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Brouwer's Cafe

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

123 Ratings
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.78%
Taps: 64
Bottles: 300
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ 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: 123 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bbtuna
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

bbtuna, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Mages64
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Mages64, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Kurmaraja, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of aullrich
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

aullrich, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of Fluffheady
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

Fluffheady, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of seasondek
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

seasondek, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of bram325
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

bram325, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Zach122
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Zach122, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of fourstringer
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%

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!

fourstringer, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

jaydoc, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Jodi215
3.55/5  rDev -18%

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.

Jodi215, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Abrengle
4.91/5  rDev +13.4%

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!

Abrengle, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of Smurf2055
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%

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.

Smurf2055, May 30, 2013
Photo of estlinska
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

estlinska, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of HardTarget
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%

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.

HardTarget, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of slander
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%

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!

slander, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of leedorham
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

leedorham, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of djbreezy
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

djbreezy, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

barleywinefiend, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of gkunkle
4.2/5  rDev -3%

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.

gkunkle, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of waltersrj
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

waltersrj, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%

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...

kingcrowing, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Ficonblue
2.48/5  rDev -42.7%

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.

Ficonblue, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of Flightoficarus
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

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!

Flightoficarus, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.72/5  rDev +9%

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.

DaftCaskBC, Sep 06, 2011
Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.