Post by Mothy
On January 8th Beernova Urawa (or Beer Nova Urawa- they aren’t 100% consistent with their signage) opened. It’s a nice location close to Urawa station. I didn’t time it, but it’s probably 2 or 3 minutes away at the most.
Beernova is a sister shop to BeerHunting Urawa in Kita Urawa. If you’ve been there you’ll find a lot of familiar things at the new location, but there are some significant differences. The biggest thing that separates the two is the number of taps. Beernova has 30 taps which is about triple what Beer Hunting has. They don’t seem to usually have something on every tap, but the times I’ve gone (I live close by so have already been quite often) they generally had 20 or more on.
The atmosphere and layout reminded me of places like Craft Beer Market and Craftsman. With big glass windows it also gets a lot of natural light and helps it to feel roomy and open, which is nice. There’s tables which look to seat about 30 plus a counter that seats about 10, so it can fit more people comfortably than Beer Hunting as well. At the moment the standing room is filled with grand opening congratulatory gifts and flowers, but once they’re gone maybe another 7 or 8 can fit there.
Another difference is that while Hunting was essentially only Japanese beers, Beernova has imports as well. Based off the beers they have had when I was in, they look to be getting their foreign beers from Evergreen and AQ Bevolution. Both of those importers have some really nice stuff, so for me that’s a point in Beernova’s favor.
Now for a point not in their favor. Like Beer Hunting Urawa, Beernova Urawa prices are a bit steep. The prices usually run from 500-840 yen for a small and 800-1400 yen for a regular, with an occasional beer getting priced beyond that. The smalls are 200 ml and the regulars are 355 ml. Most of the Japanese beers are around 1000 yen for the regular while most of the imports are around 1200. It’s not outlandish pricing, but not good. A nice feature is they have a few taps set aside for Saitama breweries. I’m not sure if the breweries will change but so far it’s been Zakkoku Koubou (a personal favorite of mine), Coedo, and Chichibu’s Bear Meet Beer (which so far I have not had a good experience with, but some people seem to like).
Some other details: The food is good and not unreasonable in terms of price, but seems to be trying too hard for my personal taste. It’s no smoking, but unfortunately the outside smoking area is set up right next to the door. So far I haven’t encountered anyone smoking there, but if I do I imagine I’ll have to walk through a wall of smoke to get in. Hopefully they move it. Also, there’s no table charge. They also now have wifi.
All in all, Beernova is good if you happen to be in Urawa and want some good beer. But I don’t think I would recommend anyone to make a special trip for it.
Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Chichibu/Bear Meet Beer
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-00:00
東仲町25-5-1 バティマＥ101, Urawa-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken