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Brouwer's Cafe

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Taps: 64 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
95
world-class

106 Ratings
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 11.83%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

400 N 35th St
Seattle, Washington, 98103-8607
United States
phone: (206) 267-2437

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 94 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Fluffheady
Fluffheady

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Holy Wow. This is one of the most well thought out beer destinations I have ever seen. The setup of the cooler is the wet dream of any beer bar owner. There is obvious mad respect for beer here. It is a rather large place, which isn’t my favorite kind of setting (it makes it rather impersonal), but if you have to go big, you should go big like this. I honestly don’t have anything to say other than go here if you visit Seattle. Be aware that it's the kind of place that gets really crowded and attracts a lot of novices, so go on a Wednesday afternoon if you really want to appreciate this.

11-24-2013 23:35:59 | More by Fluffheady
Photo of fourstringer
fourstringer

Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$

Fantastic. Got to enjoy a Drie Fontinen and Cantillon in the same place. Our waitress was in the back looking for whatever we asked for in a blink of an eye. All the beers were of excellent quality and served expertly. I think the prices were fair with appropriate mark ups you'd expect from a bar vs bottle shop/liquor store. Didn't try the food. Hell, didn't even look at the menu. Liquid bread only, friends. Will definitely be back the next time I am in Seattle.

Prost!

10-16-2013 00:03:08 | More by fourstringer
Photo of Jodi215
Jodi215

Arizona

3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

This is a Belgian style beer bar with a lot of atmosphere. Long bar, lots of wood, cement floors, balcony seating. The food was very good, we had fish and chips, beet and endive salad and chili fries. Everyone loved their food. Beer selection was outstanding. Service was friendly even though I returned my ice tea. It was horrible. Server said something was wrong with the ice tea maker. Maybe they shouldn't have served it if that was the problem.

09-04-2013 21:55:20 | More by Jodi215
Photo of Abrengle
Abrengle

Washington

4.91/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$

My wife and I love Brouwer's and have visited over 10 times since we moved to Seattle a year ago. The new Monday half bottle pricing on their bottle selection is an added plus. The food is good, their cellar/vintage options are fantastic, and the atmosphere is rather comfortable. The only reason I did not give full points was because of the lack of concentrated flavors (I prefer gastro-pub style food) and the need for a waitress to suggest a beer without qualifying the customer.
If you work at a beer bar with a notorious reputation for attracting consumers with above average knowledge and palates (which one would expect if shopping at Bottleworks or being frequent at Brouwer's) I wouldn't expect to be "felt out" before you ask me if like a DIPA or a sour beer before I order it.
Please don't insult the informed, educated customers, we do exist!

06-06-2013 05:58:55 | More by Abrengle
Photo of Smurf2055
Smurf2055

Washington

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$

This is certainly the kind of bar that knows how good they are. Two levels, so it can get pretty crowded and busy. Specialize in beer food’, but haven’t had a chance to sample much of their menu. I’ve only had poor service one time, the staff seems friendly enough. Huge collection of rare bottles and an amazing selections of great beer on draft. Like I said, the only real problem is they know this and charge a pretty penny. Great place though, if you can afford it.

05-30-2013 18:09:37 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of estlinska
estlinska

Arkansas

4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Visited in October 2012. The first impression of this place was that it was huge and open like a good pub feel. We visited during some High Times festival that was going on next door, so there was some pretty cool clientele hanging out as well. We comandeered a large table as I was traveling with my wife and my in-laws' family. The waitress and bartenders were very knowledgable about beer styles and able to walk my non-beer-geek family members towards beers that they would like, but seemed a little put out by their ignorance. I had read this in reviews about the place before, so I expected it. My MIL can be a little less, um, patient, so it grated on her, but I didn't let it interfere with my experience. We ordered food which was a little steep, but very high quality. The Reuben was delicious, and I had a dish of mussels steamed in white ale and it was gorgeous. I got to taste my first Pliny the Elder as well as two local beers per the bartenders' suggestions. Overall it was a great experience that would be even better if I could come by more often with more beer geeks.

03-16-2013 18:15:46 | More by estlinska
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

4.44/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$$

Atmosphere: Large open area with an oval balcony overlooking the interior. Big, shiny bar with taps as far as the eye can see, with refrigerators showing off the extensive and well kept bottle collection. High end industrial feel to the place, but comfortable at the same time.

Quality: Everything we tried was on target. I'd be concerned about some of the less popular taps with as many as they had going, but that's my bias, I didn't see anything wrong with my choices.

Service: Friendly, knowledgeable, happy to talk us through our choices and make suggestions. Led us to tasty tasty beer.

Selection: Yeah, they've got a lot of choices. Good choices, tempting choices, I saw equal mixes of Belgian and domestic with strong local representation. Even saw a Real Ale tap from Texas which made me proud.

Food: Brought us a dump truck of fries, then a sampler plate with pickles, olives, salmon, sausages, crackers and moar fries. Tried a sandwich which was also tasty. Good food, a little pricy but not outrageous.

Overall: A really great place. Worth the cap ride out from downtown. You can get a lot of ground covered trying local beers while your friends will find something they like and will eat and be happy. I'll go back next time I find myself in Seattle.

02-16-2013 03:12:10 | More by HardTarget
Photo of slander
slander

New York

4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

An easy, and I mean a stupid easy, drive from Hale’s. And hey, thems people are leaving; we can take their spot if you spin a U’ey in the street, wait, now, and really, you pull straight into the spot, not backing in, who are you? Free waste assessment forced by having to look at the garbage cans prominently placed out front. Anyway, past the containers, around the bend and in…

Wow, cavernous, and most unusual 2-floor room with a rounded ‘U’ shaped balcony with a wood slat underside running 3 sides around. Concrete floorings, and I-beams running across the room below crosshatch caged ceiling, with 2 large drop tulip chandeliers and a circular skylight in between.

Straight wood topped bar, with a panel base & dinged, flattened bar foot rail on the far wall, seating for 15 on worn black leather hightop chairs. The barback is a length of stainless steel drainage, end to end, with sets of 8 taps clustered along the way, 63 in all, or so they says. Wait, that math, it don’t add up. Okay, let’s try that again. 7 towers of 8 = 56, ah, plus the shorty row of 4 makes 60, + 3 handpumps on the end makes 63. Okay, it’s on the up and up. Cooler room behind the barback with bottled goods displayed through sliding glass doors over each tap bundle; Russian River, Port/Lost Abbey, Hanssens, Dupont, De Dolle, Trappists & sours that I can see, and a whole boatload more back there (we’ll get to that). Brewery tins & stickers between the cooler doors, and glassware of all sizes shelved below running the length in 2 rows.

Tables in 2 rows of 5, mostly recs across the floor, and 4 booths on the far wall baby lamp lit. A small bar counter piece along the far wall seats 3, and another seating 5 on the end wall done Belgian flag black, yellow & red. Cushy couches on a raised perch at the other end, probably doing double duty as a small stage area, and a cocktail bar with seating for 4 off to the side. Good booze countered and shelved above the barback on a seemingly large stone wall, a single flatscreen in the corner there, and a single framed print (bar namesake Adriaen Brouwer’s ‘The Bitter Draught’, circa 1630something) mounted up high. It’s a guy with a look of deep disgust at having just ingested something disgusting; I read somewhere that it was Pumpking.

Upstairs, 6 tables of various sizes & shapes on each side of the balcony, and fencing running all the way around keeping the 2nd floor folks from quickly becoming ground floor folks. Worn slat wood floorings, the rear wall is burgundy and the side walls are beige over stone face lowers. The outer wall holds panel windows, red curtained up, and both walls are done up with cool prints; vintage Belgian (Orval, Saison Dupont, Elloise Quintine, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Dupont Avril, Timmermans, Augustin, Stella Artois), and those late 19th century ‘Bieres de la Meuse’ & ‘Absinthe Robette’ art nouveaus. 3L bottles over the door to the stairwell, and a small single table private room with sliding doors, burgundy walls, drop mosaic glass lamp, corner cushy chairs, & framed pics/prints.

The tap list, currently at 58, about half of it available in pint and schooner shorty. Just shy of 3 dozen American craft selections, the majority of which are west coast; 14 from Washington (Big Al, Boundary Bay, Elysian, Epic, Hale’s, Lazy Boy, Maritime Pacific, North Sound, Old Schoolhouse, Port Townsend, Pyramid), 7 from Oregon (Boneyard, Gigantic, Hair of the Dog, HUB, Laurelwood, Oakshire), and 7 from California (Black Diamond, Firestone Walker, Nectar, Sierra Nevada, Stone). And then a handful more from elsewhere about the country. The remainder is a mix of nearly 2 dozen imports (14 of them Belgian, and 9 various beers of the world), and a pair of regional ciders (Finn River & Snowdrift). And the single live handpump entry (Hale’s Supergoose). I started with the Nectar Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale, and then the Port Townsend Reel Amber. Phil, the Lost Abbey Mo’ Betta Bretta, and then the Lazy Boy Summer Rye. Beers were clean and in good shape. They just updated the tap list to now show 60 taps (More WA, less OR).

Big bottle list, broken out by country. Some 480+ selections, I could lift it, or count it out for you, breaking it out by style and country, but it’s involved, and I’m not up for it. Seem to be a boatload of American craft & Belgians primarily, and then random bearings from England, Germany, Canada, Italy, Denmark, and the rest of everywhere else. Pliny runs $8.50, Orval runs $11, Lost Abbey Red Poppy runs $20, prices seem reasonable.

And outside, 9 tables mix & match penned, some umbrella’d up. It’s a good damn house. We caught great tunes, lots of Neil, and some good Stephen, even. Eddie Vedder, live Levon, good Stones, bad Clapton (acoustic and off Heroin), live Van (Into the Mystic) from an era when he was trying and didn’t suck. And Vern’s warm nuts (that did not sound good) for a light snack; nuts with smoked sea salt & spices, topped with bacon crumbles. Oh my. Good beer here!

10-29-2012 05:55:42 | More by slander
Photo of leedorham
leedorham

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Ventured here for the first time on a recent trip over to the west side and definitely glad I did.

The beer list is phenomenal. I can't complain about it in the least. It looks to rotate frequently from what I can tell.

I had the mussels with artichokes. Fucking delicious. My woman had some salad that was apparently good too. We had some good beers too. I don't remember which ones we had there. Some good oatmeal stout and some other good beer. I wanted to get a sour out of the bottles but we were already pretty intoxicated so we cashed out.

Atmosphere is pretty cool, man. They play good music, it's clean and well lit so you can see the bottles and tap handles. They have this mezzanine thing around the place if you want to sit up all high like and pretend you're better than everybody else. I don't have to pretend.

Service was normal pub service. Fast enough, attentive enough.

Also, this place is in Fremont. Fremont is pretty awesome too. There's a troll under the bridge and lots of ethnic food. You'll like it unless you're afraid of trolls and ethnic food.

10-09-2012 17:37:03 | More by leedorham
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Cool building on the outside. Wasn't sure what to expect inside but the interior was well done. Walked upstairs to check it out and the sat at the bar.

Selection was good. Large tap menus. Lots of Belgian and American options. Lots of good bottles to choose from as well. The bar is well designed.

The service was okay. The female bartender was kinda quiet which was weird. The male bartender was ultra friendly.

The food was awesome. Ultra tasty. Had a turkey sandwich croissant thing. Delicious and fresh tasting.

Only gripe was weird aggressive music and overpriced beer. A cool spot, nonetheless.

09-17-2012 00:14:18 | More by djbreezy
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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
95 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.