Friday, 4 May 2018

Brewery & Restaurant Carvaan

I've been losing touch recently with all the new places that are opening. Keeping this blog completely up to date would require a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of health. To be honest, I'm probably lacking in all three of these. Therefore, now I have to rely on tips from ultra underground sources to discover new places. Ultra underground sources like the Japan Beer Times (hehe), who recently published a big article about this place which had apparently appeared out of nowhere (maybe not, if you were paying proper attention). The fancy article and the size and design of this place suggest that there is quite a bit of money behind this new brewery. I'm not sure what kind of reputation the city of Hanno has, but this place seems to be aiming for a rather sophisticated crowd with three opening periods, the usual lunch and dinner and the not so common 'afternoon tea'. Anyway, here's what you need to know.

- Big, big place and fancy. Looks new and swish. Too many seats to count, but there's a few seats at the bar which suggests you'd be ok popping in just for beer when they're doing restaurant stuff. Nice patio overlooking a gorge (I think. It has a river at the bottom at least, so I think that's what you'd call it). Feels like you're in the countryside on the patio. Inside, it feels like you're in a fancy restaurant. I'd say this place is mainly intended for dining, but if they're making beer, I'd say that also means they want people to come and drink it. Food is loosely middle eastern themed. Maybe it would be better described as 'ethnic' as there were dishes from all over Asia and some from Africa. I guess this is because of the business of the parent company.
- Five taps of their own beer available. There seems to be four regulars, a Belgian white, spelt weizen, cacao stout and lime ale. The seasonal on our visit was a dry hopped version of the lime ale as their IPA had just finished. The staff seemed keen to describe the beers in detail, so I'd say that they're taking the beer part seriously. All beers were ¥750 and served in a Teku style glass. I'd guess that maybe the servings were around 300-350ml. Beer flight is also available for ¥1600 where you get their four regulars in servings of what I guess is 175-200ml (after some measuring with a similar sized glass at home). They were happy to swap in the seasonal too which was nice. As our bill wasn't a round number, I'm guessing tax is added at the till. I took the receipt to check and lost it on the way home.
- No smoking, no cover charge and daytime opening. Nice!

This place had me a little confused. It's very fancy, (as I realise I keep saying), and seems to have had a huge amount of money invested in it. Whether we will see their beers appearing in other places, I'm not sure but this is a pretty nice place to visit to try them. It's a little walk (about 10 minutes) from Hanno station, which let's be honest, isn't the most metropolitan of locations, but in exchange for this travel you do get some nice views and an experience which you don't find in Tokyo very often. The beers contain similar 'exotic' ingredients to the food served, which might make them a bit controversial for some, but if you are interested in trying them, this really is the place to come, especially if you visit on a nice day and can sit outside.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:

Opening Hours:
Daily, 11:30-23:00
(This is split up into lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Not sure how much difference this makes if you just want to go and drink the beer though. Might be worth giving them a call if you're worried).

大河原32-1, Hanno-shi, Saitama-ken

If you approach on foot via the bridge, look out for this