Brouwer's Cafe

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

105 Reviews
Brouwer's CafeBrouwer's Cafe
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

400 N 35th St
Seattle, Washington, 98103-8607
United States

(206) 267-2437 | map
www.brouwerscafe.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005

PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
163
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
9.4%
 
 
Taps:
64
Bottles/Cans:
300
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 163
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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!

 5,052 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Howlader
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Erik-P
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of dwagner003
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Best bottle selection I've ever seen. Bottles that I didn't even know existed anymore. Bottles of 2008 Deviation? Really? Draft list is huge and very good quality. I am looking at the bottle list in awe. It's staggering.

 220 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of brewskifan55
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Glad I got to make it over to this Rock Star of beer and food. Right across from a chocolate shop, so you can get dessert when you're done. Brouwer's is dimly lit, with 2 stories of coolness, eclipsing an old German beer hall. Great tap area featuring lots of hard to find offerings. We shared a Hopworks Under Pressure (Woodford Reserve barrel aged) a barrel aged Floggin Noggin, and the coup de grace, a Bravo 30 Year Bourbon Barrel Aged from Firestone Walker. Then the food came. My Cuban sandwich was awesome and my wife's seafood salad was equally delicious. Our server was patient with our food and beer choices and very helpful with suggestions. This was an early afternoon lunch, so the crowd was light. But I can only guess the masses when the sun goes down.
Make Brouwer's a must when you hit Seattle. You won't forgive yourself if you miss it.

 868 characters

Photo of domdomdomdom
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of IPAchris
3.81/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Damn good food, with a damn good selection of damn good beer! As other reviewers have mentioned, the place is not well-lit, but this goes well with the overall decor. Personally, I approve of these choices. The staff look pretty hipster, but I have no reason to complain about my interaction with any of them.

 312 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.36/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Has a real neckbeard dungeons and dragons vibe to the place, its dark, like the dude's from bottleworks prolly hang out here and listen to death metal and grindcore.

Quality is phenomenal, they really have always had a real impressive tap and bottle list, not to mention hosting some rad beer fests.

Lots of coolers, old school wooden tables, barely lit.

 360 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of Mehinaman
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Best selection of beers on draft and in bottles in the Seattle area, though I should mention you can't buy bottles to go. In one sitting I had Cantillion Iris and Hair of the Dog Cherry Fred. In short, this is beer nirvana and the food is very good as well. If you come on the weekend though prepare to deal with major crowds. If you can try and come during the work week at lunch time. And if you need some suggestions as to what beer to choose ask the staff as they are as friendly as they are knowledgeable.

 510 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Located in a nice spot between the Ballad "Beer District" and the Fremont area, this beer destination is lively, fun, and tasty. Primarily a Belgian tint to it, Brouwer's is fun for any beer drinker really. Deep bottle list and wide ranging taplist with the tasty food (try the Lamb Deluxe) make it a great place for lunch or dinner when in Seattle proper.

 356 characters

Photo of Beervana
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of kristinc
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Photo of ccnorthwest
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

I almost rated this place perfect. What really makes this bar stand out more than others is really the bottle selection for on premise drinking. They have countless sought after bottles you can purchase. Their rockfish and chips are amazing along with their sausage & kraut. The bartenders were kind and provided outstanding service. You must check out this place if your near Fremont.

 385 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.36/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Ajlvt
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

World class place. One of my favorite bars in the US without a doubt. Amazing selection, the food is awesome (get the Cioppino), service always friendly and prompt. Great vibe. What more can you ask for?

 203 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Stopped in here while in Seattle and was blown away by the list of beers. The cellar list is incredible, with amazing stuff from Firestone Walker, Fremont, Hair of the Dog, and many many others. Vintage Cantillon as well. Prices were on the higher side for bottles, but that's also what keeps them around for someone like me to drop in and splurge on something I won't see at home. Food was solid, service was excellent. Up there among the best places I've ever been for beer.

 476 characters

Photo of Highbury09
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of ShaneTheWalrus
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
96 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.
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