The craft beer scene and rock music seem to go hand in hand. A few bars that we’ve been to for BeerTengoku, such as Thrash Zone in Yokohama, and Beer Cafe Bakujun is no exception It isn’t the easiest place to find though we heard the strains of Green Day’s American idiot punctuating the quiet Kyoto night. If it hadn’t been for the music, then we would never have found Beer Cafe Bakujun and would have spent the remainder of our evening getting more lost.
Beer Cafe Bakujun seems to be following the minimalist concrete design of hipster bars in Tokyo. The bar was half full at 11pm on a Friday night with about five of the ten seats at the bar talking and the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial. The bartenders were the centre of attention and were pouring out customers various beers that didn’t appear on the menu, such as Baeren’s Vintage Chocolate Stout and Sankt Gallen Orange Chocolate Stout for fun. One of the bartenders had a working knowledge of English and started up a conversation about Tokyo and Yokohama.
The beer selection at Beer Cafe Bakujun was dominated by Japanese craft beer with a couple of beers from over seas. The sticking point though is the prices. Beer cafe Bakujun is not the cheapest place in Kyoto but could be pushing for one of the most expensive. Beers come in two sizes, halfs at 284ml or US pint size at 473ml. Prices vary from beer to beer, with the cheapest being ¥756 for a half of Ise Kadoya Brown ale ranging up to ¥1512 for a US pint of Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2014 which include tax. Moreover, the dreaded table charge pops up at ¥324 as well, so you end up paying ¥1000 for half a beer before you even get a sip.
We only managed to stay for two drinks as at these prices, it’s hard to justify staying for many. We had to have the Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2014 and glad we did. The original malt notes had developed into flavours of prunes and caramel that were incredibly balanced. The customer next to use wanted to have a pint of the beer but both the bartender and myself warned against him. The Coedo Beniaka beer was brewed using the new recipe from Coedo though we didn’t detect much difference as we didn’t have the previous iteration to compare it against.
Beer Cafe Bakujun also had a fairly extensive food menu; however, the prices of the beers had put us off from ordering anything. The food was freshly cooked on the premises as some people did order some bits and pieces
Beer Cafe Bakujun One Paragraph Review
Beer Cafe Bakujun is a relaxed bar that has some decent craft beers on tap. However, the prices of beer and food, along with a table charge, means a simple one or two beers and some snacks means a bill easily of ¥4,000 or more.
Beer Cafe Bakujun Details
Open: Irregularly from 17:30 to 02:00 (L.O 01:30) Check blog below for details.
Phone: 075 202 4180
Homepage (in Japanese): Beer Cafe Bakujun Blog
How to Get to Beer Cafe Bakujun
Beer Cafe Bakujun is between two stations: Kyoto Shiyakushumae and Karusamaoike so we plumped for the second. Make sure that you are looking at the road as the only indicator is a sign outside the staircase.