Today a place that I have been quite looking forward to visiting. In my opinion, Ise Kadoya have grown from being a solid if unspectacular brewery to one of Japan’s best in recent years. They are constantly releasing new beers and they rarely disappoint. So I was excited to hear that they were opening a taproom close to Tokyo station. Perhaps the choice of location will give you some ideas about the place, but maybe not all of your preconceptions will be right, as was the case with me. Here’s what you need to know:
– located in what looks like the basement dining floor of an office block. Nice looking place through, with wood panelling reminiscent of an old Belgian bar and in other areas the clean light wood we’ve come to expect from new beer bars. Counter for about five and seating for around another 25 at a variety of tables. Crowd was made up of predominately office workers, but the atmosphere seemed quite relaxed.
– 13 taps of their own beer, with surprisingly few of the regular ones you might expect them to pad the menu out with, and plenty of seasonals and one-offs on offer. Taplist was heavy on IPAs, but I guess that’s what people like to drink these days. Pricing was disappointingly expensive, with halves ranging from ￥650-¥700 and US pints from ¥1100-¥1200. I guess prices are creeping up as delivery charges increase and I understand that this is a prime city centre location, but they are serving their own beers and it would definitely be more appealing if the prices reflected this.
– Nice food with a big miso influence. Prices seemed pretty reasonable, even given the smaller tapas style portion sizes. The menu didn’t look very promising from a vegetarian point of view, but they were very accommodating about not adding meaty or fishy garnishes and they even made us a delicious miso udon from scratch, rather than just picking out the meat, which I reckon some places probably do!
– No cover charge, no smoking and some daytime opening, although not at the weekend, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. Also I have had friends visit at lunch who found they weren’t serving beer at that time which significantly reduces the point of going in my opinion!
I have mixed feelings about this place. I really enjoyed my visit and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to visitors from overseas. The food and beers were great, but the fact that a lot of their beers are available in many other places, usually at lower prices probably takes the shine off a bit. Not cover charge though means that you can easily pop in to tick off that seasonal you’ve been looking for. I’d arrive early though, as it got quite busy on the Thursday night we were there. The lack of beers at lunchtime was hopefully down to teething problems given they’ve only recently opened, or perhaps they hadn’t considered such a demand might exist. At this stage, I wouldn’t go out of your way hoping to drink there in the daytime though. I’ll update this post if I hear beer is available during the day. Perhaps they are not focussing only on attracting beer lovers, (they had a selection of sakes available too), but if you are interested in trying a few of their beers, this is a good opportunity to do it in one place, with the beers being in good condition, poured well in nice glassware.
Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Monday-Friday, 11:30-15:00, 17:30-23:30
Closed Sunday and holidays
八重仲ダイニング B1, 八重洲1-4-16, Chuo-ku, Tokyo