A quick post on another brewery. It’s not in the most convenient location if you’re traveling by train from Tokyo, unless you’re keen on going via Narita Airport or Mito and really like spending time on your journey. There is a bus from Tokyo station which is much more convenient, but still runs close to a journey of a couple of hours. However, if you’re in Kashima to visit the power-spot shrine or see a Kashima Antlers game (as an away fan), this is a place well worth popping in to. Here’s what you need to know.
– Fairly new brewery which prides itself on their natural ingredients and farming credentials. I saw a slogan which said ‘Farmer owned, farmer brewed’ so that should give you an idea. It’s a relatively compact place considering there is a ground floor bar, shop and brewery and upstairs the main cafe/restaurant space. I stayed downstairs and sat at the counter (seats for five). Apparently the upstairs space has a lot more capacity with seating for over 30. It was nice to see a record player being used, but I guess that might just be something I get excited about.
– They currently have a beer line up of eight beers, five of which were represented on tap. You might be lucky and be able to buy the others in the shop in bottles to take away. All beers were served in the same size and priced the same (US pint, ¥950 and half, which was in a tulip glass and probably at least 300ml, ¥700). The beers are made using water from the nearby Kashima Jingu, apparently an unusually hard water for Japan. The beers fall loosely in the field of Belgian styles, but more on the Wit/lower alcohol side of the Belgian beer spectrum. There were nods to other more popular styles with an IPA and session IPA, but both still retained some Belgian hints.
– No smoking, no cover charge and daytime opening. Although beware about that final point as they seem to close the bar and cafe between 16:00 and 18:00. Saying that though, someone did turn up minutes before 16:00 and order a beer, so I’m not sure how strictly enforced this policy is. Wouldn’t bank on it though, as I wouldn’t want to be disappointed or annoy the staff.
This place was a really pleasant surprise. It’s sometimes a bit of a risk to drink the beers of a brewery operating in a town with no other craft beer competition, but their beers were pretty nice! It’s a nice place to refresh yourself after a visit to the nearby Kashima Jingu, although I have to admit we ran out of time for the shrine and instead went straight to the match. They were very welcoming, even when I emerged from the bathroom wearing the opposition fans football shirt. At least I think their light booing was done in a friendly way. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back here again next time I’m here for football. Although actually, next time I need to be at the ground by 10:00, so it’s probably not going to happen that day. I’ve seen their beers for sale in Le Petit L’Ouest in Shimokitazawa, so you can get an idea of what they’re doing from there, but I think it’s always best to try these things on tap at the source if you can. Sure, it’s not exactly somewhere you’ll be passing by that often unless you live in Kashima, but keep it in mind for that odd occasion when you are and give it a try.
Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Paradise Beer Factory
Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30-21:00 (but maybe closes between 16:00 and 18:00, be careful)
Sunday & holidays, 11:30-16:00
Closed Monday & Tuesday
宮中1-5-1, Kashima-shi, Ibaraki-ken