Brouwer's Cafe


106 Reviews
Brouwer's CafeBrouwer's Cafe

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(206) 267-2437 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2005

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 164
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

Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Have been to Brouwers a few times now, most recently for the 2007 Hard Liver Festival. The fact that Brouwer's would hold something like this tells you a lot about the folks that run this place. They are very serious about good beer.

The funny thing is, from the outside the place really doesn't look like much, looking almost dumpy. However, once you walk inside it's as if you've entered some other world. This place is pretty upscale and is very nicely decorated. It's fairly dark inside, though you can see around OK. There is a downstairs and upstairs dining area, with a very long bar downstairs. Both the food and beer menu are pretty ambitious, with usually 10 to 15 Belgiums on tap, along with any number of local craft beers. Brouwers also has an outstanding selection of bottled beers, with once again an emphasis on Belgiums.

The times I've been here I've invariably gone with the Croque Monsieur (sp?) and the frites, which are outstanding here. Yeah, it's a bit pricey, but at least what they serve is excellent. Beer prices are also a bit on the high side, though certainly not outrageously so considering what you are getting. The times I've been here service always seem to be a bit slow and I'm not entirely sure why. Granted, it seems as if this place is usually packed, but they seem to have plenty of staff. I just don't get it.

No matter, this place is just outstanding. Monk's West??? It's an accurate enough descrption.

 1,452 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I tried Bouwer's while in Seattle on business. It's a Belgian inspired pub with a nice Belgian lineup and Belgian style decor. The working Makenikin Pis statue at the door welcomes you and the selection of beers keeps you inspired. They have some great ones on tap including all of the standard Belgians and some NW beers as well. I really enjoyed the Laughing Dog Black IPA. The have many more bottles displayed nicely in a refrigerated room behind the bar.

The atmosphere is great. It's got an industrial feel with a high ceiling, a large bar, solid wooden tables and a surrounding balcony of tables overlooking the main room. It's very relaxing and conducive to drinking beer.

The food is very good as well. We had the Cheese Platter and Steamed Clams and they were both nicely done.

Brouwer's is a great place for beer and one of my favorite stops in Seattle.

 866 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 1,017 characters

Photo of morebeergood
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Our first stop on our Saturday afternoon beer journey. A very interesting looking building, very industrial-like, with minimal decor outside besides a large mural of the old-school griffon. Once inside though, a whole different story. What a gorgeous space. Open floor seating with large wooden tables, and booths along the side. Natural light shines down through the windows in the roof. Stone facades dominate the walls. Beautiful bar area with tap handles displayed nicely, and also a windowed refrigerator displaying the bottle collection. There is also an upper deck seating area that rims the room, looking down on patrons below. Best lay-out I have seen in a long time. Our server was good, prompt with the beers, but a bit too prompt with the food as we were still working on the app. Food was amazing. We had a cheese stuffed mushroom for app, and I had the bison carbonade stew, and my wife had the open faced turkey sandwich. Delicious. The beer selection was insane. There was a draft list given to us, with about 70 choices. Twelve or so Belgians on tap, and at least 55 American beers on tap. This is the kind of place that I have been looking for in Seattle: a place that has a stellar selection of Northwest brews. I went with the Baron Brewing Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock, and my wife had the Big Time Brewery Coal Creek Porter. Both great choices. The bottle list was presented to guests in a leather bound booklet, which was extremely unique. Food pricing was very reasonable, and draft prices were decent. The bottled beers prices seemed a bit high, but that type of selection does not come cheap. I am so glad that we finally made it over to Brouwer's Cafe. This easily ranks as one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.

 1,744 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A: My initial visit was for Hard Liver #8. Initially it left a bad taste in my mouth but given the circumstances I decided to go back. Since then I have been back nearly half dozen times both on weekends, weekdays and for other events like Back in Black and Big Wood. The atmosphere is a dimly lit area downstairs, very much tavern like but everyone seems to be in their own bubble and very clickish. I have never been able to grab a seat at the bar due to a constant crowd. Overall, the atmosphere is pretty good.

Q: Very good but some of the WA beers they choose to make the draft list are a bit questionnable at times.

S: Service was rude and bad on my initial visit but since then I have not had any of those issues. Service is slow at times but that is my biggest complaint.

S:Fantastic bottle list but you will pay a hefty mark up on some of the bottlesw. Draft selection is awesome but my ony issue is that they tend to focus on a handfull of breweries to rotate from and some of them are not amongst the best. The Belgian draft is awesome. Most PAC NW'ers still have yet to embrace the Belgian beer and what it has done for the world, the beer community in general. Brouwers could easily be the best beer bar in America if they amped up the American draft list a bit and tweaked the service.

F:Food has always been pretty good, one time I did receive the wrong itme and was charged fo it after I snt it back.

 1,421 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.66/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

located in the fantastic fremont neighborhood...stopped in after dinner at ray's boathouse (a few miles away)

this rating will be inflated for the fact that it was HopFest 2008 or something along those lines.

the room was open with high cielings, tons of bar space and booths, with a few couches even for lounging.

The selection was a hopheads absolute dream. if i could give it a 6, i would. I had the Walking Man HomoErectus but the selection of 60 taps were all IPA's/DIPA's with rare exception. Other selections included RR Damnation, Dogzilla Black IPA, countless other washington/oregon IPA's and DIPA's. It was impossible to make choices and i felt i could have stayed here for weeks and been happy, but drunk. The tap list went on and on and there were just pages and pages of bottles with a heavy belgian focus. I think i picked the perfect time to stop in on this gem.

We did not eat.

Service was a little spotty but it was quite busy.

 951 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

I went to Brouwers today, finally. I feel it is ridiculous that as a Seattle-area citizen I had not been there before.

Atmosphere here is fantastic, a beer lover's dream. It's basement-dark inside with all dark wood installations, and the whole back wall behind the main bar is refrigerator cases full of their amazing bottle selection. Sixty beautiful taps line up to fulfill your every desire; I could probably just hang out inside and look at the place as an end in its own.

I had an Avec les Bons Voeux on draft in an Avec les Bons Voeux glass, and a Snipes Mountain saison in an appropriate saison glass (you don't see those around too much). Service was excellent, as the bartenders there seem to really know their beer. Beer selection focuses on Belgium and Washington State, but there are a few other craft beers on tap, mostly from the western U.S.

I had the croque monsieur with frites and was not disappointed. I will definitely be returning here to sample more of their extensive tap list and try some Belgian stew.

 1,036 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.81/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 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.

Food: Get the Stoofvlees. One of the best things I've ever eaten. Ever.

 293 characters

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 francisweizen
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome! A bit off of the beaten path on 35th and fremont but close enough to the action and just 2 blocks away from a bus stop with buses that run right downtown to the business district. The atmosphere is cool, this place is big with 2 floors and wide open spaces, high ceilings, etc. This is a nice warehouse conversion for sure. The quality and selection of beers is unreal and I settled down with some dry hopped dicks double ipa, maritime pacific double ipa, silver city whoop ass, and some new belgium erics ale (peche lambic). Anyways, the beer is fresh, tasty as hell, and served in 20oz pints, iirc. Service is fast, knowledgable and with a smile, and the tenders' are quick to comp you a few if you tip well and hang out for a while. If you want to switch it up a bit try the 'washington state apple' shot/mixed drink. Fan-freakin-tastic. I had an excellent evening here whilst waiting for my bus accross the border to Vancouver. Highly recommended.

 974 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is a beer heaven. I used to live in Seattle a few years ago... and I lived about 10 blocks away from this place. But it's a good thing that it wasn't around when I lived in there, because I probably would have spent way too much time at this great place.

The selection is great, and the quality is top notch. Glasses are cleaned, and beers are served in the proper glassware. I was able to try a couple a great beers that I had heard of, but couldn't get from home, Dogfish Head and Great Divide brews.

My only knock on this place, was it kind of felt a little "stuffy" inside... a little too fancy.. But that is about the only thing that I can think of as a negaitve... this place is wonderful.

 703 characters

Photo of Goldorak
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

We made decent time from Victoria/Vancouver to Seattle, and got to our B&B right on schedule, even though my itinerary was somewhat switched around due to the ferries. But we were there, hungry and most definitely thirsty. The fiancé and I hopped a cab and got a ride next to Gasworks Park and up to Brouwer's. The neighborhood is nothing to write home about, somewhat industrial, and the outside looks of the building reflects this, save for the cute patio section next to the front door and the few Belgian brewery signs here and there. However, the atmosphere inside is quite stunning, sort of a mix of old medieval/European with modern flair. Good looking bar section with the fridges behind them, with a mezzanine that circled the whole place but was a little too far from the action for me, so we bellied up to the bar. The menu was absolutely fantastic. Both local and imported, bottled or draft, it's been a while since I've been to place with such an extensive menu carrying so many interesting styles. The draft list alone could have easily satisfied me for more than one session, and the bottle selection made me wish I brought along a few friends to share bombers with! The food was also very good. Steamed clams for me, rabbit for Minou. The Barleywine crème brulée was a great nightcap. The only somewhat sour note was the service, which I could only describe as bi-polar. Our bartender was standoffish and kept us waiting at first, then was all smiles for a minute or two, then went right back to being cold and annoyed. Not enough to make me walk away from selection like this. The few interactions with other staff members however were quite friendly, so I'm giving passing grade on service. The rest was just stellar. It was well worth the expensive cab ride to and from.

 1,792 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Exactly one week ago from this moment, my wife, our friend Metalmonk, and I were seated blissfully on the outdoor patio at Brouwer's. Ah, it was a beautiful day under the shady umbrella canopy, otherwise surrounded by sunshine. We found Brouwer's thanks solely to my trusty iPod's Google Maps feature - it's located just northwest of the Fremont Bridge. Unassuming from the street, but a beer lover's Wonderland inside.

We entered through the ultra-cool pivoting door, paused briefly at the Mannekin Pis replica, and headed straight to that patio enclosure, picking a spot against a faux-distressed brick and concrete wall. Service was fast, reasonably friendly and unfortunately informative. Several of the listed taps (at least 30) from the Sour list (we arrived at the tail end of 'Seattle Beer Week') had kicked already, 'forcing' us to choose from 'only' 25 or so featured sours (plus the other taps and bottles). Just about as impressive a lineup as I've seen, replete with rare/obscure locals and plenty of untried Belgians. I opted for a St Lamvinus, Metalmonk took the Confluence (and later, the Drake's Cherry Imperial Stout), guldengirl stuck with the tasty Full Sail Berlinerweiss. Portions were fair, maybe priced slightly higher than I'm accustomed to, proper glassware.

Lunch was terrific: a heaping pot of traditional moules a frites for me (succulent mussels in a rich cream, fries with mayo); Croque Madame for the lady and a pile of veggie ravioli for the gentleman to my left. I think we were all satisfied, perhaps a little sleepy and stuffed after our decadent lunch. Again, prices are a bit high but quality is matched.

With the number of trips we've made to Seattle it's hard to believe this was our first stop at Brouwer's. We'll definitely check out the spacious interior, with its ironwork, balcony seating, and unbelievably lengthy bar (behind which is an equally amazing set of taps and bottle coolers) on our next visit. Highly recommended for a visit; kinda wish they had a location in Portland...

 2,031 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Superb place to have a great beer served by knowledeable people. I was here a couple of times during hopfest and was able to sample some fantastic beers. The atmosphere is nicer than at many places, and the communal tables downstairs are a nice touch. The long bar is great for talking to the quite knowlegeable bartenders, and a lot of beeradvocate types hang out here. The quality on everything poured was excellent, and the selection is well thought out and has some local rarities and some great stuff from Belgium as well. The food is outstanding, being a mix of good pub grub and a few Belgian dishes. Thoroughly enjoyed it here- a pub that takes there beer seriously.

 674 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Where to begin? How about the Fremont neighborhood, that funky place on the ship canal dotted with bridges and trolls. Walk past the old trolley house – now the former Redhook brewery – and you’ll see an unassuming place with a fresh coat of paint. There’s no sign outside announcing Brouwer’s, just a tiny ad for Chimay. Step inside the formidable wooden doors and you’re in a beer playground. Tables and chairs are dark wood and solid. Booths are private and cushioned. Upstairs, the horseshoe shaped balcony holds tables with a panoramic overview while a tiny, hidden book nook with sofas provides a small fireplace. A huge, circular skylight throws daylight everywhere.

I counted 17 American draughts, centered in Washington though reaching as far as Alaska, Colorado, and Anderson Valley. But no Oregon beers on tap! Sacrebleu! Just a single, dusty bottle of Old Boardhead. An oversight in need of immediate remediation! Compensating for this temporary shortcoming are 13 Belgian taps, 4 German, 2 English, plus one Canadian and Guinness. That’s just the draught beer. Though I saw no menu listing bottled beers, they are on display in the cooler behind the bar. I might number them at about 100 varieties, mostly Belgian though I saw German, Czech, and Dogfishhead.

Someone at Brouwer’s spent a lot of time focusing on details. Things like the silverware, the salt and peppershakers, the stone walls and the iron chandelier – they all add up to a class act. The glassware was even more impressive: nonics, goblets, tulips, weizens. A lot of care went into refining the beer drinking experience and I appreciated it. My first beer was Bangelijk Blonde, a pale ale contract brewed in Belgium for Bottleworks. It was exquisite. Next I had a St. Bernardus Abt. 12 on draught. I can’t recall ever seeing this classic Trappist ale on tap anywhere. I dined on Waterzooi, a Belgian stew similar to a potpie with chicken and veggies in a light cream sauce surrounding a delicate flaky pastry. It was fabulous.

The owners are the same folks from Bottleworks and are widely respected beer purveyors in Seattle. They’ve kept the ambiance spacious and the tap lines short. They also stock top-shelf booze. Interestingly, on my Sunday afternoon visit all but one of the 18 barstools were occupied while there were plenty of empty tables to be had. People seem to prefer sitting at the bar or on the low wall of an elevated seating area to tables. To me, this speaks to the sociable informality of the place despite the obvious refinement of the décor and the fairly pricy menu.

Brouwer’s has raised the bar on beer bars. It’s the kind of place where even great beers like Stone or Rogue would appear commonplace. In fact, Brouwer’s doesn’t stock them. You’ll find Flemish art on the walls and an obvious Belgian theme throughout, but you’re still in Seattle. Being a classy beer bar means very manly men drink here. Being a Seattle beer bar means some very manly women also drink here. It’s a Northwest experience all beer fans should have.

As for the service, it was excellent. My questions regarding ABV were easily answered and the waiter apologized for delayed service due to an unexpected surge of patrons. I never even noticed a delay in service and my server left before I could tip him. UPDATE: I’ve tied my rating for selection to the availability of Oregon beers on tap. On my first visit to Brouwer’s, there were no Oregon beers flowing – a grievous oversight for such a distinctive Seattle beer bar. I’ve since heard that Hair of The Dog is pouring. Therefore, my selection rating is: no Oregon beers on tap = 4.5. At least one Oregon beer on tap = 5.0.

 3,700 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
2.9/5  rDev -33.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Brouwer's has a lot going for it but also has just as much if not more pitted against it. Many times you'll find that folks visiting Seattle love the place but us locals tend to avoid it.

Most of the patrons are not beer drinkers. Yes, that's fine, but since Brouwer's is set in one of the trendiest areas of Seattle it attracts tragically cool emo types and even worse, douche bag frat boys.

Also a product of the trendy locale is the shoddy service. Once we sat down it took about 15 minutes for a server to appear. Even then she couldn't answer basic questions about the drink menu. 3 times I ordered a 12oz beer and three times she returned with a full pint. The first time she did it I told her of the error and she still continued to make the same mistake. Yes, this is also after waiting a century for her to actually return with my drink.

They've got a pretty good selection (and yes, with as many taps as they have they sure as hell better have a good selection) but honestly I find a better range of options at many places boasting only a handful of taps. They stumble again when it comes to price. $5 for a 12oz glass of this years vintage of Hale's Rudyard's Rare? Ooook. Everything is wildly overpriced, enough so to make me go elsewhere when I'm looking to enjoy a beer. The food is also pretty expensive (and truthfully the food selection is not very plentiful) but each time I've eaten there I have enjoyed what I ordered.

My last visit to Brouwer's was my first visit in two years or more. Unless I hear that things have improved it's likely to be another handful of years before I go back.

 1,623 characters

Photo of benito
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Brouwer's is easily one of the three or four best beer bars I've visited in the US.

It looks and feels a bit like a medieval castle--dimly lit, lots of black, gray and silver, a second floor that hoops around the first (where the nobility might have sat), and an elevated seating area at the far end of the bar (also where nobility might have sat). You might call this all affected or goth, but I think they're going for something more that recalls the pubs of pre-modern Europe, where beer was sustenance and sociability.

The beer selection is, not surprisingly, overwhelming. They have the taps divided into US and Belgian offerings, and have about thirty of each. I ordered Russian River's Deviation--brewed for Bottleworks and Brouwer's, exclusively, which was served in a nice chalice; Snoqualamie Falls's Serendipity Double IPA (hot and hoppy), and Iron Horse's Saison (a disappointment, but fun to see on tap). I could easily have spent three more hours just looking at the taps, several days tasting the draught beers, and many years working my way through the bottles--all of which are in fridges behind the taps.

The food is also quite tasty. I had the smoked salmon platter, and my friends split the cheese plate. They had other small plates that all seemed well suited to food-and-beer pairings. I could spend some time working my way through that menu as well.

Again, Brouwer's is amazing. The decor is thought provoking, the beer is tremendous, the food is satisfying. It makes a nice pairing with the (much smaller) Uber Tavern as one of the two truly must-visit beer bars in Seattle.

 1,603 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 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 beer2day
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 1,140 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.14/5  rDev -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.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The picture here on BA of Brouwer's definitely does not do this place justice. This pic makes it look like a giant shed, and I don't quite remember its exterior that way. Maybe it was, but the inside is gorgeous. The spacious ground-floor features a bar to one side -- a bar with a zillion taps (or so) and classy black-framed glass-door coolers behind the bar that offer a zillion more bottles. Belgian-centric, with lots of great US craft offerings as well. The place is not too bright (key, in my book) and the large room has a casual, inviting vibe while also being clean and classy. Black iron railings on each side of the room take you up to the second floor. It wasn't open when we were there, but they allowed us to walk up and explore anyway. Felt like a VIP section at a theatre, where the second floor seating wraps around the entire wall, hollow in the center, allowing you to look down on the entire first floor.

We were there during Seattle Beer Week, which found Brouwer's offering about 30 different sour beers. A couple that we ordered were already gone, which was disappointing but inevitable. I had the Allagash Confluence, which was excellent, and a Drake's Cherry Imperial Stout, which I liked but found a little too booze-heavy. The Mediterranean Ravioli was most excellent, with a subtlety of flavor that grew on me with each bite. Service was fine.

With fantastic atmosphere, a beer selection stretching to the moon and back, and some utterly excellent food, it would be hard to find a more beer-geek-friendly bar in Seattle than Brouwer's.

 1,567 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

A must visit in the beautiful town of Fremont. Amazing selection of bottled beers, whisky, beer on draft and killer food to boot. Just go...go now!!!!

 150 characters

Photo of beertunes
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

i love this bar. always something i haven't had before on tap. excellent selection. the food is delightfull. you really should visit. living in the fourth corner i usually stay away from the regional micros whein visit here. focusing on belgians is an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon. try the cheese plate. service is friendly but not overly familiar. staff is appropriately knowledgable. i recomend this place to locals and visitors alike. when i have to pick up someone at sea-tac i usually bring them here to revive them from the horrors of modern air travel.

 571 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA
4.36 out of 5 based on 164 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.