Brouwer's Cafe

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Brouwer's CafeBrouwer's Cafe
168 Ratings
Brouwer's CafeBrouwer's Cafe

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(206) 267-2437 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005

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Ratings: 168 |  Reviews: 109
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Brouwer's Cafe is an unbelievable place. It is decorated and constructed like a continental European hall and has a beer list that would make even some of the most jaded Beer Advocates salivate. Their beer list even has a number of aged beers of different vintages. Other than the prices, my only complaint was that the service wasn't as good as some other places. Servers were busy, but not as attentive as they could be.

Regardless, any time in the future I am in Seattle or passing through I plan on visiting Brouwer's Cafe. I honestly wish that there was a place like this in Vancouver, because it puts even the best gastropubs in Vancouver to shame.

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Photo of jALEson
4/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I just can't say enough good things about this place. I am from TX and was in town for a brief stay before heading to OBF. Had read about it being a recommended bar in several beer mags and had to go. Was NOT disappointed! The bar itself is in a great neighborhood with several places of interest (shops if you are bringing the wife who doesn't want to sit in a bar). The layout is modern with seating on an upper floor that looks down at the bar. The bar itself is wonderfully llit to showcase taps and bottles. Cannot remember how many beers were on tap, but that list, as well as the bottles, was extensive and impressive. The food menu had an eclectic selection and my table enjoyed all that was ordered. We were there on a Wednesday night and it did not seem too busy, but our server seemed rushed and not eager to help us with question. Other than that blip, we had an excellent time and of all the different beer bars I hit in Seattle and Portland on this beer-cation this was my favorite.

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Photo of reymic
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Had a great time at Brouwer's on our recent trip to Seattle. Stopped in for two beers, the highlight was definitely the Cascade Apricot Ale (sour). The bar is unique, very high ceilings with a view of all of their tap handles and bottles through glass cases. Really impressive to see how they store their bottles and kegs from a seat at the bar. The bar looks really new and clean and bright lights, if you're into that kind of thing. I prefer my bars a bit darker and with a bit more character, but I digress.

The one thing that drives me crazy about any bar, is when the beer list only lists out by the beer name and doesn't include the beer type, style, ABV, type of glass, etc. Maybe I am just used to how it's done on the east coast, but I found it annoying to have to pull out my iphone to google what kind of beer a Double Mountain ClusterF*ck beer was. I guess this is a way for you to get to know your bartender and have them lead you in the right direction, but sometimes I would rather just make up my own mind. I am also quite the hophead, so was disappointed by the lack of IPAs and hoppier beers on the draft list. This is just the beer geek in me shining through, this place was great.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.6/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I must say, this is my favorite bar in the U.S.

I lived in Seattle for four years and have been to Brouwer's numerous times, and I'd say that this bar helped me on my way to beer geekdom.

This is a huge open style beer hall with beautiful design, much of which was done by the Matts themselves. The homage to Belgium is great, even with a mini manican pis at the entrance. This place can get a bit crazy on a Friday/Saturday night, but otherwise great.

Taplist is extensive and high quality across the board. They have it sorted well and it rotates often, often with leftovers from the previous event. No matter how many times you go, there will be something you've never had on draft. But don't stop there, the bottle list is truly top notch. Not many places can you walk in and get Bottleworks anniversary beers, barrel aged HOTD brews (matt, cherry adam, etc) or a bottle of Berserker. Just incredible, with reasonable prices.

My one gripe against this place is that they wouldn't let us in for my bachelor party a few years ago. Granted, it was about 12 guys on a Friday at about 8pm, but they made us wait and wait before telling us that we couldn't come in. We were planning on getting a bottle or two of their large format magnums or jeroboams, but they wouldn't let us in. As much as I love Brouwer's, this is still a sore spot for me. So just be aware on a Friday or Saturday night.

Finally, go to a Brouwer's event (sourfest, Back in Black, Big Wood, etc.). These tap lists are ridiculous and I've spent hours and hours at these events and will swear by them. Spend the day, eat some great food, and you'lll have a memorable event. Brouwer's, I miss you. Hope to see you soon.

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Photo of GradyS1
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place really exceeded my expectations. I was there on three different occasions over memorial day weekend, one of them just happening to be the sour fest. It is alot bigger than I expected it to be, sat upstairs once and at the bar the other two, I really enjoyed the layout. I was very impressed with their bottle selection. Various Cantillon, drie fonteinen as well as Midnight Sun and specialty bottleworks and Brouwers beers. We had a goat head cheese dish during the sour fest...and fries the other times, traditional Belgian cafe menu for the most part. Most of what I had was on tap was 5-6$ for a standaed pour pint or tulip, some of the stuff during sour fest was more, up to 9$, as expected. I had a lost abbey Brouwers Imagination 2009 (awesome) for 25$ and an Arctic Devil (equally good) for 19$. I thought that was a fair price for both of those bottles from the bar.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went here for the first time today and I was impressed.
To begin, this place is quite nice on the inside. Lots of dark wood and high ceilings. Plus a large case of bottles.
The selection was good with over 20 taps and dozens of bottles with a nice mix of styles. I ended up getting a 12oz snifter of 2008 abyss for 4 dollars because of happy hour.
The service was alright but at least they were friendly.
The food was Belgian inspired bar fare and it turned out pretty tasty.
Overall I loved this and will stop by any time I am in the area.

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Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went with my lovely wife while visiting the mother-in-law this weekend.

Atmosphere. Outside looks a little warehouse-like, as others have mentioned. Inside is mostly wood, very high ceiling, kinda dark. Big tables in the middle with a few booths around the outside.

Quality. Top notch beer selection on tap, and in bottles. Different styles seemed to be correct temperature and served in appropriate glasses.
Service. Server was friendly, but she seemed too busy. Didn't see much of her, but was helpful with deciding.

Selection. Big bar with huge display case coolers full of bottles. Taps easy to see in front of coolers. Around 25 beers on tap with a great selection of Belgians, locals, and other US and international selections, with most styles represented.

Food. Menu was a little limited, but all good stuff using quality ingredients.

Value. $4 or $5 for most pints or appropriate servings of bigger beers. Food was a little pricy, but good quality and decent servings.

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Photo of psiweaver
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Brouwer's which is owned by the same people who own bottleworks has a great selection of beer on draft and in bottles. This includes all sorts of interesting rarities and large bottles. Like Bottleworks though the staff can sometimes have an attitude. I've found that if you sit at the bar generally you get poor to mediocre service but if you sit at a table the waitresses are generally much nicer and more helpful.

The food tends to be very good and I like that they adjust the menu for special events to pair well. Its mainly upscale pub food with a focus on using Beer as ingredients in most of the dishes.

Overall this place is fun to go to as long as you know that frequently the service will be awful. The selection and quality makes up for it.

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Photo of MuttKDC
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

While taking a short Northwest trip, I decided to go to Brouwer's Cafe and it was one of my highlights.

I ended up being there on a Tuesday midday.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere was breath taking. This is an elegant two story bar. On your way in you are welcomed by a water fountain statue of an angel. The place resembles a cabin with great wood and metal finishes. They also had Frank Sinatra bumping on the speaker (not typical for a bar, but def enjoyable). Picnic seating, and loft tables are available. This can be a setting for a great first date.

Service: the main bartender, I think her name was Amanda, was not rude, but she made me feel like she was doing me a favor for doing her job. I think other reviews point out this same issue. Yet, the runner and the manager of the place were extremely enjoyable.

Food: the food was awesome, hands down my favorite thing about this place. I had the Brouwer's mussles (made with St Bernardus 12 beer) and a side of the fries. Completely great!

Beer: awesome bottle selection, and good taps available. Although the main bartender was not really enjoyable, she did know her beers.
Overall I would come back to this place, should I be in the Seattle area again.

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Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A coincidentally well-timed business trip allowed me to make two visits. The first one was for lunch a couple of days before HopFest. The tap list was slim pickings as they were running down the taps for HopFest. The exceptional bottle list beckoned (HotD Matt, Bottleworks selections) but other commitments made this a bad call at 2pm. I "settled" for a fresh Pliny the Elder. Tasty food and pleasant service made this a nice stop.

After a quick trip out of town, I was able to stop back for HopFest. At 9:30pm there was still a line to get in, though it was only 5 deep so I got through the door after only 5 minutes.

Amazingly, the crowd was comfortable, not the made crush I expected. I was able to get a beer in 3 minutes and a seat at the bar in about 10. Great service, a ridiculous list of hoppy beers, I was in heaven. I had three quick beers and got a cab back to the hotel. What a great experience to end my Seattle visit.

Not sure what the place is like on a normal day, but I can not wait to get back.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Slightly biased based on my most outstanding visit here, but you will get the point. The beer is amazing. The owners do well both here and at Bottleworks to have a nice selection of Belgian beers on tap. I was just recently here for Big Wood and it was assertively the best experience I've had at this establishment. It gave me back some respect for the place, which I'd found lacking in some recent adventures.
The staff are not always friendly, and certainly not the bouncers, whom I cannot blame, truly, on Fridays and Saturdays, when the vibe does get douchey. However, Ian is a righteous dude, the bartenders as a whole, I will call solid caveatly (and I am damn sure that's a word). Really cool bottle list, ordered a BX amidst the Big Wood just cuz it was a sweet deal and I'd never had it. Spirit and all.
Food's awesome, bye the bye.

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is a mecca for out-of-town BAs visiting Seattle and this reputation is well-deserved. There are many reviews and I won't repeat these, but I will say (as far as craft beer is concerned) it doesn't get better than this.

It can get crowded in the evening and can be total mayhem for special, large events like HopFest, Back in Black, Big Wood, etc. but it's totally chill during the afternoon.

Get the pommes frites with the chipotle mayo. The entire food menu is good and Belgain-influenced. They smoke their own meat on a small deck just outside the kitchen.

Bartenders and waitstaff know their beer, especially the bartenders. Ask away if you have questions.

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Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A little difficult to find for an out-of-towner, but well worth the trip. No easily readible signage, save for a small one over the door.

All decorated for Halloween when I was in. Huge spiderweb over the central bar area.

Separate bar for the single malts vs taps. Liked the serving windows for the bottle selection (an impressive selection at that) behind the bar, over the tap handles. Easy to see what was available.

3 beer engines, but only one running on my visit. Still nice to have that option at all for an east coaster.

Accurate print-out of the tap selection presented on arrival. Made it easy to navigate the available drafts. They do a decent job of updating the web site with new arrivals as well.

Service was ok, but a bit stand-offish. Definitely more interested in talking with friends and members of the opposite sex than serving patrons. Not bad, really, just a little slow.

Food was very nice. Happy hour menu provided lots of options at a reasonable price. Mahi sliders were very tasty, as was the chicken.

Definitely a good stop for someone visiting the area. Free parking abounds, at least when I was there.

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Photo of CascadeConan
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Walking into a Brouwer's Cafe is like walking into a European underground cellar (intentional I'm sure). Lots of stone work and low lighting, seems like a pretty intimate setting but the noise level can go up on a busy night.

Now to the important part, the beer. There are 60+ taps constantly rotating and presenting every style you can imagine. I've heard they even cut new lines instead of cleaning between kegs, serious business. In addition to the taps there is a huge collection of bottles both domestic and foreign, of all styles and vintages.

The food isn't standard pub grub but simple none the less, from croque misures to falafel the menu is small but covers a lot of ground. On the reverse side is a small rotating menu of seasonal or event driven food. Most recently I attended an Alaskan Brewing Company night there and the menu featured smoked salmon with a savory ESB cheese cake and other fair that was geared toward pairing with Alaskan's beer.

The only low point I could find here was the staff, it took me quite a while to flag down a bartender that had visually acknowledged me several times but kept on moving. Once I sat down I started talking to some people about beer and put in my two cents to another bartender and it seemed to ease the tension and I was cool by association. From what I could tell the staff was very knowledgeable about the selection. For beer novices you may get the cold shoulder and be made to feel like an outsider, look at the beer menu and have something in mind with few questions.

Overall an awesome beer bar that should be an example for others of this level. Good food, good selection and one TV is good enough for me.

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Photo of TheStove
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

In my opinion this is an undisputed must try in Seattle. Whether you're looking for a good experience in West Coast brews or are looking to go global, this is definitely the place to go.

The atmosphere is great. Nice long black bar that stretches the length of the place. Plenty of room for you to belly up and gaze at all the beautiful taps and bottles sitting behind the bar. 5pm on a Sunday is primetime to visit as there is plenty of space at the bar with a veritable pick of seats. Might seem a little too polished for some but the dark feel and decoration appeal to me.

The format at Brouwer's makes it truly an excellent beer tasting and drinking bar. You receive a glass of water automatically upon ordering. Additionally they have two different pouring sizes, either a 8 - 12oz smaller pour or a 12 - 16oz. standard pour (depends on the beer) which is optimal for letting you try a reasonable amount of a beer without getting yourself into an entire glass. Additionally the prices aren't bad either with nothing local to the West Coast (WA, CA, OR, CO) coming in over $5-$6. As it this wasn't good enough, the "power hour" (essentially happy hour) has these beers at $1 off. When all was said and done I enjoyed 4 glasses of craft brew for a mere $15.

The selection is beyond amazing. Again, at least a handful of beers from each of the West Coast states including random selections here and there from other states. Huge list of Belgians and bottles (both craft and Belgian) that if you can't find something to drink here then you must really have some specific tastes. Of the 60 taps about the only "standard" things I could find were Guinness and Stella.

An excellent beer bar that I don't think I'll be able to get enough of.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.6/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Came here with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Seattle. It's a little bit out of the way if you're staying downtown, but worth the trip.

It's a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. Dark and spacious, with all the tables and chairs made from heavy wooden slabs. The bar had more tap handles than I could count. When they brought out the leatherbound beer menu, I was floored. This place has everything!

Started with BFM Abbaye De Saint Bon Chien on draught, which I've never seen before. It's hard enough to get in bottles! It was the bottom of the keg, so I got it for free. We ordered a great sampler platter with cheese, cured meats, and pickles.

Got a few things off the bottle list, but I couldn't get everything I wanted. There are some really expensive bottles. Also, the list wasn't very current. Twice I ordered a bottle and was told by the waitress that the price had gone up. In one case it was double the price listed!

Aside from that, I was pretty impressed with Brouwer's. Theo's Chocolate is right across the street, so be sure to stop there for some free samples!

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Photo of Conrad
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Thanks to Beer Fly, this was my stop on passing through Seattle. The decor was covered by previous posters, and I have nothing to add, except I love the Brughel pictures of beer geeks of the 17th century.
The menu was very pleasently diverse for a beer bar. I had the cheese plate and wifey had a chicken sandwich of some kind. I wasn't paying attention, as I was focussed on the beer. I could not sample too many, because I was driving. However, they did have the Alaska Smoked Porter. MMMmmm. My new favourite porter. We were there on a Sunday at 5 p.m. and had attentative service. The prices were acceptable, considering. When you are on holiday or travelling, you get a different, more lenient philosophy on spending. Anyway, if I were a Seattle resident, this would be a regular watering hole for me as much as my budget would allow. Three thumbs up. Or glasses up.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Expansive bar in the Ballard neighborhood. Took us about 30 minutes from downtown at 3:00 pm on a weekday, not including a trip around a drawbridge. Lots of traffic. Parking was not the easiest either, a very busy area for whatever reason.

The bar itself is wrapped with an industrial vibe with stone, wood, and iron in the interior. A mezzanine afforded extra seating and theres a large wall with stone-like work to warm up the place.

A long bar with many taps and rows of glass front coolers that face you. Bottles right behind the glass and sporatic beer signage and past event promos about the place also.

The multitude of taps somehow failed to impress me with a lot of standards for the area available, and zero rarities. Very dissapointed that there was only one sour on tap, Echt Kreikenbier (albiet a good one). The bottle menu had plenty to choose from but the prices for anything rare were ridiculous.

Our bartender was attentive enough although far from friendly, and after two beers and 40 minutes of a continuosly blaring Rod Stewart mix we were ready to leave.

Kind of an impersonal, generic feel to the place even given the very cool interior. I'll just never understand why the owners of most bars are never around to bring the experience to the next level.

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Photo of alfrantzell
3/5  rDev -31.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Size isn't everything. Yes, Brouwer's has a multitude of taps. For that they get a 4.0 good rating. But there are five other fields.

The atmosphere is too cool. Not Tap House & Grill chilly, but definitely on the consciously hip side of craft beer bars. Despite wandering in here on both a Friday night and a weekday afternoon, I never warmed to it or it to me. This depends partly on the service, which was barely there.

Back to the selection: despite having 60+ taps, the selection at smaller bars in Seattle were more exciting. From their website I've seen they've had Boon on cask and Cantillon on tap, but wasn't there for that. I'd give them an A for effort, but that's not an available field.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.9/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been here many times, only recently realized that I've never reviewed them.

The atmosphere is nice, I love their building, I like the layout and the location. I never have trouble with parking because I can walk from my brother-in-law's place. Music is usually within my taste (although it can vary quite a bit), but loud enough to cramp conversation a little bit.

Quality is very high -- they definitely know their beer, they have great beer, and they have a great tap selection and an unbelievable bottle selection, whatever your taste is.

Service, unfortunately, is usually not very good. They have a few friendly servers, but most of them are aloof and some of them are downright rude. They're usually pretty slow, even when they're not crowded (one time, it took them 15 minutes to ask for our order, another 10 minutes to inform us that one of our selections was out, and another 15 minutes to deliver the beer we ordered instead -- that's extremely poor).

Food is good (I really like their fries), and the menu seems to change pretty frequently. Everything is moderately expensive (not prohibitively expensive), but it's almost impossible to beat the selection.

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Photo of johnyeast
4.38/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Really loved everything about this place. I would highly recommend and although I only spent about two hours there, I cab confidently say it was one of the best beer bars that I've ever been in. Cool decor. Very comfortable. Outstanding beer menu. Great food, that fit with the atmosphere. The staff were knowlegable and attentive and friendly. I wish that I was staying around Freemont so I could have spent more time here. I imagine a very cool, rainy day, spending the good part of an afternoon and evening here With a short walk or ride back to my accomodations, because I could consume a lot of beer here. My advise. Go here.

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4.38/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Well , we popped up to Seattle for my buddies 40th. Me and my buddies wanted to get out on the town before the next day's party. We went to Browers on a Friday around 5.Very small sign out front and you could easily miss this place if you have had a few before going here. It was about 85% full. The bar has a 2 level horseshoe shape to it. The bar itself is a great setup, tap handles all the way down against the back wall with glass behind. Behind the glass is many bottles . Great view!!
Service was a little hit and miss. We had a great girl and a lousy guy server. But as for the beer. Being from VEGAS .This was heaven
drank RR PUBLICATION $6.00 12OZ
Great time's would go back on next visit

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Photo of hops1337
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Went in here on a Sunday afternoon, the place was basically empty. I like all the stainless steel and the huge bar. We got good service but we were basically the only people in there. The beer selection in here is as good as anywhere Ive ever been. We had DFH world wide stout and Hair of the Dog blue dot in the bottle, St. Bernardus ABT 12 on draft and few others i cant recall. The tap list was great but the bottle list was unbelievable. They had Lost Abbey, Cantillon, Hair of the Dog, Mikeller, Russian River and a shitload of others i cant recall. The beer was expensive but i don't think it was ridiculous, considering the incredibly diverse selection. Thanks to Bo for showing us around Seattle and to J for picking up the tabs... Cheers...

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Photo of tang3nt
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went here on a recent trip up to Seattle for my birthday. The decor is really cool with a industrial feel to it. The stuff they have on tap was ridiculous. All kinds of Belgians, on tap! Their bottle list was also amazing, with just about anything you would want. I ended up getting my first Dogfish Head 120 there! I was so excited. The food was also amazing. The only downfall of this place was the service. I was warned by a friend that lives nearby, that the service always sucks and without all these amazing beers they wouldn't ever return. But yes the service did suck. There was only 1 barkeep/waitress there!!! She kept bring us the wrong beers, and disappearing forever! All ina ll I would love to return here next time I make it back up north. A must.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

depends on when you go. you can get the fuck off shoulder if its crowded and they don't know you or you can sit at the bar on a sunday afternoon with a very, very knowledgeable and helpful and friendly bartender.
the food is always good, not really great, but also interesting belgian-american stylus.
selection sucks. obviously. and don't go to any of their awesome festivals either. not big wood, or hard liver, or the ipa. i'll suffer for everyone.
pricey yeah, it happens. we drink good beer, we get used to it.

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Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
Place rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 168 ratings