Favorite craft beer bars - Tokyo area

New craft beer bars are opening every month in Tokyo, and it’s hard keeping up! Here’s a partial list of some places that I like in Tokyo: http://bento.com/r-beer.html

  • VB Factory - I like IPAs, and this place devotes 12 of their 17 taps to IPAs. Better yet, they do tasting flights of three beers for ¥1000. (Or, I guess, ¥4000 for all 12!)
  • Craft Beer Market - with seven branches in Tokyo, they offer some of the best prices in town - ¥480 for a glass and ¥780 for a pint. Most branches have thirty taps, and serve decent food (which I think is where they make their money).
  • DevilCraft - a well-chosen mix of US and Japanese breweries (plus beers from their own new brewery), and good Chicago-style pizza. Branches in Kanda and Hamamatsucho.
  • Thrash Zone (Yokohama) - they specialize in “extreme beers” from the US and Japan. They only food here is french fries, and the only music is thrash metal.

There are lots of other great places, but I will stop there for now…

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What are “extreme beers”?

Are their clienteles locals or foreigners?

Thrash Zone’s extreme beers seem to be quite hoppy, double IPAs and the like, and mostly stronger than average in terms of alcohol. I don’t know the nationalities of the customers.

My craft-beer discovery for this week is a new burger joint called Cruz Burgers, near Yotsuya station. They had five taps with craft beers, from Lagunitas, Ballast Point (Grapefruit Sculpin IPA), Brewdog, Hitachino Nest, and I think North Island from Hokkaido. Also another eight or so bottled craft beers. Pints were around ¥1000, not too bad for Tokyo. They also had one cider on tap, I can’t remember the name.

The burgers aren’t the best in town, but they’re okay, and the Buffalo wings were decent. They also have pulled pork but I didn’t try it. They’re going to introduce pastrami and other sandwiches in February.

While there’s a craft-beer bar near Yotsuya 3-chome, this is the only place near Yotsuya station to get (non-Belgian) craft beers, so it’s good to know about.

Also brand-new is a place called “No 4” between Ichigaya and Kojimachi stations. It’s a casual bakery-cafe serving pizzas and other light dishes, and they have three beers on tap from TY Harbor Brewery. Also coffee from Nozy roastery in Setagaya.

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PDX Taproom in Harajuku offers a rotating selection of ten craft beers from the Portland, Oregon, area, and has an interesting Portland ambiance to it. They’re very strong in the IPA department.

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