Reverb is the newly opened bar, (and at some stage in the future brewpub), of the people behind Novel Craft in Chitose Karasuyama. I say at some stage as more often than not the time between opening the bar and actually getting the brewery going seems to extend to an unbelievable length (here’s looking at you Watering Hole!). The brewery space at Reverb is at the moment an empty concrete room, but as the bar is only recently opened, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. And a sign in the window says autumn 2023, so possibly they’ll be up and running quite quickly. It’s been a very long time since I went to Novel Craft. In fact I only went there once to write the blog post about it. If I recall correctly, my issue at that time was that it was a smoking bar. I guess that’s not the case anymore thanks to the change in the law, so perhaps it’s worth me revisiting. At the time Novel Craft was one of a growing group of craft beer places in Karasuyama, but I think now is the only one still standing. Anyway this is supposed to be about Reverb and not Novel Craft, regardless of the fact that they are linked, so let’s get on with what you need to know about Reverb.
- Not sure whether I should call it a standing bar as although there is a counter and there aren’t any tables, there are a couple of long benches opposite the bar. The distance and the difference in height between the counter and the bench seats means that you’re going to have to use the bench you’re sitting on as a table if you want to put your drink down. As I was slightly the worse for wear on the day of my visit due to the previous day’s excesses and a general lack of sleep, this made me quite nervous, and perhaps lead to me trying to finish my drink before I could spill it. Maybe that’s the whole point. If people are drinking quickly they’ll possibly spend more. So, if true, very sneaky! The decor is quite simple but has that wood and concrete thing that so many bars have. The general feel was that it was quite a fashionable place. However, once again, perhaps my hangover was influencing me in that respect and maybe it was more the case that I was feeling old and sweaty.
- At the moment they have ten taps of guest beer, (naturally given that the room next door is still just bare concrete). The tap list was split 40/60 between domestic stuff and imports (with quite a few Belgian ones! And one from France, Canada and the US). There were a LOT of things I wanted to drink and it felt like the list had been created just for me. Whether that’s a good thing for anyone else, I’m not sure, but I was very happy with the selection. Beers are served in three sizes, S, M and pint. They didn’t list how many ml they were. I stuck mostly with the M and I’d say it was around 300-350ml. I had one small which was probably about 150ml. I didn’t see the pint but I’m guessing it was a US one. The prices ranged from ¥550-¥900 for the S, ¥850-¥1500 for the M and ¥1350-¥1900 for the pint. The high end of the prices for the pint in particular does look quite scary, but I should say that imported imperial stouts and Belgian sours were involved so you should take that into account. The domestic stuff was mostly at the lower end of the price range.
- There was no cover charge, it was no smoking, and there’s some daytime opening at the weekend. I couldn’t find any WiFi.
I have to say, I quite enjoyed visiting here, and would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t been feeling quite so delicate. I should stress again that the beer list seemed really well chosen and I had no shortage of things to drink. Will be interesting to see how many taps they turn over to their own beer when they have started brewing. I’m not sure if they intend to serve only their own stuff or whether they will still have guests. I’ll definitely be back to try their stuff though. Admittedly, Takaido isn’t an area I’m in very often, but at the same time, it’s pretty close to the station, so it’s reasonably easy to get to. It’s quite rare for me to get the ‘oh this is a fashionable place’ feeling and still enjoy my experience, so I’d say that’s a real recommendation from me. There are cheaper places around, but at the same time there are plenty of places charging more money for much worse beers. And at the end of the day, the main reason we are going there is to drink nice stuff, isn’t it?
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
高井戸東 2-25-11, Suginami-ku, Tokyo