One of the most famous bars in Tokyo and a longstanding favourite of many. Popeye is a really cosy pub in Ryougoku with a big tap selection and nice food. Their website proclaims ’70 beers on tap’ and this selection is made up of mainly Japanese micros, with maybe 15 or so craft imports. They also have bottles, but I think most people come here for the taps. Prices are a bit strange, most being odd yen amounts and not rounded off. I have no idea why this is, but I find it quite entertaining. For around 260ml glasses of Japanese beers, the prices range from the low 600’s to high 700’s in general. 410ml glasses range from the low 900’s to mid 1100’s. Imports are naturally more expensive, 260ml glasses for the high 800’s to high 900’s and 410ml glasses from the mid 1300’s to high 1400’s. However there are a range of different sizes for different types of beer (Barley Wines for example), that don’t exactly fit into these parameters. Best thing to do is go to their website and check out the prices for yourself. They publish their tap list on there every day (on the left-hand side, click Todys Beer and click the A and B to view the PDFs), so it’s pretty useful to be able to check before you head there.
So, even though the prices don’t make it the cheapest place around, they do have a number of pretty good offers that can help bring your costs down. Every time you visit, they will give you a 50% off a glass coupon to use the next time. Also, they have a really good happy hour, which runs daily from 5-8 where you can get a free plate of food with every order of selected beers (a decent proportion of the menu). I would make sure you get there at 5 though, or book in advance as it does get busy.
All in all, it’s a great place to go. The staff are always friendly and helpful, they have a big selection and some stuff that you can’t get other places. Until recently the had Hakusekikan Hurricane, but sadly this seems to have run out now. It might be a little bit out of the way, but it’s always worth a trip. And last year they apparently did a highly irresponsible but quite tempting promotion where you got a good discount off your beer if you managed to spend an hour sitting outside without a coat in the winter. What more could you ask for!
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
17.00 – 23.30 Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday
両国 2-18-7, Sumida, Tokyo 130-0026
From Ryougoku station on the Sobu line, head to the West exit and out on to the main road. Turn left and you will pass a McDonalds on the other side of the road and then the hotel Bellegrande on your left hand side. Take the left immediately after the hotel and it is a short walk down the road on the right-hand side.