I stayed at the Brouwer recently for 2 nights as a single woman travelling alone. I was a bit disappointed when I arrived, but I had been spoiled by a few nights at absolutely gorgeous B&Bs in Belgium and was tired from a train journey. Once I'd had a rest and a walk around the canals I realized that the Brouwer is a good value for the right clientele.
It's a very easy walk from Centraal Station and Damrak Street (where there are trams and starting points for bus tours). Also a short walk to the Anne Frankhuis. I didn't think the businesses or people on the street were any scruffier than other streets in the area. My room was on the 3rd floor and I wasn't bothered by street noise.
The Brouwer is a reasonably priced small hotel in a historic building. That means the building is old, but my room and bathroom were in good condition. My bathroom was very modern and clean and the radiator in the shower stall was nice to have on a cold morning. My room had a modern television and a nice view of the canal.
Breakfast included was very good. Boiled egg, cheese, breakfast breads, butter, jam, juice, coffee/tea.
Here's some tips for prospective guests:
It's an older hotel with a very tiny lift and steep spiral staircase. Anyone with mobility issues, lots of large luggage, fears of tiny elevators/lifts, etc. should be aware of this.
There are maps and a few brochures in the little area near the computer (free use for guests) but you're pretty much on your own for finding tours to take, etc. I walked to Lindbergh tours office on Damrak street and booked my excursions there. I recommend the halfday tour to Marken and Volendam especially.
If you need a full-service hotel with tour desk, large lifts, restaurant, etc., this is not the hotel for you. If you're looking for a low-priced hotel with decent location this place is good.