Written by Mothy
U.B.P. (Urawa Beer Project) Brewery is the third child of Kobayashi Kenta, following his first shop, Beer Hunting, and his second shop, Beernova. This time he’s made himself a brewery, and while Beernova really felt like just a bigger version of Beer Hunting, this time the taproom seems to have a very different vision. First of all, he’s paired it with a cafe, Grande Cafe, or as it’s always stylized, GRANDE Cafe. The cafe element doesn’t come into play much, there’s some coffee cups and coffee bags behind the counter, and GRANDE’s signature sandwiches, but one key element from being a cafe does survive and that’s being open for lunch. Thematically it’s a little sports bar like, complete with soccer field coasters and a sign saying “eat football sleep football” reflecting his love of the sport, especially Urawa Reds, however there isn’t always a game on. But he has already held viewing events for the World Cup there, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see games being shown there again in the future. The indoors section is quite small, they could fit 6 or 7 people at the counter plus there are 3 tables for 2 people each. But there’s also a terrace for outdoor drinking with 3 tables that can seat 4 plus plenty of room for standing.
Another key difference between U.B.P. and the two previous places is that Hunting and Nova had beers in “large” glasses which were clearly smaller than a pint while his third venture has (American size) pints. He seems to be doing the same price per unit though as the price on some beers were quite eye-popping. Some more details about the beer. The place has 8 taps for beer, but they only had seven on, and the lady behind the counter said they’d likely only ever have 7 on because the fridge is quite narrow so it would be difficult to accommodate 8. The place opened at the beginning of August 2022, serving only guest beers, many of which were collaborations between Nova or Hunting and other breweries, and they finally released the first beers of their own in January 2023. As of this writing, they only have 2 of their own, a pale and a Belgian white, though I heard a hazy IPA will be released soon. I imagine eventually they aim to have the majority of their taps their own beer. The beers themselves aren’t anything impressive yet, but for first beers on the system were pretty good. They come in two sizes, the previously mentioned 16 ounce pint, and a “half” which is technically more than a half at 9 ounces (if I did my math right). Price’s for their beers were ¥1200 / ¥800 while guest beers were between ¥1250 and ¥1700 for a pint and ¥850- ¥1200 for a half. The ¥1700 one was some sort of special smoothie sour though, so I don’t think it reflects his normal prices. I hope not anyway.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
T. Y. Harbor
高砂 2-1-19, Urawa-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken