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Feb 7, 2010 06:45 AM

Favorite Japanese Craft Brews

At the moment I'm really into Baird Brewing's offerings at their taprooms in Harajuku and Naka-Meguro. Lots of wonderful things on tap! Anyone else been there?

But I'd like to hear a bit more about what is out there.

What, in your opinion, is a Japanese craft beer that should not be missed?

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  1. Baird Beer is quite good, but there are so many others. Go to Beer Club Popeye ( and start in. They now claim to have 70 beers on tap.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      Popeye is a 'must' for all beer lovers in the metropolis.

      Asaya in Kamishakujii has a nice selection of microbrews as well. Most of the selection is in bottles, but the menu is impressive given the size of the bar.

    2. I've been hitting up the Baird Beer Taproom in Naka-Me my last few visits to Tokyo. My favorite brew they make is called Celebration Ale, which is an American style IPA at around 6% ABV. It's not Dogfish Head 90 minutes, but it separates the men from the boys well enough IBU-wise. They used a handful of different hops including Simcoe- which I really like. I think they only brewed it for an anniversary of the Taproom opening. Not sure if it is regularly being produced.

      I see there are a few Japanese barleywines on the Popeye list. Has anyone tried these?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Silverjay

        Haven't tried them at Popeye, but hoping to run into a few of the barleywines at the Naka-Meguro taproom at some point this week.

        Has anyone been to the big winter beer week festival thing that's going on there right now? How does the pricing work for that? I heard about the 10,000 yen tickets, but is it possible to buy brews 'tanpin' (ie. as you go)?

        1. re: pellegrini

          The current Big Beer festival at The Baird Nakameguro Taproom is highly recommended for their large selection of strong Baird Beers plus quite a few imports, which are appearing for the first time at a Baird bar. The beers are all available separately and either pints or half pints. The 10,000 yen tickets I believe are series drink tickets for 11 pints. The last day of the event is Friday Feb 19th, so plan to go soon.