I was under the impression that this was a bar and beer shop, but after talking to the owner, it seems that the idea is more that you try before you buy (and then take away) rather than spend a few hours there. Night Owl offers many kinds of alcohol including a terrifying (for me at least) selection of absinthes. But as this isn’t Tokyo Absinthe Drinker I’ll concentrate on the beer.
This brings me to the unique selling point of Night Owl. The beer they sell here is not bottled. It is the first place I am aware of in Tokyo whose aim is to sell draught beer for consumption off the premises. In other words, they do growler fills. There are four taps and their taplist is published daily on their facebook page, complete with prices for 750ml servings (the size of their own growler that they sell for ¥500) or by the 100ml if you are bringing your own different sized growler. The Night Owl growler is a 750ml bottle with a good sealed screw top, so good for taking out and straight home, but probably not so good if you are planning to scoop and trade. But then again, if you are that kind of person you probably have your own growling equipment. When I visited, the four taps were a mix of Japanese, German and American craft. I have seen Belgian beers on there too, but rather than just pop in on the off chance, maybe it’s best to keep an eye on the facebook page and strike when they have something you are after. Small tasters are available to purchase for ¥500 if you do turn up and are undecided.
Saturday, Sunday & holidays , 11:00-20:00
1-8-3-103 恵比寿, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Good luck! This was a bit tricky to find. Leave Ebisu JR station by the west exit, and basically go round the block. In other words, turn left, right at the main road and then the first right again. Look out for a bus stop about halfway along the block. The entrance is right by this bus stop and you should be able to see their name on the list of what’s inside the building. Although the entrance to the shop itself is a bit further in towards the middle of the building.