Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dry Dock

Today, a post on Dry Dock, a nautically themed bar in Shinbashi. I have long intended to visit here as I have heard good things about it. Dry Dock has been around for a few years now, making it one of the more established places in Tokyo. I was curious to see how it compared to some of the newer Tokyo places, so I finally popped in for a visit in combination with a trip to Shinshu Sake Mura and a couple of the satellite shops in the area to get some bottles.
My first impression was how well established the nautical theme was. There are portholes and ships wheels everywhere. It was actually kind of fun. Second impression was how small it was downstairs. There seems to be a lot of places that claim to be the smallest bar in Japan, and whilst I don't think Dry Dock would win this, they must certainly be close (if you don't count the upstairs area). Downstairs is basically standing for 5 or 6 people along the length of the bar, and a few more at standing tables by the front windows. I would imagine it would seem pretty packed if it were full, and I have to say it was pretty busy when I got there not long after opening on a Saturday. Apparently there is a more spacious seating area upstairs, but I didn't get to see this. However, given the size of the building, it can't be that much more spacious (I have read it seats about 15). There is also the option to drink outside, standing under the train tracks, which can apparently be quite noisy, but might be more relaxed than squashing inside.
On to the beer. For once my meticulous note taking has let me down as I don't seem to have come away with much information. There seemed to be five taps of craft beer available. There were a couple of others too, but I am not interested in Super Dry or Bellevue Kriek (yuck, sickly and syrupy, an insult to the good name of Kriek). On tap when I visited were a couple from Hideji, a Hitachino Nest Cask Conditioned Ale, a local Weizen from Sumidagawa (which I believe is a craft beer arm of Asahi, so probably doesn't count), and an import from Ballast Point. So, clearly, this place does not have as big a selection as some others around at the moment. There was also a decent selection of bottles (mainly Belgian and US imports as far as I could see) but I am not sure what the prices were like. Generally it seems that bottle prices in bars are not so good (one notable exception is The Hangover). The draught beers only seemed to be available in one size, but this was a pretty decent sized glass. As I have said before, my volume estimation skills are not so hot, but I would imagine it would be something like 400ml, maybe a bit more or less. Prices for these taps ranged from ¥700-¥950, so not bad at all, unless I have vastly overestimated the size of the glass!
So, apologies for the vagueness of this write up. I was overburdened by baggage and alcohol so didn't do a very good job of writing down what I should have. But anyway, I feel I got a good enough impression of the place to be able to recommend it. It is clear that there are places around with bigger tap selections, and possibly if you arrived and there was nothing you fancied on due to the smaller number of taps this could be a problem. However, I think it's a pretty nice place. The staff were very helpful and interested to talk about beer. The place felt nice and was certainly different. I am pleased to report that there was no cover charge and this is definitely something that makes it more enticing. I will be back!

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Hitachino Nest

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday, 17.00-00.30
Saturday, 17.00-22.00 (although closed the 3rd Saturday of the month)
closed Sundays and Public Holidays

新橋 3-25-10, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0004

From Shinbashi metro station, leave via exit 2 (there are closer exits, but this is the most straightforward route). Carry on till the main road (you will pass the Tottori satellite shop). At this junction turn right and walk past the shopping centre that Shinshu Sake Mura is in. Carry on along this road till you see the train tracks crossing the road on the bridge overhead. Dry Dock is right under the train tracks on this main road. From Shinbashi JR station, best advice is to exit the station on the ground floor through the Hibiya ticket gate. Turn left and head South alongside the tracks until they cross a main road. When you reach the main road, look under the tracks to your left. 


Ratebeer listing

1 comment:

Steve said...

I always have a nice time visiting here. In fact, some of the people working here actually follow me on Twitter. [Probably due to one of the times I visited Japan - and was staying at a hostel in Asakusa, I got to the hostel, paid that evening's rate, then walked to the Ginza Line to exchange more dollars for yen at Daikokuya in Shinbashi. This put me just around the bend from Dry-Dock.]
I have taken some photographs here, and a couple of notable photographs of me have been taken here. It is amazing that a venue this small and crammed under the railway structure can be such a good craftbeer bar. {Have you seen the mail slot from which food eminates on the 1st floor?}