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Taps: 64 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.34/5 rDev +0.5%
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
More User Reviews:
4.21/5 rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
One of Seattle's iconic craft beer destinations. 60+ taps covering the country and the world, strong on Belgian and West Coast beers. Frequently unusual versions of standard craft ales. Also has an extensive whiskey line-up and limited wine. Each time I've been here I've been able to find something I've never tried, or special treats like Old Rasputin (which I've had tons of times in bottles) as a superb nitro pour. The food has changed over the years, there was a quite interesting Belgian oriented menu a few years ago, now more along the lines of bistro dishes. I had scallop ceviche on the last visit and my sister had the fish and frites, both were excellent, my ceviche came with plantain chips for dipping, which was a great combination. The service, despite a large crowd, was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. Both the beer and food are excellent. The only drawback for me is that it is extremely popular and usually crowded in the evenings. The layout, which is a large room with large balcony overlooking the bar is attractive, lots of rustic wood, but as a result has poor acoustics and can be too loud for quiet conversation. On my last visit, We were able to sit out on a small open patio, which was much less noisy; unfortunately not always possible with Seattle weather. Other the noise, attributable to being too popular (if that's possible), a must visit in Seattle.
06-22-2014 22:32:07 | More by LiquidAmber
Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.