The Stumbling Monk
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 50
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 36 | Show All Ratings:
4.33/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped in on a business trip to Seattle. I'd been meaning to visit for a while now but they open at 6 PM so it's not a convenient stop after leaving meetings at 4 or 5 PM. But it was very quiet at 6:15 PM so I guess they know they have to wait for the crowd.
The Stumbling Monk is a small, unassuming corner bar that wastes little on decor and focuses heavily on the quality of the beer they serve. They don't offer the numbers that some pubs do but the quality is as good as any other. On tap, they had six true Belgians, five American brewed Belgians and one Chezc beer. I went with s Russian River Salvation and a Duchesse de Bourgogne. I really enjoyed the Salvation.
The two guys behind the bar were helpful and responsive. While not challenged by a crowd, I still thought they added to the place.
The Stumbling Monk is a great stop in the Seattle beer scene. It wouldn't say it's the best but it is certainly among the best.
10-16-2008 10:40:34 | More by GJ40
4.72/5 rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
The Monk is plain and simple the best beer bar in Seattle.
The vibe is variable: before 8:30 it's pretty slow, with a few people playing a game of Scrabble and others enjoying a beer while reading a book. After 8:30 the place suddenly fills up, gets much louder, and it can be a few minutes before you can grab a seat. The patrons are a combination of beer geeks and the 20 and 30 something artistic types that are common of the neighborhood. Overall, it's a great crowd - very few annoying drunks and no frat boys chugging PBR.
Quality is top notch. Most beer is served in it's appropriate glassware and the glasses are meticulously cleaned between uses. The taps are fresh and the lines are clean - you will not get any skunk here.
Service is prompt, polite, and as another review stated, "a bit unenthusiastic." The bartenders, who I believe own the place, don't seem to be natural extroverts... but overall are very helpful, nice, and will answer any questions you may have. Overall the service is much better than you'll get in most any place in Seattle.
Selection is about 12-14 well-thought-out taps, half from Belgium and the other half are North American Belgian styles. There is an extensive bottle list as well. The taps rotate pretty frequently, so there is always something new to try.
The prices are where the Monk really shines. The North Americans are usually $3-$4:50, and most of the Belgians are $6-$6.50. This is about $1 to $2 less than the other bars around town.
04-14-2008 07:06:43 | More by RoryGilmore
4.8/5 rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
I live about 4 blocks from the Stumbling Monk and work about 100 feet away. Approximately 30 feet east is a much more lively place, with 25 cent PBR happy hour. I didn't know the Monk was even there for the first 6 months I was working where I was, until a fellow beer drinker introduced me to it.
The owners/bartenders are great, very knowledgeable and easy going, will converse without talking your ear off if you like. One night I was walking the dog and stopped by and they insisted I brought her in with me and she sat on the booth with me.
The selection for a bar is very nice, I can always walk in and see something new, as they change their taps out a couple times a month and the bottles change pretty often as well. They have the proper glassware for each beer, and charge the same price you will pay at the store for a beer, so it is very reasonable.
I am quite fortunate to live so close (and in Seattle I'm also neither up nor downhill from it so it's a flat commute), and can't imagine going anywhere else as I have no worries about designating drivers etc.
01-10-2008 21:26:59 | More by boognish523
4.46/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is amazing. As a capitol hill native, I find my self stumbling home from this great taphouse at least 2 days a week. The two bartenders are also the owners, they are polite and extrememly knowledgable, they're clearly beer geeks as well.
Great selection of Belgian and North American beers. 10 or so great beers rotate regularly on tap, and theres about 30 bottles to chose from. All beers come in their proper glassware. There's even a pile of back issues of Beer Advocate that you can read while enjoying some delicious beer.
Prices are great for the quality. Sometimes there's some killer bargains. For example, they served pints of New Belgium's La Folie for $4. I went there EVERY DAY until that keg was gone, lol.
The beauty of this place is in its simplicity. It's a taphouse, nothing more. If you're not a beer nut this place isn't for you, don't go if ur a frat guy looking to buy a pitcher of pabst. But if you love good beer, you MUST visit this place.
12-19-2007 20:50:05 | More by GAPit
4.66/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The stumbling monk is a really nice place to stop into before or after a show at many of the places on capitol hill that has music. A small but very nice selection of Belgian and Belgian style taps are the main attraction here. For what you get the prices are very reasonable in this part of Seattle. As others have mentioned parking can be a challenge, but if you get to the area right around 6 it isn't much of a problem since many of the no parking areas become free parking. Or was that 5, I seem to have forgotten, guess that isn't such a helpful tip after all.
This place is all about the beer, no food or music, just lots of local capitol hill types and great beer. If you are ever in the area this is a place you should stop by.
06-19-2007 05:55:37 | More by Ruddiger
4.59/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped here after our second Elysian trip. It was dark and we literally almost walked right past.
Coolest atmosphere of anywhere we visited while in Seattle. Very neighborhood bar feel, with cozy seating and friendly clientele.
All the beers were very fresh and served in appropriate glassware.
Prompt service, though a bit unenthusiastic.
The selection isn't huge here. Something like ten beers on tap. Mostly Belgian themed beers. The really great part is that you can tell someone took the time to carefully pick out the beers and put together a limited, but excellent draft list.
04-06-2007 20:47:38 | More by nortmand
4.41/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stumbled in here after visiting a couple of other spots on a Friday night. Like many places in Seattle, if you're not familiar with the street "grid", it may be a little hard to find.
Layout is fairly bare-bones. I think the space may have been a laundromat in a previous life. Not much on the walls, concrete floors, and a long bar lining most of the interior wall. the focus is definitely on the beer here. About 20 Belgian beers (and American Belgian interpretations) available on draft, and about 30 to 40 bottles available. All beers are served in proper glassware if possible, which is a big plus. Had only one round with the ladyfriend, but we were there long enough to get a feel for the place. Staff is knowledgeable and work their asses off on crowded nights. Didn't get to try the food or look at a menu. Didn't matter, I'd come back here for the selection alone. Even if it's wall-to-wall crowded, check this place out. It's a great bar, by beer lovers, for beer lovers.
12-29-2006 09:03:12 | More by ElGordo
4.38/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
So it's late in the evening on a Tuesday at the tail end of my latest beer vacatio... ummm, business trip to Seattle. I've hit all the places I wanted to hit over the past couple of days: Brouwer's, Elysian, Elliott Bay, Pike, Collins; but for some reason, I hadn't made my way up to the Stumbling Monk. Perhaps it's because I live in New York, and I don't really need to see a Belgian beer bar in another city. After all, I'm here for the hops, right?
My recommendation to you, weary traveler, is to not make this mistake as I almost did. Stumbling Monk is a slightly taxing walk up E. Olive Way from the downtown area but oh so worth it. I'm sure there is a bus or something that drops you off nearby.
Anyway,the bar is tucked into a clearly "cool kids' area of Seattle, feels a bit like a collegetown actually. easy to pass by if you're not looking hard for it. Entrancs is right on the corner though. Fairly nondescript atmosphere -- not bad by any means, just kind of low-key, dark, interesting "whatchamacallit" knick-knacks and such, a la Spuyten in New York, though not nearly to the same extent (though there is an old-timey bicycle hanging on the back wall). Upon entering, a few tables and a bar with stools to the right in the window, and several more small tables scattered down the left side of the room. Bar is in the back right corner, and it's actually tiny -- maybe 8 seats -- but there is a nice open area right in the middle of the place, so when it gets crowded here, I imagine there's enough room.
Excellent service from start to finish. Funny, for such a small bar and dead night, they had two bartenders working, but the one that took care of me was pleasant, not too chatty though a good conversationalist and, most importantly, attentive to my beer needs and able to discuss the selection intelligently and without snobishness.
The beer menu here is excellent -- probably 12 or 14 taps, almost all Belgian, and a small but tight and focused bottls selection, which includes a few more local non-Belgian-style ales (think Dick's, Elysian, etc.). I had, on draft, a Saison Dupont, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Unibroue Chambly Noire, and some kind of incredible lambic (forgive my forgetfulness), and my bill was somewhere in the neighborhood of $20, so you tell me what you think of the pricing. As for the apropos name of this place, I certainly stumbled home.
A must stop for any beer lover in Seattle.
11-13-2006 16:15:28 | More by bultrey
4.14/5 rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hit this place up when I was in Seattle earlier this month, my friend lives right down the street. This is truly a great city to drink beer in.
Looks like nothing from the outside, you could easily walk past without noticing it. Inside, it looks like someone's parlor or oversized living room, with a short bar, some tables and wooden booths. No music being played, just a lot of people gabbing, so it can get a bit noisy. But even on a Friday night, it isn't packed to the gills.
About 10 taps, mostly Belgian with a couple of local micros mixed in, and about 20 bottles. But the selection was diverse and well thought out - I had a Saison Dupont on tap, plus bottles of Petrus Old Brown Ale and St. Bernardus 12. But what really stuck out was the price of the bottles. I paid just $6 for a bottle of St. Bernardus. Maybe that's the New Yorker in me talking, but that's at least $2 cheaper than at a comparable bar in NYC.
Nothing fancy about this place, just a low-key spot to drink quality beers and chill out for a night. Really, that's all I'm looking for. I only wish I had a place like this down the street from me.
10-31-2006 05:53:32 | More by bklynbeerbaron
4.16/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in one evening on suggestion. Atmosphere was more pub-like than anything else. If you are here, it is for the beer -- not pool, music, food, etc. Beer selections looked to change fairly frequently, as they were listed on chalkboards. Selection was outstanding. I was sad that it was the end of my evening, and I did not have much capacity left. I enjoyed a Moinette and a Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale. Both were served in appropriate glassware and were quite enjoyable. If I ever make it back to Seattle, I will be sure to come back here.
08-16-2006 19:39:48 | More by
The Stumbling Monk in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.