The Dragon and the Grape

Located in Seattle, WA

 Set sail towards new lands - Puget Sound

Set sail towards new lands - Puget Sound

My recent adventures have taken me to a not-so-distant land by the sea. Kissing the Puget Sound inlet, Seattle, WA lies quietly and unassuming, yet glorious in its presence. A stroll around the city offered many sights - the first Starbucks, luxurious "livable" boats, and the jaw-dropping scenic drives - limitless attractions for anyone to enjoy. I even got the opportunity to sail the waves - albeit little - aboard a friend's boat while treasuring a cold brew. 

Even a foreigner like me could feel instantaneously at home. Though I suspect it might be due to my own origins from a city like San Francisco. In fact, if you look again, the similarities are aplenty. Examples can be drawn from the lively Pike marketplace (akin to SF's Pier 39), a beautiful skyline towered by the Space Needle (similar to SF's Transamerica Pyramid), a rich and luscious geography of greenery and parks, the list goes on.

Which brings me to the biggest revelation of all, Seattle's beer scene being class A in its awesomeness. Let's specifically talk about Brouwer's Cafe, a most wondrous experience. Honestly, my buddy and I weren't entirely convinced as we parked the car because the neighborhood seemed quaint and suburban - oh boy, were we wrong. The cavern of treasures and golden liquor that this fire-breathing dragon (Brouwer's iconic protector) was hiding was worth the search.

Not only did we find one of the rarest "white-whales" we could have hoped for, but the food, staff, and company were all supporting characters that made this night, unforgettable. So allow me to introduce a brew I will probably never have the chance to try again: a Cantillon Saint Lamvinus 2009. This Belgian lambic/ fruit ale fermented in Bordeaux barrels is a testament to how good beer can be and sits at the top of its genre as far as Belgian lambics go. Worth the $90? Hell yes, and I'd do it again if I could if it wasn't the last bottle they had. Oh well, let's not forget the 2011 Golden Carolus Easter Beer by Brouwerij Het Anker, another insanely complex Belgian beer unmatched in malt character and depth of flavor.

I would highly recommend this establishment to serious beer drinkers and I'm positive I'll be back in the future. Seattle truly has so much to offer with its "untapped" potential and I'm thirsty just writing about it. My grand tale lives on only in memory, but Brouwer Cafe's legend will impact many others before its time.


Justin Tung

San Francisco, CA,

Justin Tung is a San Francisco resident, amateur homebrewer, and big beer lover. Often traveling for work grew a natural habit - an obsession - with exploring new regions and beers. The best way to understand a locality? Hang with a local and buy them a beer, hear their stories and the rest is history. This is the golden age of beer revolution and innovation. Fortune rewards the brave.