Even though it has been open for quite a while, until now I’ve failed to get to Bay Brewing’s Totsuka branch. This is in part due to the fact that I don’t get to Yokohama particularly often and every time I do, there are so many new places that have opened, and they are a bit easier to get to, so I inevitably take the simple option. When I started this blog (now website) almost 11 years ago, Bay Brewing’s Kannai branch was one of the few places to get craft beer in Yokohama. Since then, there has been a boom everywhere, and the rate of new openings far exceeds my ability to visit places, particularly if they are slightly off the beaten track. Which I guess is something you could say about Bay Brewing Totsuka. Although Totsuka is only one stop on the train from Yokohama station on the Shonan Shinjuku line, that stop is a bit of a big one (10 minutes). But in the whole scheme of things, it’s sometimes worth going slightly out of your way to visit somewhere that you’re interested in. Whilst convenience is a big thing when it comes to me deciding where I want to go, I’m not averse to going a bit out of the way if it’s worth it. And from my first experience of Bay Brewing Totsuka, I’d say that it is worth it. However, I haven’t been to the Kannai branch in a long time, so perhaps it’s not a massively different experience when it comes to what is on offer. Before visiting, I was under the impression that this pub was also where the brewery was, but now I realise I was mistaken. A little bit of internet checking to find out where the brewery was has also drawn my attention to the fact that they also have another place I was unaware of near Hinodecho station where they make gin. I had absolutely no idea! Anyway, I should stop this long introduction as it’s only making me look like I know even less than I actually do. So here’s what you need to know:
- Nice feel to the place. Fairly small with seats for maybe 20 including a little counter. There was also one of those pub garden style tables outside. The pub is by the side of a river, but as we were at the counter with our backs to it, I can’t say if there were any nice views. I would imagine that the outside table it a nice place to have a beer if the weather is nice. Too hot at the moment though! The decor felt like a European pub and this was compounded by the Czech style side-pour taps for the lagers they had on offer.
- 10 of their beers on tap, four lagers, a weizen and the rest made up of hoppier styles. The lagers and weizen were served in Large (500ml) and Small (300ml) sizes, and the hoppy beers were served in Pint (473ml) and Half (284ml) sizes. Larger sizes range from ¥1000-¥1150 and the smaller ones from ¥680-¥780, so not really that much of a price spread and very good value! I came here for the lagers and stuck to them and liked two of them VERY VERY much. That makes it sound like I didn’t like the others which isn’t true. They were merely nice.
- Interesting mix of items on the food menu from pub grub to Japanese stuff. No cover charge, daytime opening at the weekend and… I forgot to check for WiFi, and a quick check online has not helped me come to a conclusion about its existence either way.
Have to say I had a really nice time here. It was surprisingly busy on a Saturday afternoon, so if you’re making the effort to go to Totsuka, it might be worth booking. I really enjoyed the European feel, liked the beers and was delighted that we were able to follow up our visit with a somewhat unlikely last minute win at the football game we went to. It really was a nice day. Next time I’m in Yokohama, I might try to check out the other new gin place and perhaps also visit the Kannai branch as that post is almost 10 years old and could probably do with an update. I don’t know much about Totsuka, but I have to say, this pub means that there’s a chance I will be going back there again quite soon!
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
上倉田町 507-3-1, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken