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American Brewmaster

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American BrewmasterAmerican Brewmaster
23 Ratings
American BrewmasterAmerican Brewmaster

Type: Homebrew

3021 Stoneybrook Dr
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27604-3783
United States

(919) 850-0095 | map

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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of Ian504
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Rmcbride
2.5/5  rDev -40.8%

Photo of Yoda22
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

American Brewmaster is great. The best part about this place is the service. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They can tell you anything about brewing or kegging or ingredients and everything in between.

Ingredient selection is exceptional; almost never had a problem finding what I wanted except for the occasional "ran out, will be in stock soon". There isn't as much as i'd like for equipment however. There seems to be a lot of Wine making stuff as well though I've personally only shopped here for beer supplies.

They have a grain mill also and will allow you to crush your grains on premise. Very helpful for the homebrewer who doesn't have the machinery to crush their own.

Price is good for ingredients; steep for equipment. A tad outrageous for CO2/kegging.

Overall highly recommended!

 811 characters

Photo of seanwhite
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

While living in Raleigh, this was my go-to homebrew store. The staff is awesome and very knowledgeable. I really enjoyed spending some time here, and they also allow you to mix ingredients and styles, to create your own recipe. I used to order supplies from them online, before I realized they were just down the road from me, and I started visiting everytime I was ready to brew another batch.

Whether you are just starting out or an advanced homebrewer, this spot has everythign you need to get started or to take it to the next level.

 538 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is great. My friends and I have gotten into home brewing the last few months and have since brewed about 5 batches. Each time we stop in here we have questions and the guys are great about answering them. They walk with us throughout the store to pick our supplies, they help convert all grain recipes to extract, and hold lengthy conversations on equipment, hop varieties, and techniques. They have been so incredibly helpful. Their advice has helped us formulate some great recipes, brew some solid beer, and really become some efficient up and coming home brewers.

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Photo of JebediahScooter
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Kind of a drab little spot off of a random side road in a random little shopping area. Inside is a bit cramped, with beer supplies and ingredients occupying about 75% of the space with the remaining shelves going to wine stuff.

They have a good selection of base and specialty malts and a self-service grain mill. Most of the hops are pellets with a few varieties of leaf hops. Decent selection of yeast, and the Wyeast Smack Packs seem like they are usually pretty fresh. They also put together their own recipe kits (both extract and all-grain).

On the equipment end of things, they have a little bit of everything but not a ton of selection (two types of thermometers, two different chillers, one of this gadget, one of that doodad). They do have a bunch of nice bottles, but overall their focus seems to be on basic equipment. They do seem to have a fair amount of kegging stuff, though I haven't looked into it much because I bottle. One thing I did like was that they were cool with customizing a beginner kit for me...swapped out the racking cane for an autosiphon, added a better bottle to my kit, etc.

Prices seem to be a touch higher than online, but not enough to make much difference after shipping. I'm glad to have a local shop to support, but most of my larger equipment purchases are online (AB is great for little things like stoppers, not so great for, say, silicone tubing or a false bottom).

Staff is generally friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

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Photo of slowbie
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

With the extravagant (albeit very amateur looking) red white and blue theme of the website, I was pretty surprised when I went here and found a nondescript brick building with a drab grey sign with white block letters that say "American Brewmaster".

However, that has nothing to do with whether or not I like the place.

The staff here are always happy to help, and if anything, I get asked too often if I need anything. The exception is Saturday mornings, when everyone's picking up those last couple ingredients for the weekend's batch. I try to avoid Saturday mornings after my one experience trying that.

They have a good selection of grain, hops, yeast, etc. as well as a range of equipment. Their grain isn't as cheap as online stores, but still cheaper than paying for shipping in most cases, and their bulk grain prices are just low enough that it's not worth buying online. Their hops are very reasonably priced with some varieties hovering around $2/ounce, much cheaper than the other stores I've been to. I've also found that if I don't see something and ask if they have it, it's usually in the back, and if it's not, they're happy to order it for me.

They also offer some good resources to help new brewers. They have beginners homebrewing classes pretty regularly, and they have the best brewing book selection I've seen in real life.

Overall, this store prices are good enough to keep me from shopping online, and for the items that are a bit more expensive, the service and convenience are too good to pass up.

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Photo of krausenman
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

Q-I have been a customer for American Brewmaster for several years. Since the new owner took over there have been several changes which have generally imporved the overall quality. My only real complaint in the topic of quality is the fact that the hops are not kept frozen. This being said, they rotate and go through their hops rapidly and I have never bought any old hops. The staff don't know the harvest year generally but you can count that is reasonably fresh.

S-The staff are helpfull to the nth degree but the downside of it is that they will let you stand around when you want to pay and leave in order to help the folks they are with...

S-The grain and hop selection is very good. No complaints. They will order whatever you need within reason.

V-The prices for most equipment is on par with what you will pay somewhere else. The grain and yeast seem to be fairly priced. The hops though are expensive. You definaitly pay for the selection. Overall though for the quality, service and selection that you get its the best option in North Carolina and I have made a pact to support them and not order from the larger cheaper retailers.

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Photo of unknownlamer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

After not brewing for ages and moving to another state, I found myself going to American Brewmaster as it is the LHBS. So far they've had everything I've needed at a pretty reasonable price, and the folks who works there have been incredibly helpful with getting my brewing rig going again. I got much advice on the water chemistry here (the polar opposite of Baltimore water), information on *exactly* what goes into the LME they carry, &c.

They have a good selection of reasonably priced LME--the 33 pound containers are extra reasonable, and great now that I am /teaching/ three friends to brew (more brewery minions!), and the DME selections looks fine ('tho I only got the cheapest light DME I could find for making starters). They have a good selection of the usual bulk grains and whatnot. They do lack more exotic grains and extracts like brown rice and sorghum, but that isn't really any issue for me (except I'm brewing a gluten free beer for someone I know, the usual story...).

There are a few kettles sitting around, and they have pretty reasonably priced wort chillers (the 25' immersion chiller they sell is not much more expensive than the cost of the copper tubing required--definitely worth them making it for me) and pretty much all of the brewing gadgets you might need.

They appear to have a pretty good wine making supply selection as well which should come in handy when I make something for the woman (*sniff*, she hates anything carbonated and thus beer).

They also carry a decent selection of brewing, winemaking, mead making, and ... cheesemaking books.

All in all a great supply shop.

 1,617 characters

Photo of NCBeernut
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

I really like this place. They are a good group of guys who will always do what they can to help you out. They aren't experts, but they have pretty solid homebrewing knowledge overall and can give good answers to most questions. They hold classes on a pretty regular basis, and show great respect to their local customers. It can get a little busy around the weekends, and sometimes you have to wait to get checked out. There are lots of first-timers that come in who haven't done their homework and need extra attention though, which they always get.

Everything is fresh, especially their yeast - I don't think I have had a smack pack from there more than 2-3 weeks old. They cary almost all of the Wyeast strains, including the seasonals. They have a full range of grain and sell main base malts in bulk. The hops are a bit pricy though, so I just order them in bulk online instead. They have all of the equipment and hardware that a homebrewer would need, although they don't tend to cary multiple brands of many items, understandably. If you are looking for something crazy though like one of those multi-level structure, they might not have it. Some items can be a little expensive, but not outrageous. Grain mill is available in the store for anyone to use, with a setting that gives a decent crush. The store is always clean and well organized.

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Photo of hopmonkeyhop
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Picked up some supplies today, and as always the guys at American Brewmaster were nice and very helpful. I wouldnt consider myself an expert at homebrewing, so it is nice that the employees are willing to help you without being condescending. A couple times I have been looking for certain grains or hops that they were out of, but each time they have been able to recommend a replacement that worked out great. It is a small store, but very neat with nice products. There is a mill on site so that you can crush your grains there. I subscribe to their newsletter which is actually very informative. They also have homebrewing demonstrations from time to time at Tir Na Nog.

 674 characters

Photo of FloppyDog
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

They are the closest brew shop to where I live, so naturally I choose them every time, but besides that, I have been happy with their selection of equipment and ingredients.

The startup kits are reasonable, and they come with all of the basics that you need to get started. The glass carboys are kind of pricey though, but worth it in quality and so you can watch your beer fermenting (which is always cool).

There has been one time when they were out of the malt extract I was looking for, but they always seem to have the grains I need.

I appreciate their refrigerated and vacuum-sealed selection of hops and yeast, and when they were out of the hops I was looking for one time, a helpful employee got me a substitute variety that was extremely similar and worked out perfectly.

The staff, as a whole, are very knowledgeable, which is good for new brewers trying to get into the hobby that have a lot of questions.

Overall, this place is worth a visit if you want to get into brewing.

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Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

I decided to get back into homebrewing after a few years off so I headed to American Brewmaster in Raleigh for some supplies.

I thought the store was very clean and well organized. They had a nice selection of both equipment and ingredients. They were out of the top two yeast strains I was looking for (American II and Northwest Ale) but they did have quite a few others along with a good selection of malts and hop pellets.

The two guys behind the counter were very helpful. They seem to know their stuff and were very willing to offer their advice.

The prices seemed OK for the most part but a 6 gallon carboy ran $43. They said that it had to do with manufacturing issues in Mexico that now had them buying from Italy but the carboy I bought still said Mexico.

This is definitely a well run operation. I plan to check out the homebrew shop in Durham to compare but this could very well become my regular.

 912 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

I've been frequenting American Brewmaster for several years now since I moved into the area and have always had a good experience with them. Regardless of what I'm making they have always been able to help me with my brewing needs for beer, mead, and wine.

On beer, they have a good selection grain as well as both dry and liquid malt varieties. So far, they have had every screwball ingredient I have thrown at them for my experimental brews. If you are into kits, they have some of those too. A good selection of yeast is kept in the cooler. If you need hardware, they have everything from brew buckets to kegging equipment and more.

American Brewmaster also has honey they sell at a reasonable price for making mead, as well as some of the specific yeast strains intended for various types of mead.

On wine, they have kits available as well as anything else I have needed for making wine, including bottles, corks, and the appliances that go with them.

For the amount of floor space they have, they are very well stocked. They even have a pretty good book selection. I've been happy with the selection and knowledgeable staff here and have found no reason to go anywhere else.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

First time homebrewer lookin' for a good selection of tools and ingredients. Look no further. AB knew the right equipment that I would need and literally bent over backwards to show me the differences in various techniques and parts to the homebrewing process. At no point did I feel pressured to buy anything I wouldn't need. The selection was great, lots of variations of hops and malts, although the yeast selection could improve a bit.

Funny story: If you ever go to AB, look above the cash register and you'll see a picture of a guy digging up a fossil site. The man's name is Dick, and he went with my friend Adam and I (we're paleontology graduate students starting up some homebrewing) out to Montana in the summer of '07. His "find" in the picture was exciting; we thought at first it was an articulated, Late Cretaceous dinosaur (probably a ceratopsian or hadrosaur). Butttt, it turned out to be a modern bison that was buried probably 100 years ago.
Hope you like this little side note. The store rocks.

 1,017 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Overall, I will definitely revisit for my brewing weekends. However, if I am going to attempt anything on the periphery of standard styles I may find their shelves slightly bare. Grain slection was faily decent but if I am looking for anything a bit rare I will need to shop online. Also, the yeast and hop selection was a bit disappointing. Just one small cooler for both and I had to dig around for some yeast that had not gone past date.

Really good service though. Neatly organized but they are more than willing to help help hunt down anything I could not find. Also, if after grininding up your weighted malt bill and there is an extra half pound of grain they will reseal your bags.

 692 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

I have visited this place rather frequently since I took up homebrewing about a year ago. The products have always been of great quality. Yeast is always fresh and a discount is available for 3 month old yeast. They sell malt extract and hops that are airpacked right in the store. They also sell a decent variety of hop plugs that are produced just a few blocks away. While buying some this weekend, the clerk informed me these hops had recently begun to be used by Flying Dog Brewery. I was buying ingredients this weekend for a DIPA. I intended to buy 3 3.3lb packages of liquid light malt extract and one package of dry light malt extract. The clerk informed me that if I bought 4 packages of the liquid extract I would get 5% off my total purchase, which was helpful since I was spending $38 on 16oz. of hop plugs and buying a new $40 brewpot. These guys have also been very helpful in providing advice over the phone when needed. The only downside to this is that they are only open 4 days a week, oh well. Anyway, I am very grateful to have these guys in town. I know I will be very loyal to them, only visiting other homebrew shops if I absolutely need something right away on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

 1,217 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Time for an AB update. Mike has sold the business to Mark and he seems to be doing a bang up job. The service is as good as ever, the occasional wait at the counter and perhaps you are no longer known by name, but they still ask if you need assistance and the new store layout is growing on me.

They could get in larger packages of yeast instead of the small Wyeast packs and they could get in some more interesting dry yeasts, but all in all the seleciton has even improved in homebrewing supplies lately.

Check it out for sure!

From 11-6-03
overall: 4.05
atmosphere: n/a | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: n/a

I've been shopping at American Brewmaster for years. Mike always has excellent quality and service. His prices can be a little high at times, but he has a good selection of merchandise and he keeps it moving. All his hops are refridgerated, and he gets new yeasts in every week and is willing to special order anything you might desire. His book collection is very good as well. If you are in the Raleigh area and have some time to kill, I suggest you stop by, of course Mike does like to talk, so allow some extra time.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

American Brewmaster got me into homebrewing. I did a lot of research before I went in to the place to purchase all of my equipment. All of the staff were very knowledgable. If I had a question, they were all free to give suggestions of advice.

A very neat and orderly shop. All the grains are together and in containers so one can purchase by the pound instead of one pound bag increments. I am not sure on prices as it has been a while since I visited.

As I also recall, the hours seemed a bit weird. I think they are only open on Thursday Friday and Saturday. So that makes it hard to shop on a regular basis, so get it while its hot!

AB brought me in to the homebrew world so I am very grateful of that. They do a great job.

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Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

I really don't have any complaints about this place, save for that it seems a little expensive at times. I store is located in a little commercial center off of Capital Boulevard. All the ingredients and equipment I have purchased have been of good quality. The service is excellent, as the staff is very knowledgeable and willing to offer advice or pointers if needed. Good selection of grain, malt, yeast, and hops, too. A couple times while there I've had to opportunity to sample others' homebrewed beer and wine.

The only homebrew store I've been to, so keep that in mind.

 580 characters

Photo of Sayson
4/5  rDev -5.2%

American Brewmaster is a very good local homebrew store. They don't alsways have the selection of yeasts and hops that you can get online, but they do have quite a lot and they're always willing to special order for customers.

One nice touch is how they handle their magazines. They wrap the issues in pastic, but they keep one copy of each out for patrons to browse. It allows you to check out the content without getting a dog eared copy. This is a good shop.

I've been happy with their selection of extracts and grain. Seems like they tend to label their stock a bit differently than I'm used to. For instance, they label their 6 row lager malt. Certainly the names are interchangeable, but it always makes me think a bit. They also have a nice selection for home winemakers.

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Photo of yosh
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

I went there for the first time this weekend (6/14/03) as I am eager to start home brewing beer. This place seems like a great resource for people at all levels of brewing. I talked to one of the owners, I think Mike, and he was very helpful as far as a suggestion with equipment. I ended up buying a book for now and the equipment once I have space.

 350 characters

Photo of beerinator
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

I just wanted to point out that the malt extracts aren't made on premises. Mike(a super nice guy) will not give out his supplier, but he is supplied by someone. I actually had a conversation about this with him, and he says he gets very large drums of the stuff, and then repackages it in a more managable size.

But, I would also like to say that American Brewmaster is a great place for beginners. All of the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. And would love to point you in the right direction. And like all brew shops should be, its a great place to exchange ideas and meet fellow brewers.

One tip for your first time to American Brewmaster. If you have somewhere you need to be in a hurry. Don't look Mike in the eye(he's the owner) or try to ask him any questions. He loves to tell stories and will keep you there for days!!! : )

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American Brewmaster in Raleigh, NC
Place rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 23 ratings
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