Monday, 23 April 2018

Riot Beer


A quick post today on another new brewery. There really have been quite a few of them opening recently. Once again, I've jumped the gun by going before they have actually started brewing, so will revisit and update this post when they do. Here's what you need to know.

- Small bar area with counter seats for three or four, another small counter for two maybe and one high table. At the time of my visit they'd only been open a couple of weeks, so the decor is quite bare, but it looked like there would soon be an impressive picture on the wall, judging by the pencil marks. Their website and facebook are quite distinctively themed, so I'm guessing they'll be doing something similar in the bar. Brewery area is behind the bar.
- Ten taps, but only five were on when we visited. I guess this is due to them not having their own beer yet and the fact that the opening hours are limited. All beers were priced at ¥800 and in one size. It was a bit of an unusual glass shape, so I'm not sure what size it was. I'd guess around 300ml. Tax is included in the price. The breweries on offer included a few I'd never seen around before so there's something new here for brewery tickers. There are also some bar snacks available that looked quite nice.
- No smoking, no cover charge and at the moment at least, they have daytime opening. Hooray!

As I said above, I probably should have waited a little and added this place when they were fully up and running, but I couldn't help myself. Perhaps it was just because they have just opened or due to the lack of places in the area, but there were quite a few people who were popping in for a few. I'm sure that this will only increase when they start brewing their own beer which I believe will be quite soon. I look forward to popping back and trying them.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Ugo

Tanegashima
Baird 
Distant Shores 
Minoh

Opening Hours:
Probably best to check their facebook. Don't seem to have fixed hours at the moment, but it looks like it's something like 15:00-21:00

Location/Map:
5-11-10, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo



Telephone:
050-5809-9387

Links:
Facebook
Website
Twitter

Saturday, 7 April 2018

TDM 1874 Brewery


This may just be the fastest turn around ever from visiting somewhere and putting it on here. I finally managed to make it to TDM this lunchtime. It should have been sooner as I’ve been hearing plenty of good things about their beers, but I guess I am still officially on hiatus so I’m going to use that as an excuse. I’d heard it’s not very easy to get to, but I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s only a short walk, (less than 10 minutes) from Tokaichiba station, which is still in Yokohama city, in spite of it feeling like it is somewhere a bit more rural. Here’s what you need to know.

- Brewery, taproom and beer (and other alcoholic beverages) shop, all in one. It’s a fancy looking place and given that it’s only been open about a year, pretty new. There is a room for two at the counter and tables for maybe 20 more. Place your order and pay at the till and then collect your drinks at the bar. At least that was how it was working when we were there. Selection of pub food available including pizzas. I should have had one, but I’d already eaten two lunches (don’t ask…).
- Five taps of beer but one of them is Asahi so I’m going to ignore that one. The other four were unsurprisingly their own beers. When we visited these were the Pale Ale, Whoa-saic, 7 Hop DIPA and Brown Porter. The beers are served in two sizes (473ml and 284ml) and the prices are very good, ranging from ¥740-¥850 for the pint and ¥450-¥520 for the half. Tax is added on at the till but these prices are still very good value.
- Beer shop has a variety of bottles available from various breweries including Aqula, Baird, Shiga Kogen, Dogo, Fujizakura, Minoh and possibly some others that I’ve forgotten. These all seemed to be priced around ¥500. They also had a couple of their own beers to take away at the same price. There is also a large wine and sake selection. And probably some other stuff too.
- No cover charge, no smoking, wifi and daytime opening at the weekend. The hours below are for the bar. The beer shop section seems to be open earlier (from 11:00), but if you’re making the effort to come here, you really should do it when you are able to enjoy some beers.

So, that’s about it. Don’t be put of by the location. From West Tokyo it’s probably not much further than traveling up to Kita Senju for Beer Ma. It’s nice to see another new brewery (although by the time I finally got round to writing this, I guess it wasn’t so new any more) and by the look of the place you can see that they are serious about what they are doing here.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
TDM 1874


Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday, 17:00-22:00
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-22:00

Location/Map:
十日市場町 835-1, Midori-ku, Yokohama



Telephone:
045-985-4955

Links:
Facebook
Website

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Brief Nagoya intermission, part 4: Beer Pub Brick Lane


I recently found myself back in Nagoya for football and took the opportunity to visit a new place to put on here. Brick Lane probably makes most Brits think of the East End of London and curry, but this is a different kind of Brick Lane which focuses on burgers and, for the most part, imported beers. Here's what you need to know:

- Nice relaxed feel to the place, with the kind of modern beer bar decor you would expect. Counter for eight, tables for 12 more. Beer menus on many different walls so consequently you see lots of people staring intently in different directions which is quite fun.
- Nine taps of mostly imported craft beers. There were two taps of Japanese stuff on when we visited, one from Shiga and one from AJB. Beers are served in one size, but how big that is, I don't know, I'm afraid. They come in what looks like a tumbler on a stem. Never seen a glass shaped like that before, so it was quite interesting. If I had to guess, I'd say it's maybe 350ml, but that's just a stab in the dark really. Beers are priced at either ¥1100 or ¥1200. Without knowing the size, it's tricky to say if this is good value or not. They also do beer flights; 4 x 100ml of your choice for ¥1400. This is a good option as quite a lot of the beers were pretty strong and the kind of styles that you might not want to drink large servings of if you have to wake up before noon the next day. Tax is added at the end, so bear in mind that you'll be paying a bit more, (8%), than the advertised price.
- Their food speciality is burgers but aside from them they have Japanese and US menus of other pub food alternating daily. The portions were pretty good and the food tasted great (especially after a win in the football game).
- No cover charge, no smoking, daytime opening and WiFi, so all bases covered in that respect.

Sure, this probably isn't the cheapest place around, but the beer selection was interesting and the place had a really nice feel to it. They definitely seem to be US beer fans, judging by the menu and the various items of beer paraphernalia spread around the bar. The big reason we went there was that they were open till midnight on Sunday night, which seems to be something of a rarity in this area of Nagoya. But, I was really glad we did and would definitely go back next time we're in town. Also, it's conveniently close to Y Market, so perfect for a mini pub crawl.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
AJB

Shiga Kogen

Opening Hours:
Daily, 14:00-24:00

Location/Map:
錦1-7-27, Naka-ku, Nagoya



Telephone:
052-212-7088

Links:
Website
Facebook

Friday, 2 March 2018

Regional Produce/Satellite Shops 9: Ginza area

I've done Higashi Ginza and Ginza Itchome and now have finally made it to Ginza proper.

Ginza Nagano


It’s another Nagano place and can’t really compete with Shinshu Sake Mura for all round excellence, but does offer a few breweries and a small drinking section at front (one tap of beer, I think). They had a few varieties from the slightly suspicious Karuizawa brewery from ¥267 a can, one Shiga Kogen beer (¥354), five types of Oh La Ho (¥248) and three Enrei beers, apparently by Tirol No Mori (¥500¥). Beware, as tax is added to all of these prices at the till. They also have some nice Nagano ciders and Sakes. It’s definitely more of a shopping destination than a drinking one. If you want to do that, better head to Shinshu Sake Mura I reckon. But if you’re in Ginza and want to pick up some beers to take home, here you go.

Opening hours
10.00-20.00 daily

Location/Map
銀座 5-6-5, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061



Links:
Website

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Bucket HERE


Today, a brief post on a place in a city that was quite unfamiliar to me until last weekend. To be honest, I didn’t really see much of it either, apart from the inside of this bar. Before visiting, I thought it might be a bit of a stretch to add somewhere in Kakegawa, given that it doesn’t seem to really be on the tourist route, but Bucket Here won me over, so it gets an entry of its own. If you find yourself on the Kodama shinkansen, desperate for a beer, why not hop off, head here for a couple of hours and then resume your journey. I should acknowledge though that this is advice for people with much more enthusiasm and energy than me. In any case, it’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re in the area. Here’s what you need to know.

- Hugely spacious place if you compare it to the majority of places on this blog. Not a great deal of tables, but Bucket Here occupies the ground floor of a decent sized corner building no more than five minutes walk from the JR station. Modern looking decor with a counter for eight, three high tables for six each and then round the other side of the bar, a fancy sofa and a big bench seat that looked like it was made out of a tree trunk. Hip kind of Portland type feel to it, if that statement makes any kind of sense at all.
- Beers are a mixture of imports and Japanese craft split around 2/3 1/3 respectively. They are served in three slightly unconventional sizes, regular (390m), pint (500ml) and Mass (1000ml). Prices vary from beer to beer and range from ¥950-¥1100 (R), ¥1300-¥1500 (P) and ¥2500-¥2900 (M). Not sure quite how people manage a mass of some of the stronger or sourer beers on tap, but all power to them if they can do it. They also have a beer flight option, four beers of your choice, 125ml of each for ¥1400.
- Wifi, no smoking, no cover charge and some daytime opening. The things we tried from the food menu were very nice. They also seem to be quite into their coffee, so there’s even something for people who don’t like beer. Although what they are doing reading this blog, I don’t know, but welcome to them anyway.

Like I said, this was somewhere that won me over. There are only a couple of beer places in the city apparently and the Belgian beer bar was closed on Sunday so it was natural we ended up here. But I was very happy we did. There is also a brewery opening in the city soon so the possibility of a little scene starting. Apparently the staff sometimes close for beer trips to Tokyo or Nagoya, so it might be worth checking their facebook before you visit. This does show that they are very much into the stuff they’re selling though, which can only be a good thing. Sure, the prices look a little on the high side, but when you consider the unusual serving sizes and calculate the relative price, I think they’re pretty reasonable. It is also definitely the case that places in Tokyo have to be a lot more competitive price wise given the large amount of rival bars. And actually, I’m pretty sure some of the rarer imports are cheaper here than in similar places in Tokyo. So definitely worth popping in if you’re in the area and worth making a pit stop if you’re passing through.


Japanese breweries seen on tap:
AJB

Ise Kadoya
Outsider

Opening Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 16:00-23:00

Friday, 16:00-24:00
Saturday, 14:00-24:00
Sunday, 14:00-22:00

Location/map:

肴町1-13, 蓮福寺ビル1F, Kakegawa-shi, Shizuoka-ken



Telephone: 
0537-61-6116
 

Links:
Facebook page

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Sidewalk Stand Inokashira


Another quick post today, this time on Sidewalk Stand Inokashira. The original Sidewalk Stand in Nakameguro is already on my map but I didn’t think it justified a full entry as they beers weren’t so exciting so it’s on the digest post here. This branch makes it to full post status though, as the beer selection seems to always be excellent. I guess they like beer a bit more in this branch.

- Coffee shop, bakery and, of course, beer too. Definitely the emphasis is on the first two though. Counter area downstairs where you buy your stuff (couple of small tables there too), and then an upstairs area with views of the end of Inokashira park with seating for around 12.
- Three taps of beer from excellently selected breweries. All beers served in three sizes, half, 3/4 pint and pint at ¥600, ¥900 and ¥1000 respectively. I’m guessing these are US pint sizes, but I only had a half as they only had one tap on when I was there, so I can't be sure. Sorry! I went early on the Monday afternoon of a holiday weekend, so I guess that they might have sold a fair bit of beer during the previous two days.
- No smoking, no cover charge, tax included and pay as you go. They also have WiFi. Also open in the daytime every day.

All in all, a nice place to pop in for a quick beer. I don’t think they really expect you to settle down for a long session. They don’t seem to have any internet presence for this branch, which is a bit strange, so you take your chance a little when visiting with regards to number of taps on, but I think their opening hours are pretty consistent so they'll at least always be open. It’s nice to see that a place where beer is not the main concern is making the effort to put some decent stuff on. The excellent selection really makes the difference here.


Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Kyoto

Shiga Kogen
Yorocco

Opening Hours:

Daily, 09:00-21:00

Location/map:

井の頭 3-31-15, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo



Telephone: 
0422-29-9961

Links:
Facebook page (unofficial)
...and that's it!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Garageville

This is the first of two posts on places that I feel deserve to be on here because of a somewhat interesting selling point. I’ll keep the posts fairly brief, as both places are not uniquely beer places, but are well worth popping in to. So, today, it’s Garageville. I’d never got off the train in Tsutsujigaoka before but I have passed through it on trips down the Keio line for football or visiting places for this blog. Seems that there are a lot of beer reasons to head west down this line now. Anyway, here’s what you need to know.

- Primarily a second-hand record shop with a wide variety of decently priced records. I went intending to pay a quick visit for a browse and a beer, but ended up buying four records. Three small sofas arranged in front of the record racks and, as you’d expect from a record shop, a nice stereo system playing interesting music.
- Beer is exclusively in bottles, from a variety of countries. There were quite a few British bottles, some US stuff, Germans, a few Belgians and a selection from both Hideji and Songbird (which is the big selling point for me as you don’t often see their beers in bars. At least I don’t anyway). All the Songbird and Hideji were priced at ¥1000 a bottle. They also serve other drinks, I saw wine and coffee. I should have paid more attention but I was focused on beer and records. Sorry.
- No smoking, no cover charge and tax was included in both the beer and record prices. They have a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I’d recommend checking on one of them for their opening hours as they seem to vary. But when they are open, there is an element of daytime opening if that’s your thing.

Think this is the third record shop with beer on here after Big Love and Small World, but the first second-hand record shop. I really enjoyed visiting this place and will definitely be back. Not sure if there’s anything else in the area, but it’s very close to the station, so pretty accessible even if you’re just passing through. 


Japanese breweries on tap when I visited: 
None, bottles only, but in bottle, Hideji and Songbird

Opening Hours:

Variable, but it seems they always post their hours on twitter, so check there before you go
 

Location/map:
西つつじヶ丘3-30-30, Chofu-shi, Tokyo



Telephone: 
0424 985367

Links:
Facebook page 
Twitter