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The Stumbling Monk

Not Rated.
The Stumbling MonkThe Stumbling Monk

38 Reviews
Reviews: 38
Visits: 50
Avg: 4.33
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: 50
Cask: Y
[ Bar ]

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

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Place added by: drewbage

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Visits: 50
Photo of robertfulwiler
4.72/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Monk has the perfect atmosphere for me. No loud music, no TVs (probably the only bar in Seattle I can think of without one) and really good beer. Taps are always rotating, and every time I come in there is something new I want to try- even if its only been a couple days. The pricing for beers is always great- well within reason.

The bartenders are usually a little quiet, but they are all real good guys and extremely knowledgeable if they open up a little bit.

They don't have food for sale except some potato chips, but you are free to order delivery or bring your own.

My favorite place to go out to in Seattle, hands down.

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Photo of RoryGilmore
4.72/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of hpitlick
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

The Stumbling Monk is the quintessential beer bar: all beer, no pretension. They have a great selection of bottled and draft beer, with 10-12 rotating beers on tap and probably 50 more in bottles. It's mostly Belgian-style ales, though they have decent domestic offerings too; everything from what you expect (Chimay, Dogfish Head, etc) to some of the smaller local guys.The atmosphere is no frills: no food (but you can bring your own), dim lights, low music, but it's clean, reliable and a good place to talk with friends or play a board game. Even if it wasn't just around the corner from where I live, I'd probably still drink at the Stumbling Monk.

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Photo of boognish523
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of TheStove
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Easily one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.

Such a relaxed atmosphere and if the conversation isn't doing it for ya, there are plenty of games and books to enjoy.

The real reason we're here is for the beer and Stumbling Monk does not disappoint. They only have about 8 - 10 taps but each is something I definitely have not seen anywhere else including Mephistopheles, New Belgium Imperial Beliner, Dick's Grand Cuvee, Ommegang Zuur and a few more (I wish I could remember them all, boo). If none of thsoe do it for you, then there is definitely an extensive bottle list, certainly one that could keep any Belgian and Microbrew beer lover happy.

I can't say enough about this place and maybe that's a good thing. You need to come here for yourself and enjoy.

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Photo of deeplennon
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

An incredible bar that seems to have been wholly underlooked by the Beer Advocate faithful.

I was just there tonight and the current on tap selection was as follows.


St. Bernardus 12
Chimay Triple
Duchesse De Bourgogne
La Chouffe
Foret Organic Saison

North Americans:

Monkfish Belgian Triple
Far West Dubble
Dick's Triple
Dick's Silk Lady

Unbelievable selection of Belgians AND Maudite all on tap and all, unbelievably, for $5 or less a glass in proper brewery glassware. This place is mecca for belgian beer lovers in Seattle. They also have about 30 different bottled beers (on hand, 80% of which are belgian including all five of the six belgian trappist brews (no Westvleteren, big surprise) and much more. Nearly all bottled beers are $6 except for the few domestic offerings and La Fin Du Monde which is a steal at $2.50. For the record there's no kitchen but outside food is welcome (and commonly seen), it opens at 6pm daily.

5/23/06 Edit: all taps are rotating (and frequently so) except for the following: Stella (they have to have one lager..), Hoegaarden & Chimay Triple. Besides those three there are two brewery specific rotating taps for Unibroue & A'Chouffe. Monkfish triple has also been there a damn long time, but doesn't have permanent status.. though may soon. (Side note Last time I was there they had Unibroue's new Chambly Noire on tap and it is an incredible experience and about 5x's better than the bottled version, maybe Unibroues best effort ever when on draft, go now quick!)

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Photo of rdespain
5/5  rDev +15.5%

The beer here is amazing and the only thing for sale in the bar besides the occasional bag of crisps. Food is welcome. The atmosphere is so cozy. No loud music. No overpriced beers. No pretension.

This is one of my favorite bars in the world. I have been in Seattle now for the past few years and am going to miss it now that I am moving away. Rob and Chris are both outstanding guys.

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Photo of mrunseen
5/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This has to be my favorite place in Seattle to go and grab a brew.

I am a bit biased here, since my beer tastes fall towards that of the Belgian ales, so this place is absolutely perfect for a guy like myself.

The bar itself is dimly lit with adequate seating in booths and tables. There are a variety of board games (chess, checkers, battleship, crib. etc) available to make your own as you sip your brew.

The selection of beers, as I alluded to earlier, are mainly of the Belgian variety. The tap list is split two ways, between Belgian ales and more often than not, Belgian "style" ales. There is also a hefty selection of bottled beers as well.

As mentioned in previous reviews, there is no food offered at this establishment aside from bags of chips. This is fine by me, since you can bring your own food in if that's what you're looking for. I am usually fine with just sipping on some select ales.

Again, probably my favorite local place in Seattle to grab a tasty brew. Another nice touch, is the glassware that compliments the beer that you happen to be drinking.

I would highly recommend checking this place out if you're interested in Belgian beers.

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The Stumbling Monk in Seattle, WA
95 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.