The Stumbling Monk

Not Rated.
The Stumbling MonkThe Stumbling Monk
BA SCORE
96
world-class

48 Ratings
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: 50
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar ]

1635 E Olive Way
Seattle, Washington, 98102-5612
United States
phone: (206) 860-0916

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Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: drewbage)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fsck
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

A bar any Belgian fan in Seattle needs to go to. Every beer is top notch, always finding new beers I love. Atmosphere is very minimal, just bring friends and enjoy the best beers you can find. No food served, but you are free to bring anything or order delivery from the menus they have. Staff is super knowledgeable and you never have to wait for a beer.

Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I love Seattle, plain and simple. Seattle is like a good well worn pair of jeans you can't wait to put back on. I get this feeling from The Stumbling Monk. This small place has Belgian and Belgian-style breweriana covering the well worn walls. It has low mood music and no TVs. Gives a good atmosphere to have real conversations within. They mainly serve Belgian and "Belgian-styled" beers (only of the highest quality). Speaking of quality, watch how well they clean the glassware. The bartenders I spoke with had top-notch knowledge of the brews they serve - very impressive. Out of all the bars I went to on my Seattle trip, I enjoyed this one more than any. Mostly locals and that is all for the better. The prices were very reasonable. I highly recommend this place.

Photo of HardTarget
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Atmosphere: A small corner bar, seems ancient, vinyl seats have long ago shredded, Mostly clean hard wood table lacquered and aged supported our enthusiastic choices.

Quality: All beers in fresh good working order. Taps seemed clean and well rotated.

Service: The good man tending the bar was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful with suggestions and information. Didn't allow us to have a sample before making our order, but an understandable policy.

Selection: This is a Belgian bar, a wormhole between Seattle and Brussels. I had Gregorius, the 8th Trappist brewery from Austria. There's aged Rochefort 8 from 06 on the menu. While the offerings are very heavy on Belgian styles, there are a few hometown offerings.
I had cask Elysian Dragonstooth Oatmeal Stout on cask which was most enjoyable. You would be hard pressed to find many bars in Belgian with this kind of selection of Belgian offerings.

A great bar!

Photo of nortmand
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of LilMatrix
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A little hidden Belgian bar in plain site. No big flashy sign out front ... just some steamed up windows.

Great chill place to hang out and grab a great Belgian brew at very reasonable prices. $1-2 less than other bars around the area. They specialize in Belgian brews as well as some local NW stuff. Very decent selection, wonderful atmosphere... no blaring music (no music at all actually), games to play, nice ppl.

Way more chill than Brouwers and not as pretentious, this might be my new favorite place.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Went to to this place last night and was not dissapointed.
It is a bit of a hole in the wall, its dark and kind of dirty, but its quiet as they don't play music, and they don't have a TV. This bar has a very laid back atmosphere which is really nice.
The service was alright not great but not bad.
Now to the beer. The selection here was excellent with lots of Belgians on tap or in bottles plus it was all served in correct glassware.
The prices seemed reasonable for what you were ordering.
Overall I really liked this place. It is really quiet place whither great beer where one can spend a few hours relaxing with great beer.

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of LBittman
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of dipso123
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of fourohstudent
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Now this is my type of drinking establishment! Small place with sparse breweriana covering the walls. Low music, so you could hear what the other people at your table had to say. If you like Belgian beer this the Spot to go in Seattle. Brouwer's has nothing on this place. The Monk is cheaper and a more friendly place. It only has about ten or so taps, but everything on them is exceptional. If for some reason you can't find anything on tap the bottle selection shouldn't pose the same problem. It was the kind of placce that you could bring some of your school books and study while having a refreshment. They've got lots of boardgames and the like, which is a nice change from darts and a pool table. The waiter was more than willing to answer any of my questions, and the regulars seemed to know a thing or two as well. Tucked away in a non-touristy area keeps the rif-raf to a minimum. Enjoy!

Photo of strongaf
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TheBungyo
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Most places where you can find Belgian beer, its far more expensive than here. Each time I have visited they've had great stuff on tap. Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru, La Chouffe, Gouden Carolus Noel, N'ice Chouffe, and many others. Each time I have ordered, I get a rinsed glass that is also the proper glassware for the drink. If one of the 10 or so taps don't suit you, there seems to be a wealth of bottles to choose from, the majority of which are Belgians. The bottles can be a bit pricey (but then when aren't belgians expensive in or out of a bar?) but they even offer non belgian fare, such as Fish Tale Leviathon and many others. No food is offered but the area is rich with places that are within walking distance to fill the ol' belly after downing some quality beers.

Photo of GAPit
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

-GAPit

Photo of sprucetip
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I had a long layover at Sea-Tac. Like get a room and hit the town long. So after heading out to Brouwers in Green Lake, I returned to downtown and walked up toward Capitol hill and the Stumbling Monk. If I lived in Seatle, the Stumbling Monk would be my bar. The atmosphere is reminiscent of local a neighborhood pub in Belgium, to some extent. Dim lighting. spacious when I was there, late on a Thursday. Not pretentious or fancy in any way. Books and board games stacked here and there. I believe there are two owners, who are also the barkeeps. Only one, Rob, was there the night I was. There were about 12 taps and an extensive if not prodigious bottle list. Everything was very high quality, and all taps were either Belgian or Belgain style. There was one local-ish cask beer, Dick's IPA for 3.50 a pint or 10 per pitcher. Where I live in Alaska you can't get a pint for less then $5. An approximately 12 oz pour of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale was $6.50. The same was $10 at Brouwers, for comparison of value. Rob indulged in my beer geeky conversation and questions. Ask him to tell you his story about riding a motorcycle through Germany and coming upon a town called Ayinger. There is no food served, but plenty of options within a stones throw of the place. For the beer geek visiting Seattle, this place is a must. And if you live in Seattle and haven't been there, you are missing out.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A: Nice, dark and laid back. I almost thought the place was closed on a SUnday evenining because it was so dimly lit. Good, laid back vibe. I dug it. A selection of board games for people to play, old wood. Cozy.

Q: Nothing but good stuff here. I had the DuPont Saison. Offerings from Cascade and locals were there as wellas a good Belgian selection

S: Our server was nice, prompt and talkative. He took the time to talk about beer scenes with us.

S: Selection was very good.

F: No food there, just beer! But with beer this good who needs food. Order in.

Photo of ElGordo
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of ojiikun
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Monk is presently a tiny little corner shop that you would never notice if you hadn't heard about it here. It almost appears as if they also own the adjacent space, but decided not to use it as part of the bar.

Furnishings are amazingly minimal. Bar seats about 6, additional sidebar seats 3, about 3 tables for 4, a table for two, and 3 boots that might sit 4 if you're very close friends. Light is daylight during the day and a few small lamps at night. Potentially a very dark place. Bathroom is dark and small, but clean.

At any given time there are about 8 - 10 beers on tap, usually 50% belgian and 50% domestic belgian-style beers. Bottled selection is about 2 or 3 dozen beers and lambic. No food is served, save a few stale-looking bags of chips hanging on a wall. I've frequently seen patrons bring a pizza, a sandwich, etc. without complains from the barkeeps.

The bartenders are quiet, aloof, but fairly knowledgable if you can get them to open up. They'll provide the designated offcial glassware if they have it, which is about a third of the time. I've never had a beer that wasn't fresh, but I do think they serve some brews a little cold.

The prices are good to average, but for the selection, it's the best you could hope for in the city. You can tell that the managment decided to go for selection and price over furnishings, and for that The Monk wins.

Photo of bultrey
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of trail77
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

...super austere and minimal beer geek's dream... a few earthy booths and stools at the bar... chill choice tunes and a small but excellent selection. prices were totally reasonable... not noisy... no wifi, homey and intimate... made conversation with the bar tender who was a super rad dude and we connected on the mid-west, which is where we are both from... a must stop for anyone "beer-geeking" in Seattle... maybe a bit too obscure for the casual/non-adventurous/green craft brew drinker, but a rad stop for anyone who wants a cozy spot and a really delicious, smart brew... focus on the smart brew... the house knows their stuff... slightly aloof, but I appreciate that... minimal, discreet exterior, across from the most amazing vegetarian noodle shop ever: http://inthebowlbistro.com/

!!! DO THIS !!!

Photo of flagmantho
4.35/5  rDev 0%

I have been wanting to visit the Stumbling Monk for years now, so now that I work in the area I made it a point to finally check the place out. I arrived shortly after opening at 6 PM and was the only guy in there for half an hour, so I had a good conversation with the staff (who'd been there since 1998 and 2001, respectively, so could be the owners for all I know). There are only about 8 taps available, but what is on tap is quite good; the bottle selection, though, is outstanding. Magnum of Rochefort? Check. 8 year verticals? Check. Sours, quads, saisons, tripels; it's a fool's paradise in there. Prices on the taps and the rarer bottles are a little on the high side, but for the most part the bottle prices are quite rasonable for a bar.

The atmosphere is dark and old and kind of dusty. It's kind of divey, but I think that atmosphere works great. Most of the other patrons who showed up sat at solitary tables, reading books and sipping goblets of top-echelon beer. One couple came in and got a cider and a Stella, respectively, so there is something for the non-snobs too. I will definitely be going back.

Photo of GJ40
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of gboyd
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I found this place on a recent visit to the area. I went in open minded and was happy with my experience.

It was around the holiday blizzard, so it wasn't very busy. The draft selection was small, but a good list of Belgians & Belgian styled ales. The bottle list wasn't huge, but again a very good list.

The place was kinda hole in the wall but kitschy...in a good way. The neighborhood kinda seemed like a college area, lots of Chachi bars in the surrounding blocks.

The bartender was attentive and easy to talk to. Again we were his only guests, but he made the effort to engage!

Photo of arondee
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

If you're a beer geek in Seattle, this is the place to go. Located on Capital Hill, the clientele is a little err "alternative". It's a dark little hole in the wall with board games and books at the front door even including the Bible and the Dictionary if the mood strikes you. The rare beer quality here is nothing short of amazing. The day I was there (7/27/2012) they had Pliny the Elder on tap and bottle, a 2000 bottle of Gales Prize Old Ale, various Belgian bottles from 2004-2006, plus about 5 different sours including the best from Russian River. They had some amazingly rare stouts and all sorts of other stuff as well. The selection was awesome and the prices were reasonable considering how rare some of the stuff was. I don't think they have food and if they did I don't think I'd eat there. The bathroom was pretty gross as well. I'll be visiting every time I go to Seattle.

Photo of crowbar540
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of nobelk18
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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The Stumbling Monk in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.