Monday, 8 December 2014

Craft Beer Market Koenji (NOW CLOSED)

The fifth Craft Beer Market, and it's a bit of a departure for them. Well, in terms of geographical location. Pretty much everything else is the same as the other branches, so it might be worth you checking the post on the Jinbocho branch for the fine details. I will sum things up here though.
The Koenji Craft Beer Market has seating at a couple of counters for around 15 and quite a few small tables in the back, probably room for about 20-30 at these. There is also a small standing area, which I think seems to work as a waiting area for a table if you turn up without a reservation. Although obviously if everything's booked you might be waiting a while. There are 30 taps and 2 handpumps, and the pricing is the same as the other branches (¥480 for glass, and ¥780 for a pint) and like the other branches there is a cover charge of ¥300, so it's not really the place to pop in for just one. The food here seems to be grill focused, and quite meat heavy. The opening hours seem to vary branch to branch, and at this one we are open a little longer at the weekend, although I'm not sure if they have the same crazy system that they have at Mitsukoshimae with some strangeness between lunch and dinner. They publish their taplist on their facebook daily, so you can always see what's on, which is useful too. If you do want to visit, you probably need to turn up early or make a reservation though as they seemed pretty busy when I went.
I'm pleased that they are advancing out of businessman areas, and it's likely that I'll be coming here a bit more often as I am in Koenji quite a bit. I think them opening might be bad news for smoky Bankan, which aside from the smoking is a very nice place but can't match CBM for prices or for non-smokiness. Bakushu Kobo is just around the corner, but I think they offer something a bit different from CBM. All in all though, it means that Koenji has enough places for a mini pub-crawl, although the ¥300 cover charge at Craft Beer Market makes that idea less appealing. However, I like Craft Beer Markets and they always seem to have something good on. I'll be heading back when I'm in the area.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Nihonkai Club
Fujizakura Kogen
Beer Buddy
Oh La Ho
Ise Kadoya
Shiga Kogen

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday, 17:00-23:30

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays, 12:00-16:00 (lunch), 16:00-23:30 (dinner)

2-22-6 高円寺北, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

From Koenji JR station, leave via the north exit, and cross the square. Head north up the road in the north-west corner of the square. Carry on up this road till the end and Craft Beer Market will be right in front of you.


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