There’s not much to mention in this round up. It’s quite hard to find bars in Fukushima prefecture or Fukushima city that sell anything more than the odd craft beer. But there are a few breweries in the prefectural capital city so if you’re in the area there are at least some places to visit. Perhaps I’ll be able to add more if I travel a bit further afield but for now they’ll just be two places kind of in the city plus a brief mention here of Yellow Beer Works which was unfortunately closed on the day we were in town. Will be added properly as and when.
Handa Ginzan / Solder Craft / Uwamachi Cheers
Not sure how to list this as the brewery has a different name from what seems to be the beer brand and then the taproom/restaurant has another different name. They are mentioned in the same order above. To get here you need to take a very local and quite irregular train a few stops from Fukushima station. It’s a short walk from Koori station. Not officially in Fukushima city, but I’ve put it here as that’s the Shinkansen stop you’d get off at to get here. Nice development which seems to be the only eating or drinking place around if you judge that only from the walk from the station. The set lunches are big and delicious and they were very accommodating with my always annoying vegetarianism. New building with maybe 30-40 seats in the main and little side rooms. There’s a patio too, but it was tipping it down when we were there. There are probably nice views from the patio but as you might guess from what I mentioned in the last sentence, we couldn’t see anything apart from rain clouds. They had seven beers on tap and the prices were pretty reasonable. Regular, which I reckon was about 300ml was ¥500-¥600 and large, (no idea, didn’t see the glass), was ¥650-¥750. Lots of fruit beers which I guess is because of the local areas’ produce. They were surprisingly subtle and not sweet at all, as you might expect from fruit beers from small breweries. Couple of Pale Ales and an IPA too. Fun place! Limited opening times at the moment so
best check ahead.
Michinoku Fukushima Beer
If you thought that last place was a bit tricky to get too this one really isn’t going to appeal. To get here you need to get a local bus for 30 minutes from Fukushima station and then walk 10 minutes along some country roads. The brewery is located in one of those perhaps uniquely Japanese middle-of-nowhere-mini-themed villages with various shops, restaurants and activities. I haven’t explained that very well, mainly because it’s quite difficult to explain. This place is called St Anna’s Garden and you can maybe get a better idea of what is going on here. The brewery is quite big but the taproom called Prost is very small. There are a few stools and six taps (four on when we were there, which is no surprise given the circumstances, day of the week, weather and season. Well actually, it was a pleasant surprise as it could well have been less). Regular size beers were ¥500. Large were ¥900 I think, but I can’t remember… They also have a fridge full of bottled beers with plenty that weren’t available on tap and a couple that I’d never seen before and were very nice). There’s a little patio too, but as I’ve mentioned numerous times already. It was raining. Situated at the bottom of the Azuma mountains (apparently, we couldn’t see them, or much at all to be honest), I think this would be a really nice place to visit in good weather, especially if someone was driving you there and back. Limited opening times, so check in advance as it would be a real bummer to get there and find it closed. Have just noticed I forgot to take a photo…
Yellow Beer Works Bunkadori
Last time I was in Fukushima, Yellow Beer Works only had their slightly out of town brewery which wasn’t open very often. Now they have this place, which is about ten minutes walk from the main Fukushima JR station and has plenty of daytime opening and ten taps! All but one of the beers were their own and they have a variety of serving sizes, including a nice small one for ¥400 which basically allows you to try all of the taps you want without getting absolutely smashed. I went for all nine… In the daytime the customers seem to be mainly local workers who are coming in for the onigiri themed lunchboxes and food who occasionally stay to eat on site. Some other more familiar beer bar food items too though, if that’s what you’re after.
There is a small table and counter downstairs and a few tables on the second floor. I was the only person drinking on Tuesday lunchtime which isn’t a great surprise I guess. It seems that they are currently reconsidering their opening hours so please check the calendar on their Instagram carefully before visiting in the daytime. At the moment, (November 2023), they open at lunchtime everyday apart from Wednesday and Thursday when they open at 16:00. But anyway, please do check the opening hours on their Instagram. There is a small bottle shop on the second floor where you can buy their beers to take away. Think there were a few guest beers too.