Today, a place I probably thought I would never make it to. Kawaguchi isn’t very far from Tokyo, but at the same time, it wasn’t really on my list of places to go. From my very limited experience of going there, it seemed like quite a nice place, so more fool me for not putting it on my list. I’d had a few Kawaguchi Brewery beers at a previous Keyaki Hiroba beer festival. I don’t think drinking a tasting set out of plastic cups in baking sunlight is the perfect way to judge a brewery, so when we had a chance to pop in on the way to a football match, we thought we should do so. It also helped that they do pizza in their brewpub. Anyway, enough preamble, here’s what you need to know.
- Not too far from Kawaguchi station, this is a reasonably large, (for Japan), brewpub with seating for probably around 40 and a small counter too. Don’t be fooled by the small entrance, as it opens out a bit when you go in. Regular restaurant kind of decor. They didn’t go for the bare concrete that plenty of places do at the moment. Quick mention for the food in this bit. It was really nice, with lots of locally grown vegetables. There was quite a large selection, but I can only remember the vegetarian stuff. As I mentioned above, pizza too!
- Five taps of beer, four of their own and one guest. It seems that the guest is always from a brewery close by. There are a few breweries in Kawaguchi, but on the day of our visit they had a beer by Okei, which is from a little way down the Keihin Tohoku line in north Tokyo. Out of their own taps, two were regulars (Onarimichi Ale and White Lily) and the other two were seasonals. Their beers were served in three sizes, S (240ml), M (330ml) and L (480ml) and the regulars were priced ay ¥600, ¥830 and ¥1080 respectively. I believe the seasonals were the same price. And I think the guest was a little but not much more. Sorry I’m not much use in this section today. They also had beer flights of three or four beers, which were for the two regulars plus one or two of your choice. Three beers cost ¥1080 and four were ¥1350. Tax is added to all of these prices later so beware of that.
- No cover charge, a little bit of daytime opening during the week and open all day at the weekend. They had WiFi too. One other thing to mention. If you’re not in the mood for sitting down and drinking but want to try their beers or some other Japanese craft beers, they had a little shop near the entrance with a few fridges of bottles and cans.
I enjoyed this place a lot more than I thought I would. I have to say though that was mainly due to the food though which was really good. I think perhaps that beer snobs might not have a great time here as their beers aren’t the most trendy or sophisticated and some might say a little rough and ready. But it was a nice place to have lunch and a couple of drinks. And it did seem quite popular when we were there in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. The staff were really nice too. As there are a few other breweries in Kawaguchi, I guess I won’t be returning here for quite a while as I’m nowhere near a regular visitor to the city. But I did have a nice time.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 16:00-23:00
幸町 2-2-16, Kawaguchi-shi, Saitama-ken