Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Seattle, WA Beer Adventure – Brouwer’s Cafe


After an uneventful flight (despite it being long and boring) I landed in Seattle at about 9:00 pm. I received a tip from a few people that I should go to Brouwer’s cafe, because they have lots of great beer on tap and food to boot. My brother’s jeep, dusty from driving through Idaho and Washington earlier in the day, pulled up to the curb and we headed out into the Seattle night.

It was a fairly warm night and the city was lit up beautifully, I could see its twinkling glow from the plane, under a crescent moon. Armed with my brother’s laptop GPS setup, we clumsily snaked our way through Seattle to get to Brouwers. We made it there around 10pm – tired, starving and ready for a beer. We walked up to the black building from the wrong side, and walked in. The interior of this place was really neat. A line of tap handles, too long to be photographed in one picture, lined the back of the bar, behind them were windows displaying all the bottles also available, in addition to their taps. The tables were out of solid wood, and wrought iron accented a staircase and upper balcony area. The lighting was warm but subdued, giving the interior the appearance of a castle, tavern, or Gothic mansion. Very cool.
Dazed and tired from the flight, I almost couldn’t take in everything Brouwer’s had to offer, and I was also saddened to find out that they weren’t serving food this late. So I had to pick my brews wisely, and head home earlier than I wanted. I chose a Pliny the Elder, because I had until that day, never been able to find it.
Pliny the Elder is like a mythical beer to me. People have offered to trade me for it, but I rarely have anything of comparable value. Its hoppy, an IPA, and rated an A+ on Beer Advocate (though I rely more on people’s recommendations than grades or numbers most of the time).

The bottle arrived and it was poured into a glass. Orange, thick and packed with aroma this hit my nose before I got it near the glass. Very hoppy, with that citrus twinge that really strong IPAs can give. The taste was of a terrifically balanced IPA with stronger hop flavors than a lot of stuff I’ve tried as of late. If it didn’t have the malts in it that it does, it would be undrinkably strong. I caught up with and laughed with my brother about beer (who had a Piraat for the first time there) and wished, deep in my heart, that this place existed in Boston, so I would have a half of a chance of making my way through the insane beer list. 
My airline fatigue caught up with me and I soon found myself in my brother’s Jeep, headed to the hotel, looking up as we drove past the Space Needle, smiling.

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1 Comment

  1. reubenparks

    I’m so glad that you tasted Pliny the Elder. This is mythical beer for me as well. I like IPAs of all sorts, but cannot get this beer in Texas.

    My wife and I are going to San Francisco in a few weeks and will be staying in Santa Rosa for the weekend. Coincidentally, we are staying a couple of miles from the Russian River Brewery. So, I’ll be able to finally try this beer (from the source!).

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

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