Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Hatos Outside


Today, a post about a place that I’ve been hearing good things about from people who are big US beer fans. Hatos Outside is connected to the BBQ and beer place in Naka Meguro called Hatos Bar. I once tried to go there, as the friend I was with was desperate to try some of the Gigantic beers they had available. But it was totally packed and we weren’t able to get in. Given that I’m not going to be eating BBQ, (unless it’s BBQ tofu), I haven’t tried to go back since, but people say it’s good. Hatos Outside, (I guess outside central Tokyo is the meaning as the bar itself is unsurprisingly inside), twists the formula a bit, and perhaps given the location seems to be a bit quieter than I imagine Hatos Bar is. Here’s what you need to know.

- Modern looking place with a counter for seven and tables for ten, but more spacious than that sounds, with plenty of space in between the tables and the bar. Concrete and wood in full effect, but it’s nicely done and felt quite comfortable. Quite a hip feel to it. Using the word ‘hip’ has probably told you just how unhip I am, so read into that observation what you want.
- Five taps of imported beer, dominated by Gigantic who they have some kind of connection with. There was also one tap of Upright on, which is nice to see. Prices are not cheap, but these are beers that you don’t see so often I guess. US pints were ¥1300, halves ¥700. The prices were the same for all beers regardless of the strength. Big fridge of bottles and cans from a variety of Portland area breweries. Once again, a lot of stuff you don’t see so often. Prices varied considerably but started from ¥700 and went up to the moon. But there’s plenty of exciting looking beers in there. Thankfully, tax is included in these prices.
- Has curry as their food speciality. Think there were three types available but didn't try them. And there were cocktails too. There’s no cover charge and it’s no smoking. There’s daytime opening at lunchtime, but they do close mid afternoon on weekdays.

To be honest, I’ve avoided going to the original Hatos since my first unsuccessful attempt to visit. It seemed a bit too lively and packed for me and given that the main draw was the BBQ, it was never likely to be up my street really. I wouldn’t say the same about Hatos Outside. If money were no object I’d be there often I think, as the atmosphere was nice and the beer selection great. The prices mean that for me, it’s more likely to be a once in a while visit rather than regular patronage. The location is also probably a problem for some but it’s only a short walk from Shimo Takaido station and as I often find myself on the Keio line, I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself back here sooner or later.


Japanese breweries seen on tap:
None

Opening Hours:
Tuesday-Friday, 12:00-15:00, 18:00-24:00
Saturday, 12:00-24:00
Sunday & holidays, 12:00-22:00
Closed Monday

Location/Map:
赤堤4-22-5, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo



Telephone: 
03-6265-8351
 

Links:
Facebook
Website  

Monday, 16 July 2018

Hitachino Brewing Mito


Today, another place visited whilst on a football away trip. I've been here a couple of times before when it was known as True Brew. The concept has changed a little since those visits. It was a great place to stop off on the way to, or on the way back from the Hitachino Nest brewery, given that it's basically in the shopping centre attached to Mito station. Last time I visited the brewery, (to do the brew on site thing they offer, which is pretty fun), it was quite noticeable that the actual bar area on the brewery premises was pretty small. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but the transformation of True Brew into Hitachino Brewing Mito might be their solution to this problem. There were always a lot of Nest beers available at True Brew, but now the place is exclusively Nest. The guest beers are gone and the Nest selection greatly expanded. Anyway, enough of this long introduction and on with what you need to know.

- Shopping centre bar, attached to the rail station, but not without charm. From certain angles you can forget you're in a shopping centre. Lots of tables and a couple of counter areas. Very convenient if you're coming or going by train. It's on the 4th floor of EXCEL Minami, so head up the escalators one floor from the station level and double back on yourself to find the bar.
- Nine taps of Nest beer available when we visited, including one special, their Brew Base WIPA. Most beers served in two sizes, glass (320ml) and pint (500ml), so a bit bigger than the sizes you find in Tokyo. The usual suspects are priced at ¥680 and ¥980. The stronger Belgian influenced stuff and the Amarillo Session IPA were ¥750 and ¥1080 and the WIPA was only available in the smaller size for ¥800. Reasonably priced I guess, but then again, it is their own bar! Big selection of bottles too, filling in the gaps in the range, priced at ¥800 each. There's also a beer flight, 3 x 150ml for ¥980, but I don't think you can choose your beers and they are three of the more common ones. Quite a few brewery goods too, glasses, T-shirts etc.
- No smoking and no cover charge. But also no wifi... Lots and lots of daytime opening if that's your thing.

If you're visiting Mito and you want to drink Nest beer this is clearly the place to go. It actually trumps the brewery as somewhere to drink their beers. But it probably would be a bit weird to travel all the way to Ibaraki for Hitachino Nest and then just go to the bar in the station. The selection is similarly sized to the Tokyo Brew Labs so you can save yourself a trip and go there instead if you're only interested in drinking the beers. But it's a perfect place to pair with a trip to the brewery or somewhere nice to wait for a train. Or possibly the train after the train you were initially planning to get.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Hitachino Nest

Opening Hours:
Daily, 11:00-22:00

Location/Map:
宮町1-7-31 水戸駅ビル エクセルみなみ 4F, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken



Telephone:
029-306-7575

Links:
Facebook
Website