Thursday, 31 March 2016

Kofu special part 1: Hops & Herbs

(This was originally two places on one post. It has now been split. Part 2 is here)

Today, a brief excursion a little way out of Tokyo into Yamanashi, the home of Outsider brewing. We were in Kofu for one night only for football but fortunately that seems to be enough time to deal with the beer scene there at the moment. So, without further ado here is your extremely limited Kofu round up.

The main draw of Kofu has to be Hops & Herbs, the brewery tap of Outsider brewing. The bar is situated on the second floor above the brewery and was a very nice place indeed. I feel like recently I haven't been seeing as much of Outsider in Tokyo. I'm sure it's there, but haven't spotted it so much. So a visit to the brewery tap seemed like the perfect place to catch up on what I've been missing.
It's a fairly spacious place with around ten tables for four, a counter for five and some standing room near the bar too. It felt much more like a traditional pub than many places in Japan do, and all in all it was a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours. It was no smoking too, which for me is always a good thing.
They have nine taps, but when we were there they only had seven on. Six of these taps are reserved for their regular beers; Innkeeper Bitter Lager, Flanders White, The Counties (which was absolutely great that night), Bunyip IPA, Drunk Monk Tripel and the Dark Side. The other taps are reserved for seasonals and on the night we were there they had their Enigma IPA on which was recently awarded best IPA at the Japan Brewers Cup. Beers are served in two sizes, 300ml and 500ml and are priced ¥500-¥600 and ¥750-¥900 respectively, so pretty good prices! All beers are served in Outsider glassware, clearly marked with the glass volume which showed that the pours were pleasantly generous. Oh, and there's no cover charge.
All in all, I really liked this place. The beers were good, the prices were nice and the food tasted great (although there seemed to be meat in the salad dressing, which would be a bonus for most people, but not great for me as a vegetarian. The rest of the food was very nice though). They have lots of Outsider merchandise for sale including clothing and glassware. We bought a towel. You can never have too many towels. Looking forward to next season's away game already as I'm sure we'll be back.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:

Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday-Friday 17:00-24:00
Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 12:00-24:00
Closed Tuesday

1-1-5 中央, Kofu, Yamanashi-ken




Mothy said...

My wife is from Kofu, so we often hit both places when we visit her family. Really like the food at Hops & Herbs. The hoto pasta especially I think is fantastic.
Like you pointed out, the atmosphere of the two places are completely different, despite their links with each other. I probably prefer Hops & Herbs as well, but try to stop by tie Vault when I can. The master, Mark, is a good guy so I enjoy talking to him if I get the chance.

Tokyo Beer Drinker said...

Cheers Mothy! Looking forward to next season's game already.