Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Hitachino Brewing Lab Kanda

This is the new 'brew-on-site' location for Kiuchi, best know for their Hitachino Nest beers, just over the river from Akihabara. They have combined this with a small taproom hosting a wide range of their beers, including some special Brew Lab beers which I guess are made on site.
They have a total of ten taps, but when I visited there were only seven on. Five were regular Nest beers but two were Brew Lab specials. These were quite interesting. I was very pleased to see a sour beer called ‘Oak Barrel’ as not many brewers in Japan make sour beers (at least not intentionally!). The other special when I was there was a Galaxy single hop Session IPA. All beers are ¥680, which seems pretty reasonable to me. They come in a range of glassware in different shapes, so it’s a little difficult to judge the size, but they felt like they were decent measures for the price. The system is a little different to other places in that you order at the counter and pay as you go, rather than running up a tab.
The place itself is quite small, but they seem to have got a decent amount of seating into a small space. There are seats at tables for around ten and then maybe room for another ten at a couple of counters and maybe a small area for standing. There is brewing equipment on show, but I’m not sure of this is the gear they use to make the beers as it seems the space might be a bit limited. Maybe it is though. The decor is nice and modern and the huge bonus is that it is open through the day (hooray!). There are really not enough places in Tokyo that open in the daytime in my opinion. When I went on a Friday afternoon, there was a steady trickle of customers so I think the demand is there, even if it is limited. In case you are in need of them, the toilets are in the shopping centre and a few minutes walk, so don't leave it till the last minute!
In conclusion, I’m happy this place has opened. It’s a good opportunity to try some of the Nest beers that don’t appear so often on tap and the Brew Lab beers mean that there will probably always be a good reason to visit. I wish they would publish their beer list on their Facebook page or website as I think this would get a lot more people to visit. I’ll definitely be going back sometime soon though.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Hitachino Nest


Opening Hours:

Monday-Saturday, 11:00-23:00
Sundays and holidays, 11:00-21:00

Location/map:
 
神田須田町1-25-4 N1区画, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
 

Directions: 
From Awajicho station for the sake of simplicity. It's equally close to Akihabara, but that's a much bigger station, so it's a bit simpler this way. Leave the station from exit A3 and carry straight on along the street for about 250m, even when the main road forks off to the right. Just as you meet the next main road and with the train tracks overhead, you'll see a fancy looking shopping centre on your left which runs along the riverside. The Brewing Lab is in here, in the first unit as you enter.



Telephone:  
03-3254-3434

Links:
Website
Facebook page
Ratebeer listing

1 comment:

starbird said...

They have a brew-on-premises deal where you can bring in a group of people and spend the afternoon brewing on their equipment. Afterwards, I think they ship it up to Kiuchi for fermentation and packaging, and then ship the finished beer to you! It's cool that this is an option.

If you look closely at their brew kettle, you can see that the shiny copper chimney is just for show--it ends a couple of centimeters short of the ceiling! If you think about how thick that ceiling must be, it makes perfect sense. All the equipment is actually vented through the side wall.

I really like what they've done with the old Manseibashi Station. Next time you're there, take a look at the cafe up on top, where the platform used to be.