This time, the Tokyo station area brewery tap for the Swan Lake brewery. Pub Edo is a pretty small place located in Yaesu, just East of Tokyo station. We went here for opening night a little under a year ago and it was unsurprisingly packed that day. 10 months later, it still seems to be pretty busy. There are seats for maybe about 30 people which is something of a miracle as the place is very small. Consequently it does feel a little cramped but I guess you only really notice this when you have to squeeze through the other tables on arriving, leaving or toilet visits.
Given that it is the official Swan Lake pub, there are unsurprisingly quite a few Swan Lake beers on tap. 10 in fact. In addition to this there are a further 20 or so taps. The double sided beer menu has Swan Lake on one side and Japanese micro guests on the other. There were around 15 guests and they are quite well chosen. Some nice stuff from interesting breweries. Also there was a selection of beers from the Masaji Beer project available which was pretty exciting as I had been wanting to try them. Along with the beer there is a food menu made up of the kind of items you might expect, although the prices weren’t that cheap.
Beers come in servings of 250ml and 500ml for regular stuff and smaller 150ml servings of the stronger beers. For the Swan Lake beers, the prices were ¥550 for the smaller glass and ¥950 for the large. The stronger beers were a lot more expensive though, 150ml for ¥950 – ¥1200, which to be honest, puts them at the very top end of Tokyo prices. The guest beers were similarly expensive; ¥650 – ¥800 for small and ¥1150 – ¥1350 for large. These are prices you would normally expect for rare imports rather than Japanese beers, and consequently, I don’t think it is worth drinking guests here. Also there is a ¥300 cover charge per person for which you get a small bowl of mixed nuts. The cover charge is a bit of a rarity in Ji-biru bars I have found so always leaves a slightly unpleasant taste in the mouth, unless like at Craft Beer Market, where the prices are so low that you make your cover charge back after a couple of drinks.
Overall, I like this place, and it is a good place to go for Swan Lake beers. They open a little bit earlier than some of the other places around, and also at lunchtime. The reason to go here would be the regular Swan Lake beers, which are a decent deal. However, the prices of the stronger ones and of the guests, along with the cover charge does make it feel a little bit like they are squeezing money out of you. The stronger Swan Lake beers and the guests can definitely be got in other bars cheaper than they are here. But, then again, I did come back here knowing this and we had a good time. And the place always seems to be packed, so I guess other people can’t be that upset about the prices. Worth a visit once in a while.
Japanese breweries on tap when I first visited:
八重洲五の五ビル1F, 重洲2-6-5, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Pub Edo is very close to Tokyo JR station, but given how difficult it sometimes is to find your way around that area it is probably easier to approach from one of the many surrounding stations. Although if you do come from Tokyo station the best thing to do is leave by Yaesu South gate, cross the main road and head down the side street between Lawson and the Yaesu Book Centre. As you can see from the map, it is not far from the main road on the right hand side. Easier directions are from Kyobashi metro station. Exit 7 puts you on the correct street so you just have to go right out of the exit, cross the junction with Family Mart on the corner and it is on the left hand side shortly afterwards. In addition to these two routes, it is only a short walk from Yurakucho, Ginza Itchome, Takaracho, Nihonbashi and Nijubashimae, so plenty of options.