Monday, 21 April 2014

Bay Brewing

Back to Yokohama today, and to Bay Brewing. This is somewhere I have been a couple of times before and is an important part of the Yokohama drinking scene. It's a pretty small brewpub that (obviously) serves their own beers alongside some other Japanese craft stuff. The brewer and main man of Bay Brewing used to work for the Yokohama Brewery and is a significant mover in the Yokohama scene. He organises the Japan Brewers Cup festival, which I very much enjoyed (possibly a little too much...) earlier this year and judging by the back of his Bay Brewing t-shirt, is very keen to establish Yokohama as the important beer city in Japan. I think he's already more than helped them move towards that aim.
The place is located near Kannai station, a pretty good area for beer as you can easily walk between quite a few places (check the Tokyo Beer Drinker map for details), and is a small one room pub with an even smaller brewery in the room next to the bar. There isn't a great deal of seating, maybe 10 seats at a couple of counters and 8 seats at tables, so this is a fairly intimate setting, but unlike maybe iBrew, where the room is small but the customers are crammed in, the relatively low number of seats in relation to the size of the room mean that even when full it doesn't feel too crowded. If it is too busy, I think they do take away beers, so you can always get one and walk on to your next destination. I would put the decor as somewhere between iBrew and Craft Beer Market. There's lots of wood, but it doesn't feel as worn in as iBrew or as slick and polished as CBM. So comfy, I guess.
They have 10 taps, but when I visited there were only six on. I think it's sensible to carry less and not have your beer get old and I also believe judging from their taplists online that they usually have seven on. All taps are Japanese Craft beer. When I visited there was a healthy Yokohama representation on these taps, with one by Bay Brewing and two from Yokohama Brewery. The other three were one from Shiga Kogen (can't go wrong with that!) and a couple from a brewery I have never seen around before called Oirase. Serving sizes are US pint and half and all beers are priced the same, ¥900 for the pint and ¥600 for the half. So, as you can see, compared to Tokyo prices, this is a good value place to drink. Also, if you want to drink Bay Brewing beers, this is naturally your best opportunity. I have only seen their beers a couple of times outside of their own taproom, but I don't have much experience of drinking in Yokohama, so not sure if they appear more often elsewhere in the city.
In conclusion, another good place to go and definitely worth stopping if your on a crawl in the local area. It's always nice to drink beer at the source and the good atmosphere and good prices here give you even more reason to stop by. There's no cover charge, free wifi and they are actually open on Sunday afternoons, unlike a couple of places that according to my research would be, but actually weren't. Pop in and have a few beers.

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Bay Brewing
Shiga Kogen

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

Saturday, Sunday & holidays , 13:00-23:30
Closed Thursday

2-15 福富町東通, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa

Similar to Antenna America. From Kannai JR station, leave via the North exit. After you come through the ticket barriers turn left and then left again out of the station. When you get to the main road, cross it and turn left again and walk under the railway tracks. As you come out from under the tracks cross the even bigger road and at the other side, turn right. Carry on up this road and take the fourth left turn and then the second right. Bay Brewing is on the left hand side. 


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