A new year, so time for a new blog post! But, yet again it’s another digest post. Thankfully for people who want to see new posts on this blog, my lack on enthusiasm for updating it is outweighed by my desire to tick places off my digest post to do list. In the last few days I think there have been three or four new places that have come to my attention so I thought it was time to dust off the list and do some rudimentary Facebook searching and blog posting. I also have another excuse. The state of emergency currently in place in Japan is making it difficult to visit new places. Whether the effects of Corona shutdowns will have a more significant impact is yet to be seen, but I’m sure we’ll be losing a few places as the reduced business opportunities start to bite. This is obviously a bad thing. Even bars that I am not particularly a fan of have in most cases enthusiastic owners and staff who are passionate about what their establishment is offering. And closures probably represent a crushing of someone’s dream, a load of debt racked up and the loss of employment for staff. Anyway, this has all taken a bit of a dark turn. But it serves as a reminder for me to stop moaning about not being bothered to update the blog and just put some info out there to give places the best possible chance of survival. Good luck to everyone! (Even the ones I don’t like. How generous of me!) Anyway, this is part 7 of the digest posts. Soon there will be more digest posts on here than regular posts! You can view all of them by clicking the digest tag on the right hand side or alternatively you can just click here. As with previous digest posts, an inclusion here doesn’t vouch for a place, but does just say that it looks like it might be of some interest. The places will remain as a ? on the map till they have been visited. But hopefully in the brief write ups there will be enough to give you some idea of what they might be like. So start making a list of the ones that look interesting and then we can all go and visit them when it is a bit safer to do so! Long intro. Sorry for the usual moaning and here we go.
(QUICK NOTE, PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT STATE OF EMERGENCY, MANY OF THESE PLACES WILL HAVE CHANGED THEIR HOURS AND SOME MIGHT BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED. BEST CHECK BEFORE YOU SET OUT)
Akatsuki Taps – Daimon & Ginza
Somehow there seems to be a couple of new brewpubs that I was not aware in the slightest of. They are called brewpubs but maybe they are actually brewery taps. It’s difficult to tell from the Facebook pages.
Two branches in kind of swanky locations. They also seem to can their beer. Looks like there is some significant money behind them. I’m kind of embarrassed I was so completely unaware of Akatsuki. Seems that their pints are ¥1100. Guess I should go and investigate some time.
BeerHouse BeerBeer – Akabane
One craft tap and some not so exciting bottles, but love the name, so that’s why I’ve put it on.
Belly Craft – Toranomon
Had never heard of this place and was surprised to see they have some nice and interesting stuff on the tap list. Deep in salarymen territory means that it will probably either be a budget place or quite expensive fancy place. Great analysis there! Lots of imports suggest the latter. But the Japanese taps look very well chosen. Intriguing! Closed at the weekend which means that I’ll maybe never be able to go.
Caprice – Tsujido
Italian restaurant with craft beer. 7 taps of craft it seems, with half being from local brewery Shonan and the rest other Japanese craft. Looks swanky.
Carvaan Tokyo – Shibuya
Tokyo outpost of the fancy Saitama brewery with a middle-eastern feel in the food and the beers too (if that even makes sense). Guess it means that Tokyo residents will now not have to trek out to Saitama to drink their beers which is a bit of a shame as the setting was one of the best things about the place when we visited. Still don’t know for sure if the name was a typo and they just went with it.
Another meat and imported US craft beer place. So probably not for me, but probably for lots of other people. This time the focus is burgers. My friend goes here quite often so I’ll take that as a recommendation.
Craft Beer & Pub Broseley – Otsuka
Looks like about eight taps of mainly Japanese craft. Has been around for years but I get the impression it has become more crafty recently as I remember discounting its inclusion a while ago. Maybe seems worth it now though. No idea about prices. Smoking allowed.
Craft Beer & Wine Obi – Setagaya
5 taps of craft at what look like reasonable prices (but the picture I’m viewing is quite old). Looks quite food focused, quite small and seems to have a cover charge.
Forest Coffee – Motosumiyoshi
Cafe that seems to have recently upped its beer game. Eight taps and 32 seats but the coffee and food cafe part is the real thing going on here. This is reflected in the opening hours. It closes very early in the evening which has got in the way of me going there thus far. Looks like a nice local place though so I will definitely try to visit soon.
Hicra – Asakusabashi
Looks like it has 9 craft beer taps but not all are on at the moment understandably. Selection has some mildly interesting stuff and some quite boring stuff, but looks like a fun place. Don’t know about prices. Describes itself as a ‘highball and craft beer market’. I hope the CBM chain isn’t litigious.
LaLa Chai – Hatagaya
Thai food and mainly Baird beer in Hatagaya. The fact that I am often in Hatagaya because of Gremlin and have never been here should tell you how much I like Gremlin. Primarily a restaurant it seems, and I know people who’ve been there quite a few times. Probably should have asked their opinion before writing this. Seems to have some interesting breweries to accompany the Baird stuff.
Luppolo – Ookayama
Not much information anywhere on this place yet. Seems quite new. Have included it as Craft Beer and Italian food sounds good to me. But honestly, anything other than this extremely vague info is beyond me. Sorry!
Oji Bar – Oji
Looks like a couple of taps and some bottles. Very much ‘nothing mind-blowing’, but the location is unusual.
Okuda Bakushuten – Asakusa
Don’t know much about it but it looks like a fairly small standing bar kind of thing. Although they have seats, but you know what I mean. Some interesting breweries on tap which caught my eye. According to a very quick look at this article they have 9 taps of craft beer. Prices seem good but who knows what S or L mean. Will definitely go here and have a look.
Omnipollos Tokyo – Nihonbashi
Quite a divisive brewery and this place will probably be the same. Their Tokyo taproom has 11 taps of their beer (it seems, but maybe they have a few more usually but because of the current situation have cut down. 11 seems like a weird number. You can check their taplist on their website to find out). Heard it’s expensive, which let’s be honest isn’t a great surprise, is it? If you’re a fan of their beers you’re probably used to that though and you don’t need me introducing you to this place I guess!
OP’s Bar – Oimachi
I suppose it’s a small place going on what I guess is their slogan, ‘Tiny but amazing’. 4 taps of Japanese craft with the kind of prices you’d expect a small place to have. Hints of a nautical theme in the photos I’ve seen. Nothing else in this area I think.
Oredana – Yutakacho
Bar with lots of books. Seems to have 5 taps of Japanese and US stuff and some food too and the idea is that you go there to drink and read. Open from the ’evening’ to midnight 7 days a week. ¥1000 charge which I guess means you’re paying for the opportunity to read books, even if you don’t want to. Bit of a mystery, but on here for its uniqueness. Can’t imagine I’ll visit though.
Tokyo Aleworks Station Taproom Yurakucho – TASTY – Yurakucho
Central Tokyo branch of the Itabashi based brewery. You can read a post about the main place here. This branch seems to be open long hours and has 13 taps of their beer on (right now anyway). Here’s what a friend of mine says. ‘Been there a number of times. It’s under the tracks very near the station entrances, so very convenient. Has two “sides” that are connected internally. Main entrance side has a bar counter, and is just for drinking. If you want to eat, you can walk through to the other side, which has tables and a second bar counter. So, you can go there for food or not. Convenient locations, tons of taps, and a deliciously unhealthy menu hits all the right notes for this Murican bar goer!’ You can read his Reddit page on beer bars here.
Toranomon Brewery – Toranomon
Bit of a mystery. First of all, seems to not be a brewery but rather a bar which is a collaboration with Nihonbashi Brewery and Sunami brewery from Taiwan (naturally…?!). Seems to have only Sunmai beers on recently judging by Untappd. Not sure if Nihonbashi are actually brewing themselves yet to be honest. (Old blog post on their first place here). The fact that it’s in a big and fancy new development probably gives you a decent idea of what the place is like and gives me a decent idea what the prices are probably like.
Seems like a small place with three beer taps and lots of interesting imported US beers. Feel like they are all quite well chosen. They seem to usually have Yorocco on tap too. No idea about prices as they are just outside the frame of their Instagram tap-lists. Perhaps there’s a reason for this. But interesting looking place nonetheless.
Pizza and craft beer place that seems to have some interesting beers on. Their Untappd history suggests that maybe their conversion to craft beer is a fairly recent thing. The fact that they are a pizza restaurant is very appealing to me.