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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: 9.66%
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

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: drewbage)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 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 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 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 Ruddiger
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of robertfulwiler
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of RoryGilmore
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of hpitlick
4.74/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of boognish523
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of TheStove
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of deeplennon
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Belgians:

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

North Americans:

Maudite
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!)

Photo of rdespain
5/5  rDev +14.9%

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.

Photo of mrunseen
5/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of brien
5/5  rDev +14.9%

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