Much in the same way that I recently did a Sapporo interlude, where I wrote not much at all about some places that I’d been to but which were way too far away to include under the normal remit of this blog, now I’m doing Kitakyushu. Yep, that’s right, not the big city in the same prefecture with the multitude of options, but the smaller one with less options. I probably could do a Fukuoka version with places I’ve been to in the past, but I’ll save that for when I am next there. Kitakyushu was a lot of fun though and I feel that I should shine a little light on the joys it has to offer from a beer point of view. I think I actually enjoyed the bars here more than the ones I’ve previously been to in Fukuoka, but perhaps this says more about me than anything else. Once again, I’m not saying these are the best places to go. They are merely the ones that I fancied going to the most which were open on the night I was there. You can see all of the places mentioned on the map here.
Brasserie Soma (Kokura Brewing) – Kokura (pictured above)
A fairly new addition to the local scene, Brasserie Soma is a small restaurant/brewpub. They had six taps on, two of which were their own. There was recently a fire nearby to them though and they have only just reopened, so maybe they will scale up their own taps when they are fully up and running again. Lots of other alcohol too. Open for lunch and in the evening but closes in between. Their beers were surprisingly nice and it was a nice place to have a drink and some food. Will definitely go back next time we’re in town.
Chuck Craft – Kokura
17 taps, mix of Japanese stuff in modern styles and US imports. Perhaps some other stuff too but once again, I was too wrecked to make notes and can’t remember. Open late, smoking allowed. Seems most places allow it in Kokura. No cover charge if you sit at the counter.
Life Is Beer! 11 Tap – Kokura
Pretty spacious place. Lively pub feel with lots of nice artwork of musicians on the walls. 11 taps, (I guess), of Japanese craft beer including some local stuff, if I remember rightly. Decent prices. Good pub food too. Enjoyed this place! And supports their local football team! Think it allows smoking but is perhaps sufficiently big that you won’t notice so much unless it’s right next to you. Wasn’t so busy when we went, but it was a Monday night.
Mojiko Retro Beer Factory – Kokura
They now have a new location pretty close to Kokura Shinkansen station. I’ve crossed out the parts below that are no longer relevant and left the stuff that is. Menu is the same but the constant daytime opening is gone. Now they open for lunch and close mid afternoon before reopening for dinner. Perhaps lacks the excitement of the waterside atmosphere of the old place but still a must visit for me, because I like their beer, the great pizzas and the prices.
Love this place, but that’s mainly because I love their beer. Five taps of mainly classic European style beer at crazily good prices. Nice waterfront location, good pizza and yaki curry. Split over the upstairs and the ground floor (which is open all day). No cover charge, no smoking and they are totally fine with you just drinking. Great stuff! Well worth traveling the short distance to Mojiko from Kokura.
Oitoma – Beer Cafe Bravo – Kokura
(They have changed the name a little so not sure if the concept has changed. This description dates from when they didn’t have the Oitoma part of their name).
Felt more like a restaurant than a bar and had some nice looking food available but they were fine with us just having a drink at the bar. Japanese and imported beers. Think there were some Belgian ones. Really should have made some notes…
Tap Tap – Kokura
Classy place on the third floor of a building with an interesting selection of drinking and dining establishments. Few taps of Japanese and imported beers and a large fridge with bottle and cans. Liked this place quite a lot. Smoking section outside but people still seemed to be smoking inside too which was a bit weird. Subdued and relaxed atmosphere and a very nice place to have a few beers.