Post by James
Inkhorn Brewing and Tasting Room opened in Mejiro quite recently. The bilingual owner’s first experience of brewing was in Oregon and this place definitely has a unique feel to it. I believe Inkhorn is the first brewery in Toshima-ku to get a beer brewing license. As you can see from the photo, it has huge French Windows so the main counter is like an open air terrace. This is great in spring and autumn and also makes it one of the safest places to drink during the pandemic. The standout feature of the bar counter is a slightly mythical style picture of a blue heron that takes up the whole wall. The taps all stick out from this picture and it definitely gives the tasting room a special atmosphere. Through large glass windows in the tasting room you can see the shiny stainless steel tanks of the brewery. These were imported from Oregon, which is also a first for Japan.
There are 8 taps of beer. Currently 2, an IPA and a New England IPA are brewed on site. The other taps included a Double IPA (a collaboration beer with Tokyo Aleworks), a Maibock (made with Snark Liquidworks) and a Porter (made with Tsukuba Brewing). Definitely a nice range of styles and I thought all the beers were well made. They were also cheap by craft beer standards today, with most pints priced at ¥1,000. The more expensive beers were a reasonable ¥1,200. It is a pay as you go system and there is no tax added. Most craft beer bars have upped their prices in the last couple of years and I was really happy to be able to drink a nice double IPA for ¥1,000. I’m not sure if the prices can stay this reasonable, but the owner is trying to keep them as low as he can. Buying beer to take out in your growler is also an option and there is a canning machine on the counter so you can take the draught beer of your choice home in cans too. The tasting room is all standing and there is no food menu but customers are free to bring their own food if they wish. Because there are no chairs or food, this might not be a place that you’d spend the whole evening but it is a great place to drink a couple of reasonably priced pints in the afternoon or evening and I definitely recommend it.
Currently Inkhorn opens from 12 until 8, Tuesday to Sunday, but it would be best to check their hours before going as they are likely to change.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
(Better check on their social media at the moment. I’ll update this if Corona ever goes away)