As loyal ES readers may remember, earlier this year I moved to Austin, Texas from my longtime home of Seattle. Last month I went back home for a visit, and I made it a point to be a food tourist in my hometown and revisit my favorite food and drink experiences of the Emerald City.
Seattle has a pretty intense happy hour culture. Seriously — every bar, restaurant, and coffee shop has some sort of drink or food special going on in the early evening. Why? Probably because it’s so dreary and unappealing outside most of the time, businesses need to drag people out of their cozy apartments by any means possible.
One of my favorite happy hours in Seattle technically isn’t a happy hour at all; it’s Power Hour at Brouwers, an amazingly stocked Belgian beer hall in the pleasantly funky Fremont neighborhood. With 64 beers on draft (almost all local or regional craft brews) and over 300 beers available by the bottle, this place is heaven for beer lovers, especially those seeking out hard-to-find European varieties.
Not only is Brouwers’ booze selection great, but they have a solid food menu. These are no average happy hour bar bites; we’re talking freshly baked pretzels with beer-cheese sauce, Belgian-style mussels, frites with spicy, creamy Dragon Sauce.
Brouwers is also home to some of my favorite sliders ever: Carbonade Sliders, Belgian-braised Kobe beef with bacon and St. Bernardus beer, topped with the aforementioned beer-cheese sauce on a brioche bun. Richest baby sandwiches ever?! Maybe, and perfect when washed down with a strong, sweet ale.
Power Hour can be enjoyed from 3-6pm any day of the week, either inside Brouwers’ cavernous, castle-like inside or their serene outdoor patio. Happy hour pricing or not, this little taste of old Europe is worth a trip outside, rain or shine.
Brouwer’s Cafe / 400 N. 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103 / 11am-2am daily