Sunday, 28 September 2014

iBeer Le Sun Palm

A rival for Craft Beer Server Land in the crazy named bar competition. Shopping centre craft beer bar in the food court on the 7th floor of Hikarie in Shibuya. Seems to be very much targeted at Hikarie's regular shopping crowd (women in their twenties).

- 12 taps of Japanese craft beer and about 30 bottles from around the world. Beer served in two sizes, 240ml (¥490-¥530) and 470ml (¥880-¥930). But 8% tax is not included in these prices, but is added on at the end.
- Selection is pretty safe but solid and they do have their own house beers by Ise Kadoya.
- Nice Japanese pub food and fairly generous portions
- Lots of seats and lots of staff (who might not exactly be beer experts...)
- It's a shopping centre bar, so you know what to expect, but it's a fun place and worth popping in if you're in Hikarie. However, maybe not one for beer geeks (although I did get three new ticks there).

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Shiga Kogen
Ise Kadoya
Hitachino Nest
Swan Lake

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday, 11:00-23:30
Sunday, 11:00-23:00

ヒカリエ 7F, 渋谷 2-21-1, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(Hikarie is attached to Shibuya station, so a map seems a little pointless)


Le Sun Palm group facebook 
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Good Meals Shop

Recently, given the huge number of new places opening, its has become a little tough to keep up. My list of bars that I need to check out is getting longer and is maybe even out of control. New places are being added quicker than I can visit them with my limited free time. So many new places also means that I am getting pickier about what I want to add to this blog. This seems a bit unfair though, as places are of different uses for different people. What is out of the way for some is local for others. And given that different people like different things, I feel like some places which might not cut it for a full write up on here should at least be mentioned and logged, so that if you find yourself in an unfamiliar area of town, you'll be able to find yourself a good beer nearby. So here is the first of these more concise posts (although given this lengthy introduction, it's becoming a bit less concise). I'll still try to give all the relevant information, but will reduce it to bullet points, and you might have to find your own way there. (I'll still put a map on, but you can work out the directions yourself).

Good Meals Shop is a fairly new, cafe/restaurant/bar/bottle shop about ten minutes from Shibuya station towards Ebisu.

- Focus on imported beers (there was nothing Japanese) with around 25 different bottles and cans from De Molen, Brewdog, Stone, Rogue, Avery, Mikkeller, Tiny Rebel and Victory (when I visited). Prices for drinking in ranged from around ¥600-¥1000. One tap too. And takeaway prices are around a couple of hundred yen cheaper.
- 2nd floor is the cafe/bar, 3rd floor a restaurant. Cafe/bar is open all day.
- 2nd floor offers some small snacks, but the nuts were very expensive for the size of the serving!
- Great selection of bottle openers if that's your thing.

Japanese breweries available when I visited:

Opening Hours:
2nd Floor
Monday - Saturday, 12:00-24:00
Closed Sunday
3rd Floor
Monday - Saturday, 12:00-16:00 & 18:00-24:00
Closed Sunday

東 1-25-5, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo




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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Craft Beer Moon Light

A brief post today to get me back in the mood for adding to this blog as it has been tough to find time recently. Craft Beer Moon Light is in Noborito on the Odakyu line (and JR Nambu line too) and as it is fairly easy for me to get to, I have been thinking about popping in for a while. I've heard various things about their beers, most of it not overly complimentary, but have also heard that it's a nice place to visit if you don't expect too much. This probably did mirror my feelings fairly accurately, but as a beer optimist I prefer to focus on the good parts.
Moon Light is a brewpub and has been open for a few years now. On our visit it seemed pretty popular with the locals. There are around 30 seats at various size tables and a small counter and the place has an all round nice feel to it. They have six taps of their own beer and also serve some nice food at good prices. The beers come in three sizes, I'm guessing around 250ml, 400ml and 600ml. The regular and lower alcohol beers cost a bargain ¥300, ¥500 and ¥700. The speciality and higher alcohol beers are a little more expensive at ¥500, ¥700 and ¥900. Service is at the counter, and make sure you take your glass back to the collection point as they are very keen on this! For me the beers varied in quality. Some were nice and some quite strange. I really liked their Dunkelweizen but their Tripel was particularly strange, although kind of intriguing too. They also do beer for takeaway. I believe you bring your own pet bottle!
If you are anywhere approaching a beer snob, this is probably not the place for you. But it is a good fun place. I will pop in again if I am in the area, and I guess it's nice to have somewhere like this in your neighbourhood. The beers seem to rotate fairly regularly and they have a big list of their different brews in their menu. (Although only the ones on wall are available though of course). So, definitely worth a try, I think.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Moon Light

Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 16:30-23:00
Saturday & Sunday, 11:30-23:00
Closed Tuesday

登戸1818, 多摩区, Kawasaki, Kanagawa

Moon Light is fairly close to both Noborito and Mukogaokayuen Odakyu stations. As it's slightly closer I'll give directions from the latter. From Mukogaokayuen station, leave by the north exit. Take the road on the right past the bus station and continue till you get to the traffic lights. At this junction, turn left, cross the next main road and the pub is on the left hand side about 100m after you cross.



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Friday, 5 September 2014

Beer Keyaki Autumn Festival

Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts recently. I was on holiday and since coming back have been too busy to make it to any new places. Actually, too busy to make it to any bars at all really.
Secondly, a very short post to inform you that it's coming up to Keyaki time again. This time it's five days long from Friday the 19th September till Tuesday the 23rd (conveniently, and not, I suspect coincidentally, a holiday). And it's inside this time, in the Saitama Super Arena, which means the toilet situation is a bit better and there's more seats (if you get there early). I think I'll be heading up there for three of the five days. Open from 11:00-21:30 except for the last day when it finishes at 19:00. All the details are on their website or you can check last year's post for directions and the like.
It really is a great festival. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it.