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Brouwer's Cafe

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

122 Ratings
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.81%
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: 122 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
slander

New York

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%

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
Photo of John_M
John_M

California

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%

Have been to Brouwers a few times now, most recently for the 2007 Hard Liver Festival. The fact that Brouwer's would hold something like this tells you a lot about the folks that run this place. They are very serious about good beer.

The funny thing is, from the outside the place really doesn't look like much, looking almost dumpy. However, once you walk inside it's as if you've entered some other world. This place is pretty upscale and is very nicely decorated. It's fairly dark inside, though you can see around OK. There is a downstairs and upstairs dining area, with a very long bar downstairs. Both the food and beer menu are pretty ambitious, with usually 10 to 15 Belgiums on tap, along with any number of local craft beers. Brouwers also has an outstanding selection of bottled beers, with once again an emphasis on Belgiums.

The times I've been here I've invariably gone with the Croque Monsieur (sp?) and the frites, which are outstanding here. Yeah, it's a bit pricey, but at least what they serve is excellent. Beer prices are also a bit on the high side, though certainly not outrageously so considering what you are getting. The times I've been here service always seem to be a bit slow and I'm not entirely sure why. Granted, it seems as if this place is usually packed, but they seem to have plenty of staff. I just don't get it.

No matter, this place is just outstanding. Monk's West??? It's an accurate enough descrption.

03-20-2007 18:38:59 | More by John_M
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

02-13-2014 03:11:29 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%

Our first stop on our Saturday afternoon beer journey. A very interesting looking building, very industrial-like, with minimal decor outside besides a large mural of the old-school griffon. Once inside though, a whole different story. What a gorgeous space. Open floor seating with large wooden tables, and booths along the side. Natural light shines down through the windows in the roof. Stone facades dominate the walls. Beautiful bar area with tap handles displayed nicely, and also a windowed refrigerator displaying the bottle collection. There is also an upper deck seating area that rims the room, looking down on patrons below. Best lay-out I have seen in a long time. Our server was good, prompt with the beers, but a bit too prompt with the food as we were still working on the app. Food was amazing. We had a cheese stuffed mushroom for app, and I had the bison carbonade stew, and my wife had the open faced turkey sandwich. Delicious. The beer selection was insane. There was a draft list given to us, with about 70 choices. Twelve or so Belgians on tap, and at least 55 American beers on tap. This is the kind of place that I have been looking for in Seattle: a place that has a stellar selection of Northwest brews. I went with the Baron Brewing Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock, and my wife had the Big Time Brewery Coal Creek Porter. Both great choices. The bottle list was presented to guests in a leather bound booklet, which was extremely unique. Food pricing was very reasonable, and draft prices were decent. The bottled beers prices seemed a bit high, but that type of selection does not come cheap. I am so glad that we finally made it over to Brouwer's Cafe. This easily ranks as one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.

12-24-2008 20:45:58 | More by morebeergood
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

12-27-2010 19:20:05 | More by sholland119
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

I tried Bouwer's while in Seattle on business. It's a Belgian inspired pub with a nice Belgian lineup and Belgian style decor. The working Makenikin Pis statue at the door welcomes you and the selection of beers keeps you inspired. They have some great ones on tap including all of the standard Belgians and some NW beers as well. I really enjoyed the Laughing Dog Black IPA. The have many more bottles displayed nicely in a refrigerated room behind the bar.

The atmosphere is great. It's got an industrial feel with a high ceiling, a large bar, solid wooden tables and a surrounding balcony of tables overlooking the main room. It's very relaxing and conducive to drinking beer.

The food is very good as well. We had the Cheese Platter and Steamed Clams and they were both nicely done.

Brouwer's is a great place for beer and one of my favorite stops in Seattle.

08-27-2008 05:20:46 | More by GJ40
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.98/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

01-21-2012 12:48:17 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.66/5  rDev +7.9%

located in the fantastic fremont neighborhood...stopped in after dinner at ray's boathouse (a few miles away)

this rating will be inflated for the fact that it was HopFest 2008 or something along those lines.

the room was open with high cielings, tons of bar space and booths, with a few couches even for lounging.

The selection was a hopheads absolute dream. if i could give it a 6, i would. I had the Walking Man HomoErectus but the selection of 60 taps were all IPA's/DIPA's with rare exception. Other selections included RR Damnation, Dogzilla Black IPA, countless other washington/oregon IPA's and DIPA's. It was impossible to make choices and i felt i could have stayed here for weeks and been happy, but drunk. The tap list went on and on and there were just pages and pages of bottles with a heavy belgian focus. I think i picked the perfect time to stop in on this gem.

We did not eat.

Service was a little spotty but it was quite busy.

10-06-2008 18:05:14 | More by dirtylou
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%

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 BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

02-07-2014 05:01:53 | More by BillRoth
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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.