I'm not going to tell you anything other beermappers haven't told you. I will say that it is required that you stop at Brouwer's when and if you are in the Seattle area. The food is Belgian and the space has a distinct old world feel, but nothing else really matters after having a look at their beer menu. Heavily Belgian, but with some of the best American brews on tap as well. The Old Rasputian Russian Imperial Stout on Nitro from North Coast was kick ass, as was the Double Mountain Imperial Chaos. Seek out this place, you find great happiness there.
Brouwer’s Cafe has 64 beers on tap (including several casks) and over 300 bottled beers. They do a good job making sure there is a good craft beer selection for every taste. For those of you who might be going out with friends that don't love beer it is important to note that Brouwer's has an extensive collection of Scotch.
The service can be a little slow but each wait person generally has a good grasp on what each beer on tap tastes like so they can help you find a beer to your liking if you are looking for something new.
I wish Brouwer's had a traditional hamburger (they have a lamb burger) but their fries are some of the best in town.
If you want to have a relaxing, good meal and some beer go Sunday - Thursday or Friday and Saturday during the day. If you are looking for a bar like atmosphere go on Friday and Saturday nights.
Also, it is important to note that Brouwer's is across the street from Theo's Chocolates. Theo produces premium organic and Fair Trade specialty chocolate and it is truly spectacular. Make sure you stop by their gift shop for samples of chocolate when you are at Brouwers.
Brouwer’s Cafe has a truly stunning selection of beers on tap - both Belgian beers and craft beers from America (many in Belgian style). And there’s an extensive list of bottled Belgian beers as would be typical of a great beer bar in Belgium. The prices of each beer vary. The Belgian beers are especially pricey, but as you can’t find anything like this choice without traveling to Europe, it seems reasonable. The American beers range from inexpensive to expensive. We think the selection of American craft beers has increased since they first opened ten years ago, but perhaps this is because there are so many beers made here in the Belgian style now.
The place definitely ties to Belgium - starting with the Manneken Pis fountain in the entryway and continuing in the colors on the walls. The only natural light comes from a circular skylight in the ceiling and a few small windows on the mezzanine, which makes the space quite dark. The floors are concrete and the ceiling has a metal grid drop-down ceiling in addition to large structural steel beams. The wooden bar runs along one long side and has tall chairs all along. The “bar back” is windows giving a view into the wide selection in the walk-in bottled beer refrigerator. The other long wall has booths and there are nice quality wooden tables and chairs filling the room. The mezzanine runs around three quarters of the room and there are additional tables there. In the summer there’s a small but very pleasant outdoor seating area.
The food is “Belgian inspired” and is quite a cut above typical bar food. Interesting meat dishes, innovative salads, and frites served with various Belgian mayonaises.
Overall to us there is something lacking in the atmosphere - somewhat austere? - and we’ve never felt entirely comfortable or felt like lingering and it’s hard to pinpoint why. However, it’s still well worth visiting for the opportunity to try some new beer.
This was like stopping at Mecca it’s self (Beer Mecca that is). Had a great time the atmosphere was that of Ozzy’s house and it was awesome. Loved the beer selection need to stop here more often they have it all. The food was Belgian food did not have any but it looked good. The selection of taps and bottles are some of the best I have ever seen. They have the rarest of rare. This place at times can be packed and when packed they actually stop people at the door and make people wait until they have room.
I have to post a review since Curmudgeon (bless his crabby little heart :-) ) is dragging down the rating of this remarkable establishment.
I was here on a Saturday afternoon and had a wonderful time. I wish I could have stayed longer but my driver was reaching his limit...
Anyway, I'm new to Seattle and my tour-guide and old friend was walking me around Fremont. We were remarking to each other that we were both getting AWFULLY thirsty when I happened to spot a Chimay sign on a brick building with a couple of Harleys out front. The Duvel umbrellas were a sure hint that we ought to step inside...
...where we found...
MORE FREAKIN' BEER THAN I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME!!!
And to boot, it was Sour Beer Week! Lambics on draft!!
To make a long story short, we drank a lot of excellent beer, enjoyed a really excellent cheese plate, and had a great time in the gothic/nihilistic (it's OK Donny, they're just nihilists) atmosphere. The service was prompt and, when asked DIRECT questions, the server was helpful and polite.
If you like beer and are in Seattle, you gotta try this place. If you don't, well....more beer for me.
Brouwer's Cafe lives in the Fremont district, north of Seattle - an eclectic neighborhood full of bookstores, ethnic restaurants, small coffee shops (and yes, a Starbucks), natural and organic grocery store, acoustic music shop and the Fremont troll - a gigantic concrete statue that sits under a bridge leading into Seattle and is the cause of horrendous traffic tie-ups any day of the week because...well, it's a big, cement troll and people want pictures.
What they don't know about (but we locals do!) is that just a few blocks away is Brouwer's, a big industrial-type building with more than 150 beers on tap at all times and a rotating succession of tasting events throughout the year.
I recently attended one with my son (who, like me, is a fan of beer and, like me, is still learning - but when does one stop doing that?) This was a barleywine tasting - Brouwer's offered up 50 different varieties from as many brewer's and, because we got there on a Wednesday, some samples were already exhausted.
Fridays and Saturdays should be avoided at all costs unless you desire to feel like Mini-Me...trampled on by others and ignored. The crowds are, as my sons would say, gi-normous - the sound above the threshold of pain on the decibel meter.
There is a huge downstairs filled with tables & chairs, a small semi-circular stage (that can tolerate a dozen if you think a VW bug can hold a dozen people!) and an upstairs that encircles the lower level with barely enough room to manuever from table to aisle. It might be easier to just hop over the iron rail to the man floor 20 feet below.
The staff is always busy so there's no time for chit-chat but their beer knowledge is admirable, if you can stop them long enough to ask a question.
When we tasted on a Wednesday afternoon around lunch, less than 10 people (including #2 son & I) were there and still had trouble engaging the bartender. He was stacking, calculating and ruminating on what the night would bring. A Wednesday night, mind you and he's anticipating a large barleywine drinking crowd.
He was probably right to be concerned.
Find Brouwer's without much trouble off the main street leading into Fremont from Ballard - its neighboring community to the NW; or from the University of Washington district to the East or take the Fremont bridge from Seattle...stop and take pix of you sitting in the troll's lap...then walk 3 blocks and enjoy your favorite beer.
Brouwer's will undoubtedly have it...and probably on tap.
Selection: 5 | Service: 5 | Atmosphere: 4 | Food: 3.75 waldowalters's(2) Overall Score: 93.3 this user does not have enough reviews for this score to count
I went here on a Wednesday night. Not real busy at the time but a neat place. Very industrial looking, the number of taps were quite a few. Behind the bar were a number of bottles that they had available, all behind glass doors in the beer cooler.
I was impressed with the place. The beer was good, the selection incredible! The bartender was knowledgable and made some good recomendations. He was very attentive and made it an overall good experience. Check it out!