It seems a bit weird for me to add Sanity’s smaller branch in Gakugeidaigaku before properly writing up their main branch in Sangenjaya which has only appeared on a digest post, but hey ho, that’s how things go sometimes, I guess. I’d say that Sanity quite accurately represents a style of beer place that is becoming increasingly popular in the craft beer world in Japan. It’s a Kaku-uchi and I’ve added quite a lot of them on here, but if you’re new to the term, it basically means a booze shop where you can drink on site. I guess they are popular because by catering for people who want to take away and those who want to go out for a drink they are possibly doubling their reach. They are definitely good places to pop in for a quick couple but perhaps their usual lack of seating means that they’re not somewhere you’ll be going for a long session. Anyway, here’s what you need to know:
- Pretty small place with the left wall being taken up with four fridges of cans and bottles, the opposite one with a little standing counter, and the one you face when you come in having the till, the taps and a little bit more counter. Concrete and wood, as you’d expect.
- 12 taps, which seemed to be mainly imported stuff with a few domestic craft offerings, but then again they had just had a tap takeover by a UK brewery so that might have been skewing the ratio a bit. Not the cheapest place. Beers on tap served in two sizes, M and L. If I had to guess, I’d say perhaps 300ml and 400-450ml, but it’s difficult to say as they were in tulips. The prices for the M ranged from ¥1100-¥1450 and the L from ¥1600-¥1950, the high end of which is pretty eye-watering. Personally I don’t really need to drink imported beers in expensive styles so what I was after was at the lower end. A wide range of beers in the fridges from many different countries. On the two 350ml cans I had there was a corkage fee of ¥200 on top of the shelf price. This is a pretty normal procedure. I guess the corkage might be higher on bigger cans and bottles but I didn’t have any of them. Sorry.
- No cover charge (probably as there aren’t actually any seats), some daytime opening. They didn’t have WiFi but I could pick up Meguro-ku public WiFi. Didn’t try to connect to it though. Oh, there’s no toilet. But don’t worry, there are signs for a public toilet immediately outside the bar, so I guess that’s not a problem. Although I didn’t see the toilets, so maybe they could be a problem if they are a bit rank.
All in all, a fun place. Pretty expensive, but that does seem to be the norm nowadays. I wonder how long prices can keep going up before people start getting priced out of craft beer bars. Not much longer I’d guess. I think these kind of places appeal to quite a young crowd and there was a decent turnover of customers whilst we were there. If you’re an old git like me, you might prefer to go somewhere they have seats, but this is definitely a good place to pop in to for a quick one as you’re passing or could be a great stop on a pub crawl.
Japanese breweries on tap and in the fridge when I visited:
But check their Instagram before you go as they occasionally have days off or change their hours
鷹番 3-6-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo