was surprised to find a sweet little tap room - dark and cozy. They've made good use of what I assume was an office, it's a fun place to sample a very nice assortment of their brews. The bartender was knowledgeable and pleasant to talk to. I'll never get over the horrible name of the company - their logo is on the outside of the industrial building they're housed in, but the words Ass Clown are not on it because the park won't let them have the word ass on their sign. That name's the worst - but the beer and tap room are really cool. Check em out.

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Mantooth from North Carolina, May 19, 2014
Photo of bigkingken
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I wasn’t expecting very much from a recent addition to the Charlotte beer scene that is a solid 20 minutes outside of the city – much less from yet another startup in a nondescript strip mall – but I was pleasantly surprised by Ass Clown. Actually, they blew me away.

First of all, I love the space. They’ve taken what had to be a boring, bland, office-like space and have turned it into something funky, cool, and relaxing all at the same time. Vintage furniture like a couch and arm chairs dot the sides while nice tables fill the center. One wall is lined with a bar-top made of what looks to be beautifully reclaimed wood from some random fallen tree. There are television spaced throughout the entire place and they’re happy to change the channel to meet your whims.

And the music rocks – a great mix of classic oldies, rock, and modern alternative rock. You can’t help but feel at home the second you walk in.

But then there’s the beer. I typically expect a half dozen, maybe a dozen at most, taps from a small place like this. Most times you only get three or four. So imagine my surprise when I found an entire wall lined with their own experiments – 31 taps in total – along with some barrel-aged wines.

It’s not just the number of taps that are impressive, though. They’ve got wildly experimental beer that you won’t find counterpoints at anywhere else. It’s definitely not the dreary beat-to-death varieties that every brewpub has. For example, there was a banana bread stout, a sea salt chocolate stout, seven varieties of fresh-hopped IPAs, blood orange IPA, and maybe 10 sours.

There is one downside to the wide range of experimentation, however. While swinging for the fences, they knock some of them out of the park; but they also strike out a lot. Their double IPA is delicious. The banana bread stout is unique and nearly as good as some of Southern Tier’s famous imperial stout varieties. The blood orange IPA is great. But the sea salt chocolate stout comes in too salty, the pumpkin sour doesn’t taste like pumpkin or anything else that I want to drink, and, in fact, most of their sours are just sour without any complexity or balance.

That’s okay, though. For every miss, they also have a solid hit. So you end up with at least 15 very good beers. That’s way better than six mediocre ones in my book.

I wish I lived next door.

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bigkingken from North Carolina, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of dailyminefield
1.93/5  rDev -54.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2.75

I live in Cornelius, and I have been meaning to try this place out for over a year now.

I walked in, decent décor, very small and claustrophobic. Fire marshal probably limited this place to 30 occupants, it was that small.

The place was half full, the 5 bar stools were occupied. I noticed there was a line formed on the side of the bar for ordering. There were 4 people in front of me.

With only one ass clown manning the bar, I figured it would take a minute to get my order in.

20 minutes later there were still 2 people in front of me. It became apparent the bartender was favoring the regulars sitting at the bar. My wife and I had enough and walked out.

I did not get to try any beer and I will not be back any time soon. Bad timing?... perhaps. But I'm not going to waste my time finding out. Maybe I'll wait another year to try again. It is worth it to bypass this joint and make the drive to Charlotte to visit Heist, Wooden Robot, High Branch, etc...

**Note: You will not find Ass Clown brews in any restaurant, bar or bottle shop.
There is a Duckworth's a couple miles south that specializes in craft beer. They have 100+ taps, they carry tons of local offerings, and still no Ass Clown. I guess this is why it took so long for me to make a visit. It is easy to forget it exists when there is nothing around town to remind you of it. That and the fact it is in some industrial park that I have never come close to driving by. If they are not serious about being a desirable/thriving brewery, there is no need for me to be a serious patron.**

*6/23/17 Update* - They started canning, however they are mostly shelf turds around town. A local bottle shop owner told me that they released an awesome IPA and recommended it. I was told they started crowlers, so I decided to give them another try. I get there, place my order, wait 10 minutes only to be told that their crowler machine doesn't work. I am convinced God doesn't want me to like this place.

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dailyminefield from North Carolina, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Not the easiest place to find, but it is worth the effort. Unassuming place in a light industrial/office park. The owner(Matt) really has the place fixed up nice inside. Lots of beercentric decorations. Lots of nice wood and homemade wood furniture.
The owner/brewer does most of this on his own. Some helpers apparently are chipping in now. 8 on tap, always some interesting stuff along with a few regulars. Pints, samplers, growlers. Seems to like to do a lot of sour and tart stuff. Really interesting ones are the dark brew hybrids. Some real nice clean hoppy stuff as well. He tries to use really high end ingredients. Service is top notch, as again he does most of it himself.

Also can get soap made from the spent brewing ingredients if you like that sort of thing. They are really doing some nice things here.

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Bung from Michigan, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of PatrickDaniele
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

So Matt has two things that he offers. The typical pint and flights. Flights (6$) are four samples of 6 oz of any beers. He always has at least 6 beers on tap if not more. The last two times i went there he had 8 beers on tap.

He pushed the envelope on beer. He likes to see what flavors he can mesh together to get a totally new beer that no one has had.

Awesome atmosphere and people that go there are always willing to converse. Definitely a place to check out if you are anywhere near it. Its a good time with some great beer.

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PatrickDaniele from New Jersey, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of Bryson
4.71/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Matt really has something great going here and I absolutely cannot wait for him to move to his new location. I can tell you that the beer selection and quality at Ass Clown are like none other. Matt is constantly trying new things and going down a completely new avenue to find something interesting...sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I think it's great that he puts so much time into the research and development of these great brews!

I always end up walking in and staying for about an hour longer than expected, partly because there is always something new, and also because Matt loves to converse about what he's doing and just about beer in general. What a great operation with a bright future ahead. Cheers!

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Bryson from North Carolina, Dec 20, 2011
Ass Clown Brewing in Cornelius, NC
Brewery rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 340 ratings