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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 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 Ficonblue
Ficonblue

Minnesota

2.48/5  rDev -42.6%
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.

09-23-2011 19:31:13 | More by Ficonblue
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo

Washington

2.9/5  rDev -32.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Brouwer's has a lot going for it but also has just as much if not more pitted against it. Many times you'll find that folks visiting Seattle love the place but us locals tend to avoid it.

Most of the patrons are not beer drinkers. Yes, that's fine, but since Brouwer's is set in one of the trendiest areas of Seattle it attracts tragically cool emo types and even worse, douche bag frat boys.

Also a product of the trendy locale is the shoddy service. Once we sat down it took about 15 minutes for a server to appear. Even then she couldn't answer basic questions about the drink menu. 3 times I ordered a 12oz beer and three times she returned with a full pint. The first time she did it I told her of the error and she still continued to make the same mistake. Yes, this is also after waiting a century for her to actually return with my drink.

They've got a pretty good selection (and yes, with as many taps as they have they sure as hell better have a good selection) but honestly I find a better range of options at many places boasting only a handful of taps. They stumble again when it comes to price. $5 for a 12oz glass of this years vintage of Hale's Rudyard's Rare? Ooook. Everything is wildly overpriced, enough so to make me go elsewhere when I'm looking to enjoy a beer. The food is also pretty expensive (and truthfully the food selection is not very plentiful) but each time I've eaten there I have enjoyed what I ordered.

My last visit to Brouwer's was my first visit in two years or more. Unless I hear that things have improved it's likely to be another handful of years before I go back.

04-06-2007 00:47:18 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of jaskiern
jaskiern

Washington

3/5  rDev -30.6%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$

I was certainly not a fan of the atmosphere. The setting itself just didn't do anything for me. And the music didn't blend in well with the background -- it was loud and wasn't very good bar music.

Brouwer's certainly has enough customer's that the beer is always kept flowing. I get the impression nothing is ever old. The fish seems pretty fresh also.

The service just barely existed. It took the bartender quite some time to get people their drinks, I don't really know how he managed it. It was quite a magic trick.

But the selection is where Brouwer's really stands out. They had ~50 taps with a strong focus on Belgian beer and food to go along with it. They only had 2 handpulls, which seems like a shame with that many taps. Considering the customers from the area, it seems understandable (unfortunately).

Beer and food seem a bit pricey.

I highly recommend reading BA <deeplennon>'s review of Brouwer's Cafe, they share many of my other sentiments regarding the bar. This is not the kind of place that I would visit regularly, but only when I really wanted some beer that I had difficulty getting elsewhere.

09-10-2005 09:20:07 | More by jaskiern
Photo of alfrantzell
alfrantzell

California

3/5  rDev -30.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$

Size isn't everything. Yes, Brouwer's has a multitude of taps. For that they get a 4.0 good rating. But there are five other fields.

The atmosphere is too cool. Not Tap House & Grill chilly, but definitely on the consciously hip side of craft beer bars. Despite wandering in here on both a Friday night and a weekday afternoon, I never warmed to it or it to me. This depends partly on the service, which was barely there.

Back to the selection: despite having 60+ taps, the selection at smaller bars in Seattle were more exciting. From their website I've seen they've had Boon on cask and Cantillon on tap, but wasn't there for that. I'd give them an A for effort, but that's not an available field.

04-11-2010 10:04:58 | More by alfrantzell
Photo of nkersten
nkersten

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$

I have been here a few times and I have really tried to like it. The food is good, but inconsistent, and it is a little overpriced for what you get. Quality is for the most part ok, but I have watched bartenders break glasses and not seem too concerned where the shards even went, let alone if they may have made it into one of the nearby beers they just poured.

Service is consistently terrible, right down to the management. There is one good server in the whole restaurant, and I have never seen her work anywhere other then the upstairs section. If you can get a table in the loft area, you will be happy with your service. Otherwise, all the other servers and bartenders I have dealt with are snotty and arrogant, and far from helpful.

Beer selection can be hit or miss too. When they get a good beer on tap, it usually doesn't last more then a few hours (even blind pig ran out on a Thursday), and the Belgian taps seem a bit on the expensive side. Not everything is overpriced, but its easy to tell when it is. And don't let the bottle list fool you; most of the rare beers on there they will tell you they are out of when you order it, and the ones they do have... Do you really want to pay that much for a bottle of La Folie? I expect to pay inflated bar prices, but some of their bottles are a little much.

Overall, Brouwers has far more hype then it deserves, and there are much better beer bars in Seattle. If you do want to go to Brouwer's I would definitley try to check it out on a weekday or afternoon.

03-21-2009 08:16:46 | More by nkersten
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4thoseabout2bock

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -21.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

This was our second visit to Brouwers. The first was last summer and upon trying to negotiate a beer order on our second visit last week we were immediately reminded of the first. This is decidedly NOT a beer geek atmosphere or clientele.

The beer menu listed a nice sampling of imports and some local brews, but when asked to describe the fresh hopped full sail vs the fresh hopped something else that were both available, our waiter was at a loss. When some beers are costing 8-10 a glass, this makes ordering a high risk proposition. And, it seems they are ANTI craft beer education. They are clearly not about the beer. They refuse to give samples and their servers are ill informed about the beer selection. Perhaps you can get better service at the bar during the day, but this is our second visit with the same bad impression. What a waste.

We did not get food this time, but on our last visit we did. One entree was fine but the other was subpar. Unless there is something on the taplist you are craving, Uberbar gets my vote as the go-to beer geek destination. Higher hit rate on taps, and much better service.

11-22-2007 18:35:37 | More by 4thoseabout2bock
Photo of Jodi215
Jodi215

Arizona

3.55/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

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.

09-04-2013 21:55:20 | More by Jodi215
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 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
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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.