Wanting to broaden my horizons a little, I have set myself a task for 2021. I won’t reveal the details yet as I don’t want to have public evidence of it for when I mess it up or give up. But this task led me indirectly to visit Gahaha. Gahaha had been on my list of places to go, but let’s be honest, that can be said about maybe 40 other places at the moment and that was after a significant purge when I ruled out a load of places that looked like they had almost nothing to distinguish them from other bars. However my rule is that I’ll always at least intend to visit a brewery before I rule it out, as without the breweries we wouldn’t have any beer and therefore wouldn’t have any bars. This is all a long winded way of saying that I went to Gahaha out in Toyocho and this is what it was like:
– Very interesting place! The brewery and bar is in a small shopping complex situated in the middle of a couple of big public housing blocks. A very unusual location, but one that was quite interesting! Quite a small bar with a counter for four and tables for maybe around 15. There were also a couple of tables outside too. The brewery can be seen through the window next to the bar and it looks very small! Definitely felt like a place that has regular locals visiting it often. Nice atmosphere!
– Eight taps of their own beer and a couple of imperial stout guest taps from West Coast when we visited. Their own beers were pretty cheap, coming in around ¥850 a pint on average. The guests were naturally more expensive, which is not surprising given that they were imperial stouts. Prices ranged from ¥500-¥850 for a half and ¥650-¥1400 for a pint with the guests obviously at the higher end. They had two options for beer flights too. Choose which beers you want and you can get 3 x 200ml for ¥1350. They also did an imperial stout flight with the two guests included. The sizes were the same I think and the price was around ¥2000. It was a really nice idea to have the stout flight, giving the drinker the opportunity to compare the brewery’s own imperial stout with the two latest West Coast imperial stouts. Quite brave too considering the hype behind West Coast! They also had some bottles of their own beer to take away. Didn’t see the prices. Sorry!
– Food was standard izakaya kind of fare and the few dishes we tried were pretty nice. They also served quite a few sakes. The place was no smoking, they had wifi and there was no cover charge. And they have a lot of daytime opening! Perfect!
If you live in this area this place must be a real godsend. It was a really fun place to visit and if I were in the area I’d definitely go back again. Given the size of the brewery, this is probably the only place you’ll be able to try their beers. This might account for the fact that even though it has been open for a few years, it had only recently come onto my radar. I know, I’m out of touch, but things have kind of exploded a bit in the last few years. The fact that it is on a housing estate in Toyocho probably means that not many people will really be passing by, but I do quite fancy sitting on the ‘terrace’ when it gets a bit warmer and enjoying a few beers sometime in what must be a unique setting amongst Japanese breweries.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
南砂 2-3 南砂住宅商店街, Koto-ku, Tokyo