Monday, 22 April 2019

Loose ends/various places Part 4

This is part four of what will be constantly updated posts with brief descriptions of places that possibly deserve to be on here but which I have either no time or inclination to visit. Part one is here, part two here, three is here or you can view all of them by clicking the digest tag, or just clicking here. I have tried various ways of keeping up to date with the crazy amount of places that are opening and have been struggling with deciding which places warrant including and which don't. This seems to be a reasonable way of dealing with them. They will remain on the map with a question mark as I can't vouch for any of these. The map will link to this post where places will be listed in alphabetical order with a short description and link which should give you some idea of what to expect and whether it's worth going to. There will be no tags, as that will just confuse matters I think. If I end up going to any of these places and they are worthy of a full write up, I'll remove them from here and make them a post of their own. Not everything on the backlog will be on here. This is mainly intended for what I imagine to be a bit less interesting but still worth mentioning places.

Aglio - Shimotakaido
Interesting name for a Belgian bar! Very little info about this place again, but I’m a sucker for Belgian beer. (Although I don’t really go to Belgian bars in Tokyo much). Some interesting beers pictured on their Facebook but Stella was also mentioned so let’s not get too carried away. Guess this is one for you if you are in the area and need Belgian refreshment and are unwilling to go into central Tokyo. Perhaps I’m damning this place with faint praise without even ever visiting. If you’ve been, tell me about the place please!
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Aoi Beer Stand - Shizuoka
Pretty small place, which contrary to the name is mainly some seats at the counter. I think there was a small standing area too though. Six taps of their own beer on tap. Think they have quite a few places in town, but this seemed like the easiest to just pop in to in the daytime.
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Apart - Sangenjaya
The new ‘Craftheads’, opened by the same people after the closure of the Shibuya branch. Seems to be the same kind of tap list and pricing too, so I guess you’ll probably feel the same about this place as you did about Craftheads.
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Baird Beer Kichijoji Taproom - Kichijoji
Another Baird taproom, in what use to be the Swan Lake Kichihjoji branch, which closed before I even managed to add it to this list. Just down the road from Beer Boy and looks a bit smaller than the usual Baird taprooms. Food is ‘American South West soul food’. Beers and pricing are the same as the other places, I’m guessing.
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Bar Sal's - Saginuma
Sister bar of Craftheads (which was in Shibuya and is now in Sangenjaya as Apart (see above)). Perhaps due to the location, this place seems quite off the radar for most people. From the Facebook it seems that they have similar beers to Craftheads ie. some good and some rotten Japanese stuff along with exotic US imports. If you’ve ever been to Craftheads you probably have your own opinions about that place, and I guess this place would probably give you the same feelings. Bonus opinion from someone who's actually been there 'Sal's is much more chill than Craftheads.'
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B & W - Yokohama

B & W means beer and wine so I guess you know what you’re getting here. Looks like a nice cosy place with three taps of craft beer. No idea about prices though.
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Beer & Wine Hula - Shiki
Seems to mainly have Japanese craft or varying qualities. Not much online presence and probably not much excitement here, but there’s nothing else in the area so it makes it on to here.
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Belgian Beer Bar Gibbon - Nishiikebukuro
Another interestingly named Belgian beer bar. Not the biggest selection but includes some good stuff, and their website lists their beer menu and prices which is satisfyingly straightforward.
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Biru No Yokota - Shizuoka
Visited here recently. Big place with big reasonably priced taplist, (15 taps, mostly Baird, mostly around ¥1000 a US pint). Seems to have a strong Baird connection as a few places in Shizuoka do. Order at the bar and pay as you go. If you are a fan of Baird beer, they have a special house beer made by them here for you to try.
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Brewpub Truth - Gotanda
Another brewpub that has yet to start brewing. Seems to be a metal music connection. At the moment, looks like it usually has five beers on, all US imports. Prices seem about what you’d expect but I’m guessing that the size is US pint so If it isn’t, the prices are not what you’d expect. Will visit and write it up when they are brewing.
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Carvaan Craft Beer & Grill - Hanno

The closer to the station taproom for Carvaan. But if you’re making the effort to go all the way up to Hanno from Tokyo, you might prefer to visit the brewery. Perhaps this place is intended to keep drinkers away from the fancy restaurant space.
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Citraba - Koenji
The new incarnation of the old Koenji CBM, run I believe by the former manager who is going it alone now. ‘Craft Beer, Lemon Sour & Chicken’ is the slogan so that should give you an idea of what to expect. 20 taps which are mainly US imports with some not great Japanese selections and a few macros. Pricing is a touch higher than CBMs, (¥580, ¥980) but guess that’s due to the predominance of imports and the bars new found independence. I’m going to guess there’s a cover charge too.
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Craft Beer Diner Takiey - Toritsudaigaku
Meat and mainly US imported craft beer apparently. Seem to post on facebook when they get something new on tap. Bottle and can selection too.
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Craft Beer Gran Zoo / Kanpai Brewing - Waseda
Another new brewery in an area that’s pretty empty on my map until now.  Seems like a nice riverside location and building, but no idea about beer or prices so this entry is near to useless. Sorry…

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Craft Beer Station - Shizuoka
Visited here recently as it had some beers from Octagon, a Shizuoka brewery you don't see around very often. Pretty expensive place with six taps, mostly Japanese. Prices went up to ¥1500 for a US pint! Bottles and cans in the fridge too. Quite small. Perhaps in the past I would have done a full post for this place, but to be honest, it probably doesn't really deserve one.
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Cube Bar - Kawasaki
Another Kawasaki bar, brought to my attention by the fact that they collaborated on TK Brewing’s Kawsaki Union Red along with some other Kawasaki craft beer places. Looks like four taps of craft with some interesting selections. No idea about prices, but I can see myself popping down here soon so will update when I go.

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Folkways Brewing - Kiyosumishirakawa
Pretty new brewpub that is SHOCK HORROR! actually brewing. Although it looks like at the time of writing they’ve only made one beer. The rest of their eight taps are filled with US imports. Up and coming trendy area so could be interesting. No idea about prices, but it’s near the contemporary art museum, so I’ll check it next time I’m going there.
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Food Hall Blast! / Draft Pub Bevvy - Shinjuku
A combination of restaurants and bars in one building with a food court kind of vibe, but perhaps trying quite hard to be urban, fresh and 'hip'. In a convenient location, very near the station but was pretty lacking in excitement when it came to the beer. The food was quite nice though. Beer prices seemed reasonable for the location, but if I go back it will most likely not be to drink. So that's not really a huge recommendation.
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Four Hearts - Kofu
Another option for boozing in Kofu along with the ones I’ve already got here. Seems to have a nice selection of Japanese craft along with some other kinds of drinks. Will check it out next time I’m there.
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Gather @ Eating House - Yokohama
Very big place in the World Porters shopping centre. Beer selection looks boring, so not sure why I am even adding it to this digest post but I guess maybe shopping centre bars are some people’s thing. Prices look ok but the sizes are smaller than you’d expect, so take that into account. They don’t include tax either. Honestly, there are much better places to drink I reckon, so approach with caution.
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Harvestmoon Brewery - Maihama
Going to Disney and want to drink beer? This is the place for you. Harvestmoon beer is so common in bars in Tokyo though that I’ve never personally considered going here to be honest. But thought it deserved an entry anyway. And they do have a beer festival there too, I think.

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J’s Beer - Tsujido
Bottle shop that seems like a place that loves its US beer, with loads of Antenna America stuff. Also seems to have a few taps of US stuff so I suppose you can drink on site if you want. Guess there’s not much point for people who live closer to Yokohama to go here, but it’s a nice option if you’re in the area.
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Loco Beer - Sakura, Chiba
BEWARE! Nowhere to drink on site, but if you’re looking to buy Loco Beer bottles you can come here. Or possibly alternatively go somewhere more convenient and buy them.
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Mackendy - Tsujido
Irish pub that will hopefully soon start brewing. Until then, and possibly even after then, they have 10 taps of reasonably priced and reasonably interesting Japanese craft beer.
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Mugiya (King Pelican Beer Stand) - Yokohama/Nagamugi
Four taps of Japanese craft which look interesting. Prices look decent. Have never been to this area so it’s all a bit of a mystery to me.
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North Village Bar & Grill - Shiki
Bit of a mystery but it’s been recommended to me. 12 taps of Japanese and imported craft. Food too, I guess from the name. The link below seems to be the Facebook but judging by the map on that page, the place is in Hokkaido, so you’re on your own really.

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Octagon Brewing - Hamamatsu
Brewery with some guest taps. 10 taps in total, roughly half their own and the guests are mainly US imports. No ideas about prices and when I tried their beer in Shizuoka city, it wasn’t the best experience, but will give them another go next time I’m in Hamamatsu.

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O’val Craft Beer & Bistro Dining - Todakoen
Belgian bar/cafe with an enjoyably punny name. Six taps of beer including some from local brewery Shiki and some imports, one British and one Belgian. Looks nice.
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Roto Brewery - Kamioka
Another Yokohama brewery that’s a bit out of town but still in the city limits. Seems to be brewing, but their Facebook is very food focused so no idea about the beer or pricing or anything really.
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Sidewalk Stand - Yutenji 
Coffee shop with five taps of Japanese craft with some interesting stuff there. No online presence which is a bit weird, but I seem to remember the Inokashira Koen place was the same in that respect.
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Smoke Beer Factory - Otsuka, Kanamecho, Higashinagasaki
These places really passed me by for some reason. Had no idea about them till a friend mentioned them. Seems that the brewpub is in Otsuka and the other two branches serve the beer, but I could be very wrong about this. Don’t think all the beers are smoked, but there are some interesting ones mentioned on their facebook page which are. I guess I have to go here soon and find out. No idea about prices or amount of taps. Sorry.

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Takadanobaba Beer Shokudo - Takadanobaba
10 taps split between imports and domestic craft. Bit pricy it seems. Cover charge too. Limited appeal to me, to be honest, but if you’re in the area, maybe it might work for you.

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Vector Beer - Toranomon
Another Vector bar. Still haven’t been to any of them actually. Put off by the smoking which I guess would be an issue here too. Have heard that these places are relatively cheap and have some of their own beers, but there’s a lot of competition in this area and I think I might prefer to go to some of those places, but should probably check this out sometime. Ten taps it seems, which also seems perhaps a little underwhelming compared to some of its local rivals.
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Y.Y.G. Factory - Chiba
Seems to be a second brewery for YYG and taproom. Perhaps the original space is too small for them now, but you don’t see their beer around outside of the taproom, so seems strange. No idea if they are still brewing at the old place. I haven’t been there for a while as every time I visited I seemed to like the beer less.

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