Brouwer's Cafe

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

139 Ratings
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.34
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 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 99
Photo of estlinska
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of slander
4.34/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of leedorham
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of djbreezy
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A: My initial visit was for Hard Liver #8. Initially it left a bad taste in my mouth but given the circumstances I decided to go back. Since then I have been back nearly half dozen times both on weekends, weekdays and for other events like Back in Black and Big Wood. The atmosphere is a dimly lit area downstairs, very much tavern like but everyone seems to be in their own bubble and very clickish. I have never been able to grab a seat at the bar due to a constant crowd. Overall, the atmosphere is pretty good.

Q: Very good but some of the WA beers they choose to make the draft list are a bit questionnable at times.

S: Service was rude and bad on my initial visit but since then I have not had any of those issues. Service is slow at times but that is my biggest complaint.

S:Fantastic bottle list but you will pay a hefty mark up on some of the bottlesw. Draft selection is awesome but my ony issue is that they tend to focus on a handfull of breweries to rotate from and some of them are not amongst the best. The Belgian draft is awesome. Most PAC NW'ers still have yet to embrace the Belgian beer and what it has done for the world, the beer community in general. Brouwers could easily be the best beer bar in America if they amped up the American draft list a bit and tweaked the service.

F:Food has always been pretty good, one time I did receive the wrong itme and was charged fo it after I snt it back.

Photo of gkunkle
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A great friend from Seattle took me out to browers when I was in town. I was really pleased with this as a location to sit, sip and talk. The decor has a medieval touch to it, from the thick heavy wooden doors to the ironwork. There are a bunch of tables for 4 arranged in rows as well as some round tables and other seating along the wall. There is also seating upstairs but I didn't get a good look. The tap list certainly wasn't lacking. My first beer was DuPont Avec. Which was pleasing of course. Then I had some limited release DIPA that I found quite disappointing. Although I did pick it, I feel that it reflect slightly on the proprietor when they serve mediocre beer. There was enough of a range of beers so that I, the beer snob of the group was interested, but there were also beers that appealed to those without intimate knowlege of beer, beers that were complex and well made, but approachable. Our server was generally helpful. Only real negative is the price, a little on the spendy side, but great for a beer or two during a visit to town.

Photo of waltersrj
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Brouwers is my go to Seattle bar. I love the atmosphere with its old German/new urban decorations,. The bar is laid out well with over 60 taps and the beer selection in bottles is as good as it gets. You can try hommage if you want :) The food is great, especially the lamb burger or the daily soups as well as the frites. The service is a shit show as sometimes it's really great and sometimes really lacking. I love bringing my wife, family, or friends here. The special events are worth the time and money. Brouwers is as good as it gets.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I'll start with the bad, the guy who brought out our food was a duck, for no reason at all. The waitress however was very nice and friendly.

Atmosphere is great, quite with a big bar, all the bottles on display, they have tons of taps and it was a Washington tap takeover so all WA beers, which was awesome. All the beers were $4-6 so that was great.

I got the muscles and frijtes and theybwere phenomenal and reasonably priced. We got Pliny and abacus bottles, and i was tempted by the hommage but ended up passing due to the $70 entry fee...

Photo of Ficonblue
2.48/5  rDev -42.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Large selection of beer but lacking variety. Food was very good. Service was was a shotgun blast of disappointment to the face. A lot of employees standing around, and a bartender who wants to chat up her personal friends more then great customers or keep glasses full. All I ask for is a "Hello, I will be right with you" Clearly too much for them. After speaking with some other locals it seems I am not the only one. I just moved to town and I can assure you there are many other establishments who would be happy to have you as a customer. I won't be back soon.

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

How I haven't reviewed this place yet is beyond me, lol. Anyways..

Atmosphere - While the outside of this place seems to blend in with the rest of the Fremont area of Seattle, the inside is where that ends. Inside is a bit on the dark, murky side. Beautiful two-story pub with a pseudo-medieval Europe vibe to it. (Stone walls, large wooden doors and tables, etc.). A visible, massive array of taps and bottled selections is a preview of what you're in store for.

On slower days, things are pretty relaxed, but it can get very busy on certain nights (weekends, mainly). Overall though, this is a place for the beer enthusiast, not the nightclub crowd.

Selection - With over 60 tap selections, and hundreds of bottled selections of beer available on any given night, this place (to my knowledge) boasts the largest selection of beers of any bar in Seattle. There is also a large Scotch menu, and a full bar of other things besides beer. You'll find some of the Belgian greats on draft, as well as many other options from local breweries, and other countries.

Service - Service has generally been pretty good whenever I've gone. Some people have complained of poor service here, but I've never had any. As stated before though, it can get quite busy on weekends, in which case, things can take a bit longer to get out, but that's any place.

Food - There's some really great food here, and I'd even say it's pretty reasonably priced for what it is. The lamb burger is absolutely phenomenal, and the fish and chips are pretty good too. The food is another reason on top of the beer selection that I come out this way.

Quality - Between a massive brew selection, a menu full of great food, and a cool atmosphere, this place is top notch, and there isn't much to not love about it. Any beer lover is only kicking themselves by not checking this place out. A top recommendation of mine!

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Brouwer's Cafe is an unbelievable place. It is decorated and constructed like a continental European hall and has a beer list that would make even some of the most jaded Beer Advocates salivate. Their beer list even has a number of aged beers of different vintages. Other than the prices, my only complaint was that the service wasn't as good as some other places. Servers were busy, but not as attentive as they could be.

Regardless, any time in the future I am in Seattle or passing through I plan on visiting Brouwer's Cafe. I honestly wish that there was a place like this in Vancouver, because it puts even the best gastropubs in Vancouver to shame.

Photo of jALEson
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I just can't say enough good things about this place. I am from TX and was in town for a brief stay before heading to OBF. Had read about it being a recommended bar in several beer mags and had to go. Was NOT disappointed! The bar itself is in a great neighborhood with several places of interest (shops if you are bringing the wife who doesn't want to sit in a bar). The layout is modern with seating on an upper floor that looks down at the bar. The bar itself is wonderfully llit to showcase taps and bottles. Cannot remember how many beers were on tap, but that list, as well as the bottles, was extensive and impressive. The food menu had an eclectic selection and my table enjoyed all that was ordered. We were there on a Wednesday night and it did not seem too busy, but our server seemed rushed and not eager to help us with question. Other than that blip, we had an excellent time and of all the different beer bars I hit in Seattle and Portland on this beer-cation this was my favorite.

Photo of reymic
4.01/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Had a great time at Brouwer's on our recent trip to Seattle. Stopped in for two beers, the highlight was definitely the Cascade Apricot Ale (sour). The bar is unique, very high ceilings with a view of all of their tap handles and bottles through glass cases. Really impressive to see how they store their bottles and kegs from a seat at the bar. The bar looks really new and clean and bright lights, if you're into that kind of thing. I prefer my bars a bit darker and with a bit more character, but I digress.

The one thing that drives me crazy about any bar, is when the beer list only lists out by the beer name and doesn't include the beer type, style, ABV, type of glass, etc. Maybe I am just used to how it's done on the east coast, but I found it annoying to have to pull out my iphone to google what kind of beer a Double Mountain ClusterF*ck beer was. I guess this is a way for you to get to know your bartender and have them lead you in the right direction, but sometimes I would rather just make up my own mind. I am also quite the hophead, so was disappointed by the lack of IPAs and hoppier beers on the draft list. This is just the beer geek in me shining through, this place was great.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.6/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I must say, this is my favorite bar in the U.S.

I lived in Seattle for four years and have been to Brouwer's numerous times, and I'd say that this bar helped me on my way to beer geekdom.

This is a huge open style beer hall with beautiful design, much of which was done by the Matts themselves. The homage to Belgium is great, even with a mini manican pis at the entrance. This place can get a bit crazy on a Friday/Saturday night, but otherwise great.

Taplist is extensive and high quality across the board. They have it sorted well and it rotates often, often with leftovers from the previous event. No matter how many times you go, there will be something you've never had on draft. But don't stop there, the bottle list is truly top notch. Not many places can you walk in and get Bottleworks anniversary beers, barrel aged HOTD brews (matt, cherry adam, etc) or a bottle of Berserker. Just incredible, with reasonable prices.

My one gripe against this place is that they wouldn't let us in for my bachelor party a few years ago. Granted, it was about 12 guys on a Friday at about 8pm, but they made us wait and wait before telling us that we couldn't come in. We were planning on getting a bottle or two of their large format magnums or jeroboams, but they wouldn't let us in. As much as I love Brouwer's, this is still a sore spot for me. So just be aware on a Friday or Saturday night.

Finally, go to a Brouwer's event (sourfest, Back in Black, Big Wood, etc.). These tap lists are ridiculous and I've spent hours and hours at these events and will swear by them. Spend the day, eat some great food, and you'lll have a memorable event. Brouwer's, I miss you. Hope to see you soon.

Photo of GradyS1
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place really exceeded my expectations. I was there on three different occasions over memorial day weekend, one of them just happening to be the sour fest. It is alot bigger than I expected it to be, sat upstairs once and at the bar the other two, I really enjoyed the layout. I was very impressed with their bottle selection. Various Cantillon, drie fonteinen as well as Midnight Sun and specialty bottleworks and Brouwers beers. We had a goat head cheese dish during the sour fest...and fries the other times, traditional Belgian cafe menu for the most part. Most of what I had was on tap was 5-6$ for a standaed pour pint or tulip, some of the stuff during sour fest was more, up to 9$, as expected. I had a lost abbey Brouwers Imagination 2009 (awesome) for 25$ and an Arctic Devil (equally good) for 19$. I thought that was a fair price for both of those bottles from the bar.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went here for the first time today and I was impressed.
To begin, this place is quite nice on the inside. Lots of dark wood and high ceilings. Plus a large case of bottles.
The selection was good with over 20 taps and dozens of bottles with a nice mix of styles. I ended up getting a 12oz snifter of 2008 abyss for 4 dollars because of happy hour.
The service was alright but at least they were friendly.
The food was Belgian inspired bar fare and it turned out pretty tasty.
Overall I loved this and will stop by any time I am in the area.

Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went with my lovely wife while visiting the mother-in-law this weekend.

Atmosphere. Outside looks a little warehouse-like, as others have mentioned. Inside is mostly wood, very high ceiling, kinda dark. Big tables in the middle with a few booths around the outside.

Quality. Top notch beer selection on tap, and in bottles. Different styles seemed to be correct temperature and served in appropriate glasses.
Service. Server was friendly, but she seemed too busy. Didn't see much of her, but was helpful with deciding.

Selection. Big bar with huge display case coolers full of bottles. Taps easy to see in front of coolers. Around 25 beers on tap with a great selection of Belgians, locals, and other US and international selections, with most styles represented.

Food. Menu was a little limited, but all good stuff using quality ingredients.

Value. $4 or $5 for most pints or appropriate servings of bigger beers. Food was a little pricy, but good quality and decent servings.

Photo of psiweaver
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Brouwer's which is owned by the same people who own bottleworks has a great selection of beer on draft and in bottles. This includes all sorts of interesting rarities and large bottles. Like Bottleworks though the staff can sometimes have an attitude. I've found that if you sit at the bar generally you get poor to mediocre service but if you sit at a table the waitresses are generally much nicer and more helpful.

The food tends to be very good and I like that they adjust the menu for special events to pair well. Its mainly upscale pub food with a focus on using Beer as ingredients in most of the dishes.

Overall this place is fun to go to as long as you know that frequently the service will be awful. The selection and quality makes up for it.

Photo of MuttKDC
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

While taking a short Northwest trip, I decided to go to Brouwer's Cafe and it was one of my highlights.

I ended up being there on a Tuesday midday.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere was breath taking. This is an elegant two story bar. On your way in you are welcomed by a water fountain statue of an angel. The place resembles a cabin with great wood and metal finishes. They also had Frank Sinatra bumping on the speaker (not typical for a bar, but def enjoyable). Picnic seating, and loft tables are available. This can be a setting for a great first date.

Service: the main bartender, I think her name was Amanda, was not rude, but she made me feel like she was doing me a favor for doing her job. I think other reviews point out this same issue. Yet, the runner and the manager of the place were extremely enjoyable.

Food: the food was awesome, hands down my favorite thing about this place. I had the Brouwer's mussles (made with St Bernardus 12 beer) and a side of the fries. Completely great!

Beer: awesome bottle selection, and good taps available. Although the main bartender was not really enjoyable, she did know her beers.
Overall I would come back to this place, should I be in the Seattle area again.

Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A coincidentally well-timed business trip allowed me to make two visits. The first one was for lunch a couple of days before HopFest. The tap list was slim pickings as they were running down the taps for HopFest. The exceptional bottle list beckoned (HotD Matt, Bottleworks selections) but other commitments made this a bad call at 2pm. I "settled" for a fresh Pliny the Elder. Tasty food and pleasant service made this a nice stop.

After a quick trip out of town, I was able to stop back for HopFest. At 9:30pm there was still a line to get in, though it was only 5 deep so I got through the door after only 5 minutes.

Amazingly, the crowd was comfortable, not the made crush I expected. I was able to get a beer in 3 minutes and a seat at the bar in about 10. Great service, a ridiculous list of hoppy beers, I was in heaven. I had three quick beers and got a cab back to the hotel. What a great experience to end my Seattle visit.

Not sure what the place is like on a normal day, but I can not wait to get back.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Slightly biased based on my most outstanding visit here, but you will get the point. The beer is amazing. The owners do well both here and at Bottleworks to have a nice selection of Belgian beers on tap. I was just recently here for Big Wood and it was assertively the best experience I've had at this establishment. It gave me back some respect for the place, which I'd found lacking in some recent adventures.
The staff are not always friendly, and certainly not the bouncers, whom I cannot blame, truly, on Fridays and Saturdays, when the vibe does get douchey. However, Ian is a righteous dude, the bartenders as a whole, I will call solid caveatly (and I am damn sure that's a word). Really cool bottle list, ordered a BX amidst the Big Wood just cuz it was a sweet deal and I'd never had it. Spirit and all.
Food's awesome, bye the bye.

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is a mecca for out-of-town BAs visiting Seattle and this reputation is well-deserved. There are many reviews and I won't repeat these, but I will say (as far as craft beer is concerned) it doesn't get better than this.

It can get crowded in the evening and can be total mayhem for special, large events like HopFest, Back in Black, Big Wood, etc. but it's totally chill during the afternoon.

Get the pommes frites with the chipotle mayo. The entire food menu is good and Belgain-influenced. They smoke their own meat on a small deck just outside the kitchen.

Bartenders and waitstaff know their beer, especially the bartenders. Ask away if you have questions.

Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A little difficult to find for an out-of-towner, but well worth the trip. No easily readible signage, save for a small one over the door.

All decorated for Halloween when I was in. Huge spiderweb over the central bar area.

Separate bar for the single malts vs taps. Liked the serving windows for the bottle selection (an impressive selection at that) behind the bar, over the tap handles. Easy to see what was available.

3 beer engines, but only one running on my visit. Still nice to have that option at all for an east coaster.

Accurate print-out of the tap selection presented on arrival. Made it easy to navigate the available drafts. They do a decent job of updating the web site with new arrivals as well.

Service was ok, but a bit stand-offish. Definitely more interested in talking with friends and members of the opposite sex than serving patrons. Not bad, really, just a little slow.

Food was very nice. Happy hour menu provided lots of options at a reasonable price. Mahi sliders were very tasty, as was the chicken.

Definitely a good stop for someone visiting the area. Free parking abounds, at least when I was there.

Photo of CascadeConan
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Walking into a Brouwer's Cafe is like walking into a European underground cellar (intentional I'm sure). Lots of stone work and low lighting, seems like a pretty intimate setting but the noise level can go up on a busy night.

Now to the important part, the beer. There are 60+ taps constantly rotating and presenting every style you can imagine. I've heard they even cut new lines instead of cleaning between kegs, serious business. In addition to the taps there is a huge collection of bottles both domestic and foreign, of all styles and vintages.

The food isn't standard pub grub but simple none the less, from croque misures to falafel the menu is small but covers a lot of ground. On the reverse side is a small rotating menu of seasonal or event driven food. Most recently I attended an Alaskan Brewing Company night there and the menu featured smoked salmon with a savory ESB cheese cake and other fair that was geared toward pairing with Alaskan's beer.

The only low point I could find here was the staff, it took me quite a while to flag down a bartender that had visually acknowledged me several times but kept on moving. Once I sat down I started talking to some people about beer and put in my two cents to another bartender and it seemed to ease the tension and I was cool by association. From what I could tell the staff was very knowledgeable about the selection. For beer novices you may get the cold shoulder and be made to feel like an outsider, look at the beer menu and have something in mind with few questions.

Overall an awesome beer bar that should be an example for others of this level. Good food, good selection and one TV is good enough for me.

Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.