A relatively short post today, as there is not much to be said about this place that has not been mentioned in previous posts. Nakano Beer Kobo is the latest in what is now becoming a big chain of Chuo line brewpubs. First we had Koenji, then heading West, Asagaya, then Ogikubo (all mentioned so I can link to the other posts for your information), but they now have turned back the other way, extending their empire towards Shinjuku, to Nakano. For a general idea on these places, please check the information in the other posts. In this post I’ll concentrate on what is different.
Firstly, Nakano is definitely the smallest of the four places. It’s a small and quite narrow bar, tucked away in the streets behind Nakano Broadway. There is seating for about 10 people and standing room at three small counters. In addition there are a few places to sit up near the ceiling on a raised platform that you get to by climbing a ladder. I imagine it would be quite fun to sit up here, but would be a pain for going to the bar or the toilet, and as they are for sitting on the floor Japanese style, it might not suit all tastes.
The only other difference I can think of, is that all beers are priced the same here, ¥500 for a decent sized mug. They have 5 taps of their own stuff at the moment, which is brewed in an area at the back of the bar that is visible through a big glass window, so if looking at idle brew equipment is your thing, you’re in for a treat (I don’t think they brew when they are open). Talking of the beers, I should mention that this is the first time I have seen an IPA in one of their bars. It was pretty boozy though at 7.8%, so could almost be heading towards DIPA territory. Aside from the IPA, they had the usual suspects of Cream, Pale, White and Light Brown. All beers have their brew date (or date they were put on, not sure which) displayed so you can easily see which is the freshest if that’s your thing. I don’t remember seeing this at the other branches. They serve food too, which is impressive in the tight space. Everything is cash on delivery, so you pay as you go.
I guess that’s it. If you have been to one of these places, you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth popping in to at least one of them. I think I still like Koenji best, but maybe that’s because that’s the area where I find myself most often. I always enjoy the atmosphere in their bars and the prices are good so you can encourage non-craft beer people there without them being shocked. I have probably said this before, but if anyone fancies doing this on the Odakyu line, I would really appreciate it, and would be a regular customer.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Nakano Beer Kobo
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 15.00-21:00
5-53-4 中野, Nakano-ku, Toyko
Maybe not the quickest route as there will be lots of people shopping in the way, but definitely the simplest to explain. From Nakano JR station leave via the North exit, cross the little square and go into Nakano Broadway shopping arcade. Follow this right up till where it goes into the shopping centre and do a right here. Carry on till the end of this street and turn left and then first right and then left again. The bar is down a little alley on the left hand side about 20m from this last turn. It’s probably easiest to check the location on the map and find your own way!