Brouwer's Cafe

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

96 Reviews
Reviews: 96
Visits: 140
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: n/a
Taps: 64
Bottles: 300
Cask: Y
[ 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:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Visits: 140
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (5,052 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of ShaneTheWalrus
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of The_Golden_Spruce
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Excellent beer selection, but the space can feel dark and loud. More windows and quieter music might help. (107 characters)

Photo of cherche
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of 322wingedfoot
4.44/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Hawkfish
5/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of oldsailor
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Eternal218
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Brandonparrent
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of mothman
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of SeattleBoB76
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.25

Beer lovers paradise. 100 lines from Belgium brew to local craft beer. (71 characters)

Photo of crowellbw
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of KevinL
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Photo of anteater
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of kmahe
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

I went to Brouwers today, finally. I feel it is ridiculous that as a Seattle-area citizen I had not been there before.

Atmosphere here is fantastic, a beer lover's dream. It's basement-dark inside with all dark wood installations, and the whole back wall behind the main bar is refrigerator cases full of their amazing bottle selection. Sixty beautiful taps line up to fulfill your every desire; I could probably just hang out inside and look at the place as an end in its own.

I had an Avec les Bons Voeux on draft in an Avec les Bons Voeux glass, and a Snipes Mountain saison in an appropriate saison glass (you don't see those around too much). Service was excellent, as the bartenders there seem to really know their beer. Beer selection focuses on Belgium and Washington State, but there are a few other craft beers on tap, mostly from the western U.S.

I had the croque monsieur with frites and was not disappointed. I will definitely be returning here to sample more of their extensive tap list and try some Belgian stew. (1,036 characters)

Photo of juneauscott
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Beautiful tap and bottle selection. (38 characters)

Photo of nobelk18
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of Alpar
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of diamond_mind
3/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of xdisco
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
95 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.