Saturday, 5 April 2014

Craft Beer Market Mitsukoshimae

Another week, another new Craft Beer Market. An exaggeration of course, but it does seem like they are expanding fast. This time the location is slightly different; the fancy new shopping centre Coredo 3 in Mitsukoshimae. This post will be pretty short, as the concept is the same in all of the CBM bars. I will focus on what's different and please refer back to the first CBM post on Jimbocho for the fine details.
The big difference this time is that they are open 7 days a week and also during the daytime (at weekends). This is very exciting for me as I am a big fan of daytime drinking. However, the daytime opening hours do throw up some strangeness. Monday to Friday it is open from 11:00-14:00 for lunch and then from 17:00 to 23:30 for dinner. At the weekend, lunch is extended by an hour till 15:00, 15:00-17:00 is 'Cafe Time' and dinner is the same as during the week. My first attempted visit was a failure. I turned up during 'Cafe Time' when they were seats available, but couldn't go in as they had called last orders for 'Cafe Time'. It seems that they won't serve after 16:00, but you do seem able to stay there drinking if you have already ordered. I did explain that I only wanted one beer so would be out before the fully booked dinner time slot, but it didn't seem to help. Perhaps this policy will change as the place settles in a little bit.
The location is very different from the other branches but this doesn't seem to have affected the clientele too much. Although there were a few department store shoppers there, it is still very much a beacon for salarymen, and who can blame them. The prices are still very good and although it could be said that the supply of good, or at least higher profile beers is being stretched a little with their multiple branches, this gives less well known breweries a chance. On a recent visit to Jimbocho, I saw Nihonkai Club beers in a CBM for the first time, and they were one of the highlights of the evening. Whether this is due to them having to hunt harder to get enough beer, I'm not sure, but I welcome it. The food speciality seems to be fish this time. Not great for me as a vegetarian, but I chose to live in Japan, so I can't complain.
To gloss over what you already know from the other branches, and to fill in a few blanks, there is seating for around 40, almost half and half, tables and counter, with just a few more table seats. There are 30 taps, (27 good ones) which includes two hand pumps. Beer sizes are 250ml and 473ml and they cost ¥480 and ¥780 respectively.
So, another CBM. I like these places, and whilst some people have complaints about the service, I apparently am not so fussy or discerning to mind/notice depending on your view point. I think these are great 'gateway bars' for getting people into Ji-biru, although these new recruits might be getting initially spoiled by the good prices. There is also something for those of us who are a bit snobbier in our selections. Long may they keep expanding, and hopefully a little further into different parts of town too. Jimbocho is probably still my favourite, and then Awajicho, and these are the ones I would personally travel to go to, but if I am in the area, or fancy a daytime weekend beer, (but not after 4pm of course!), I will be coming back to Mitsukoshimae too.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Sankt Gallen
Nihonkai Club
Shiga Kogen
Daisen G

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday, 11:00-14:00 (lunch), 17:00-23:30 (dinner)

Saturday & Sunday, 11:00-15:00 (lunch), 15:00-17:00 (cafe time), 17:00-23:30

COREDO室町3 1F, 1-5-5 日本橋室町 , Chuo-ku, Tokyo

From Mitsukoshimae metro station, turn right out of exit A4 and take the first right. Take the first right again and the bar will be just round the corner on the right. 


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