Sunday, 9 March 2014

Campion Ale

Today a relatively new place in an area that is, at the moment, quite empty on the Tokyo Beer Drinker map. Campion opened in December in Nishiasakusa and I have been waiting for a good opportunity to visit as it's over the other side of Tokyo to me. Saying that, it really isn't that far. You can ride the whole length of the Ginza line in just over 30 minutes, so it won't be much more than that long from anywhere in central Tokyo.
Campion, as it states on the sign outside, is a British pub and brewery. This means that you can have the fairly unique experience of drinking authentic British style Ji-Biru, if that is not a oxymoron. But given that it is beer made in Japan, by a Brit, in a British style, I think that's a pretty good description. When you enter you can immediately see that it is a brewpub. There are large tanks by the entrance and behind the bar area. When we visited there were four beers on tap, (Amber, Bitter, Porter and Ginger) but there are five taps, and one of the beers was served straight from the tank, so there is room for there to be more available. They are served in three different sizes UK half, UK 2/3 and UK pint, for ¥500, ¥600 and ¥800 respectively. These are very good prices. Because I have quickly got used to US pint size servings here In Japan, the UK pint seemed huge. And it was the Porter, which was delicious, and my favourite of the beers they had on that day so good news all round. As well as their beers, they offer wine and spirits, so you can even bring beer haters here (if such people exist).
The pub itself felt really nice and is split over two floors. The ground floor bar area is a bit smaller, but still has a variety of seating for about 15 people. Upstairs is a bit bigger, lighter and actually managed to make me feel a twinge of pub homesickness, particularly over the design of the stools for some bizarre reason (possibly I am losing my mind, but I like to think it's the details that make the place). I imagine they have imported a lot of the fittings from the UK and it's pleasing that a 'British Pub' in Tokyo feels like a real British pub. That is if you ignore the orange tree growing outside. You don't see many of them in the UK. There is seating for about 30 upstairs I reckon, at a variety of table sizes. To go along with your beer they serve a range of UK dishes from larger meals (Shepherd's Pie, Meat Pie, Beef Stew) to bar snacks (crisps, cheese and a great cheese scone). This is all at really good prices too, so it really is a good value place. If I was being ultra picky, I might say that I wish they had a veggie pie option, but after all, this is Japan, so I think I am being a bit optimistic.
So, another highly recommended British pub on this blog. Excellent value, good beers brewed on site, no smoking throughout, free WiFi and no cover charge. You even get to order at the bar and pay cash on delivery (very authentic!). The staff were very friendly, the place and the beer is nice. What more could you possibly want? Check their website for which beers they have on at the moment and for some nice pictures of the interior. Oh, and have the Porter. It was really nice!

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday, 17:00-23:30
Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 12:00-23:30

西浅草 2-2-2, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Hopefully, relatively straightforward. It's easiest from Tawaramachi station. Leave by exit 3 and carry on along the street. Take the first left and then the first right. Cross the first junction and then turn left at the second junction. Campion is on the right hand side just after you turn.



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