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Brouwer's Cafe

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Taps: 64 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
96
world-class

117 Ratings
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.57%
$$ - 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: 117 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheName
TheName

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

Stopped in for their Hopfest and hadn't been in quite a while. Previous experiences hadn't been terribly impressive but I found a good time that night.

Service as of 5pm was good if a little brisk. Our waitress gave us far too long before taking a beer order and then refused to bring three of us more than 3 schooners at a time--how were we supposed to try the 25+ new beers? She said something about how strong the beers were; meh. Eventually she relented and surprised us with another round. Kudos to her.

Food was prompt and very tasty. Halibut was cooked and breaded excellently and the cajun turkey was a spicy revelation, the perfect match for a nice bunch of hops.

We ended up shifting to a table outside where the waitress was very courteous and attentive, serving us schooner after schooner until well after 1. Nobody seemed to mind us ripping hops off their decorative bines to add to some of the less exciting beers and everyone accomodated the spirit of the fest.

Prices were reasonable and our tab was not outlandish for finishing a taste of every new beer. Generally, however, I have found them moderate to high.

In short, Hopfest was a great time. Easily the best experience I've had at Brouwer's. Prior experiences have found the majority of people working a branch of the meat-market centered on a few blocks in Fremont along with less than knowledgable and far from friendly service. Scores reflect this.

I'll definitely pop in now and again to find new beers and I'll definitely hit Hopfest next year. But that's about it. Give me Beveridge any day.

08-28-2006 21:35:23 | More by TheName
Photo of Tbone
Tbone

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

Went to Brouwers on Sunday night. The selection was very very good.
They were having their Christmas in July event, and had some nice winter beers on tap, plus a strong selection of Belgians and local microbrews.

We had a new york strip steak cooked to a proper medium-rare and the tomato-stuffed tomatoes.
The steak was prepared well. It came with fries that were done well (crispy) and had salty but tasty seasoning. The caprese stuffed green tomatoes (green tomatoes stuffed with red tomatoes and mozzerella) were a bit disappointing, lacking much basil and the mozzerella was poor quality and minimal. We should have ordered the mussels, but weren't in the mood.

We tasted Maritime beers Jolly Roger (scotch -- very malty sweet) and Imperial IPA (also very good, but not very imperial). We also had Elysian Bi-Frost (ok), and Scaldis Noel.

The service however was a problem. Our waitress was knowledgeable but unfortunately her shift ended at 10. After that we needed to order at the bar. I asked for a taste of a beer then ordered one, later I asked for a second taste prior to ordering my next beer. The bartender, acting like serving me was a great burden upon his yapping with his buddies, told me "Just so you know, I'm not supposed to give tastes, but I'll give you one more". Either he was lying and thus even a worse bartender, or the owner has a pretty dumb and short-sighted policy.
I find the latter hard to believe, given the owners clear devotion to good beer evidenced not only by Brouwer's selection, but that of Bottleworks which has thed same owners. I'll probably drop the owner and email about it.

08-02-2006 03:52:57 | More by Tbone
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.45/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

This is a beer heaven. I used to live in Seattle a few years ago... and I lived about 10 blocks away from this place. But it's a good thing that it wasn't around when I lived in there, because I probably would have spent way too much time at this great place.

The selection is great, and the quality is top notch. Glasses are cleaned, and beers are served in the proper glassware. I was able to try a couple a great beers that I had heard of, but couldn't get from home, Dogfish Head and Great Divide brews.

My only knock on this place, was it kind of felt a little "stuffy" inside... a little too fancy.. But that is about the only thing that I can think of as a negaitve... this place is wonderful.

07-29-2006 19:19:56 | More by flexabull
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

This place is awesome! A bit off of the beaten path on 35th and fremont but close enough to the action and just 2 blocks away from a bus stop with buses that run right downtown to the business district. The atmosphere is cool, this place is big with 2 floors and wide open spaces, high ceilings, etc. This is a nice warehouse conversion for sure. The quality and selection of beers is unreal and I settled down with some dry hopped dicks double ipa, maritime pacific double ipa, silver city whoop ass, and some new belgium erics ale (peche lambic). Anyways, the beer is fresh, tasty as hell, and served in 20oz pints, iirc. Service is fast, knowledgable and with a smile, and the tenders' are quick to comp you a few if you tip well and hang out for a while. If you want to switch it up a bit try the 'washington state apple' shot/mixed drink. Fan-freakin-tastic. I had an excellent evening here whilst waiting for my bus accross the border to Vancouver. Highly recommended.

07-06-2006 23:35:10 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Svejk
Svejk

Washington

4.88/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$

The Pacific NW is home to a LOT of great beer establishments. Between Seattle and Portland, there are countless fantastic places to stop in for a pint. To stand out in a region like this, a pub or bar needs to be really special. Brouwer's is the main jewel in Seattle's crown. From the Mannequin Pis that greets you at the entry to the moules frites and waterzooi on the menu, Brouwer's pays homage to the beer mecca that is Belgium, and adds a decidedly NW theme to the list of beers on tap. In addition to the 50 or so beers on tap, there is an enormous variety of bottled beers to choose from. Brouwer's definitely isn't the cheapest place to stop for a pint, but the selection, location and atmosphere make this a "must see" place for anybody who is serious about beer.

06-16-2006 08:33:48 | More by Svejk
Photo of weizendoc
weizendoc

California

2.08/5  rDev -51.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$$

I had high hopes of enjoying an evening imbibing at Brouwers when I was in Seattle last weekend. I lived 2 miles down the street from this place from 1991-1996, but of course it didn't exist then. Anyhow I was pumped (and thirsty).
Got there around 8 on a Thursday night. No immediate seating available, but plenty of standing room and some loungy kind of seats up near the hostess desk. My buddy and I approached the end of the bar where one bartender seemed to be paying attention. We waited patiently there for 5 minutes while he made several passes BS'ing with those seated around us. Never making eye contact or acknowledging us. So, I went down to the other end of the bar. He passed me by 2 or 3 times again, and numerous waitresses didn't offer to get me anything but kept on saying 'excuse me', 'Excuse Me'. Finally I asked the guy if I could order some beer. This semi-long-haired douche turns to me and says he's "very busy and will get to me later!"
Well, it wasn't THAT busy and I've definitely seen alot more hustle, ability and good attitude from bartenders at, say, The Yard House or even a TGIF!
F*ck this place!!! It's everything I used to hate about Seattle. So cold, unfriendly, too caught up in its momentary eccentric popularity to be real. Don't waste your time or money here! F'in bunch of pr!cks!!!

06-06-2006 05:35:33 | More by weizendoc
Photo of eallured
eallured

Wisconsin

4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I live down in Tacoma but have made many Monday night trips up to Seattle for the sole purpose of visiting Bottleworks for their $1 tasting and a dinner at Brouwers. From the outside it looks like a wharehouse and is painted in dark colors that kind of blend into the neighborhood. There is ample parking on the surrounding streets. If you are having trouble finding the front door, look for people smoking cigarettes, thanks to Washington's indoor smoking ban, the doors of bars are always easy to find.
The inside has an industrial feel but with warm wood bars, one a beer bar that runs 3/4 the length of the dining area, which is pretty large. There are around 60 tap, usually w/ about 25 American beers (usually local West Coast brews) 25 Belgians and 10 Canadian/German/Other. There are a couple of hundred different bottles, but all are way overpriced.
The food may seem a bit on the expensive side, but the portions and the quality of dishes are worth the price.

05-22-2006 05:11:38 | More by eallured
Photo of Tupperwolf
Tupperwolf

Washington

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$$

Brouwer's does not have a sign or any real markings that describe what it is - it's a large building just offa popular street, but if you didn't know what it is, you probably wouldn't take time out of your day to walk inside. That kind of marketing (word of mouth) could work very well, or could flop.

When I went here, I was by myself, and had to work my way, somewhat uncomfortably, past a crowd of young, hip Seattle punk/emo kids. Entrance is via a huge wooden door, and the establishment is based on one large room. To the left are large booths, in the center are long tables suitable for crowds of 5-20, and to the right is the bar. Upstairs, a balcony rings the room, set up with smaller tables. Dark, gothic, but not intimidating; Inside were several groups, from another tableful of the young and dyed, to a group of older fellows who I could distinctly see sampling one another's beers and taking tasting notes on their coasters.

I bellied up to the bar and gazed in wonder at the line of taps - some fifty, sixty taps, many of them Belgian, as well as an entire wall full of bottles. This place is run by Bottleworks, so of course the selection is good...

I ordered myself a plateful of fries (with some fancy Belgian name) and a glass of Lucifer - it was poured into a Lucifer glass (the glass collection is intimidating) after a quick spritz with a high tech water/sanitizer squirter under the taps. The selection is awesome, but the prices high - There's no way I could really enjoy a night out drinking tap Belgians at eight to ten dollars a glass, as good as the beers are. Other brews were priced more reasonably, but don't expect the deal of a lifetime.

All in all, it was a refreshing experience, and would be a great place to go on your birthday (when everyone else is buying :)

03-01-2006 01:20:57 | More by Tupperwolf
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

Re-reviewed 9-18-06 -- I don't known what else a person would want in a beer bar. Quite possibly the best in the US. I don't have many more details here, but let's just review my drinking list there over the past two nights: Walking Man malt liquor, Big Time Cask IPA, Dick's Imperial Bitter, Maritime Pacific Porter, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, draft St. Bernardus Abt 12, bottle of Hanssen's Framboise, Walking Man Perambulator Weizenbock. Food is exceptional for a "beer bar." Lots of fresh local ingredients and organic foods, with an adventurous twist on pub food. The atomosphere, which is anything but "intimate," is probably the biggest knock against it. Any beer advocate in Seattle must finda way to make it here.

Original review 12-05-2005 -- Visited this place on a Tuesday night, I think, on a recent beer... uhhh, business trip. It was one of my must-stop bars according to Beerfly and some locals, and boy, were they right. If you're driving, as I was, this makes a nice trio along with Maritime Pacific and the Bigtime Brewery and Alehouse -- all are essentially a short drive from one another along the waterfront of Lake Union/Salmon Bay.

Run by the same owners of the great Bottleworks store just a little north of here, this is a tricky little bar to find if you're not from the area. Unless you approach it from the correct direction, the door is not readily apparent, and the place itself looks like a warehouse on the outside. Well, it's got space of a warehouse on the inside, too. An absolutely huge place... when you walk in, the downstars table and booth area is on your left, as is the long beer bar at the far end of the room, and another tiny bar tucked in the corner that seems devoted to whiskeys, etc. There is also a staricase that leads up to a second floor that borders the entire place and looks down on the main level. The atmosphere is really interesting -- very modern/goth, with lots of deep red and black, steel railings, giant leather chairs and bar stools, etc. It's a bit cold and uninviting, and seemingly better for large groups than single barflies, but honestly, it's a cool space nevertheless. Furthermore, out of all the smoky places in Seattle, this one seemed to bother me the least, maybe because the big space diffused the smoke, or maybe because it's well-ventilated.

Ponied up to the bar alone, and my illusions of 'uninviting' were quickly shattered by a friendly bartender, can't remember his name now, but was eager to chat about the beers, and opened up even more when he learned I was a BA. Offered me plenty of free samples, and guided me through the extensive hoppiness of their draft list, which even by PacNW standards had some crazy-ass hop bombs on there. It also had a good selection of other brews, too, mostly local, as well as several Belgians and Belgian-style ales, a few Germans, really just about everything. I'd estimate about 25-30 on draft. If you've ever been to the Gingerman or Barcade in NY, the drafts are presented in the same way: it appears as if all the kegs are situated in a temperature-controlled room directly behind the taps, so there must be very short tap lines delivering the beer to a stainless steel facade of beer tap beauty. Everything just looks so clean and sterile, which again, is a bit of a knock against the atmosphere, but a really great thing if you want freshness and quality in your beers. That same back keg room doubles as bottle storage, and above all the taps is the bottle colletion, neatly organized so you can see the labels looking out from behind glass doors. You just really have to see this setup. Awe-inspiring. And the bottle list is fan-frickin-tastic, too, rivaling Spuyten Duyvil and focusing mostly on Belgians. I believe they must update it regularly on their website, so check it out. You won't be disappointed. Everything is served in appropriate galssware, by the way. Of course it is.

The food -- well, the food is actually quite impressive for a beer bar -- very original takes on pub grub, with high-quality ingredients. Again, check the menu on the website. I had bacon-studded Gruyere and Emmental croquettes (awesome), followed by a marquez sausage sandwich, with some roasted red peppers, chipotle mayo, and frehs mozzarella. I could only finish half -- took the other half home and enjoyed it the next day. Prices for beer and food were very reasonable.

This might be my favorite straight-up beer bar yet. It may not have the comfort and coziness of, say, a Spuyten Duyvil in NY or a Horse Brass in Portland -- but when it's time to get serious about the beer, and grab a nice bite, come here.

12-05-2005 17:04:41 | More by bultrey
Photo of masikon
masikon

Washington

4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$

A buddy who lives in the area brought me here to pre-funk before a concert. He had no idea what an amazing establishment this is and neither did I at first. The building is unnassuming and industrial located in fremont. Upon entrance the bouncer was typically arrogant while checking my I.D. and giving me the once over (i'm only 21). Walking in the patrons seem happy and talkative with a few small groups at the lower floor tables but most people were at the bar. Once i got to the bar i realized I was in for a treat, a HUGE row of taps lining the wall (over 60 i believe) with an additional 150 more brews available in bottles. Dissapointedly I had to leave after less than an hour and only 2 beers but I vowed to make it back there at least once a month. A highlight of the Seattle beer scene.

11-30-2005 03:42:55 | More by masikon
Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.