TBE Brewing One Paragraph Review
TBE Brewing got us caught in with the ¥100 (plus tax) craft beers on the opening weekend but the regular prices for medium and large beers are standard for Tokyo craft beer bars it seems. The lack of inclusion of tax in the prices and table charge meant our bill increased at the final moment – not the best of experiences really. It’s nice to get some more variety of bars in Tokyo but it’s difficult to recommend TBE Brewing with cheaper and better places in Shibuya one stop along. If you’re in the area though, just make sure you take a calculator with you to work out the bill before you get it. At least it’s non-smoking.
TBE Brewing Full Review
I came across TBE Brewing one day on Facebook as the ¥100 a beer banner was plastered across my friends’ walls – everyone was talking about it and wanting to go. Without being able to make it on the opening night, I was sure that all the beer would be sold out before the weekend rolled around – I mean thirty kegs can’t last much longer than a couple of nights at that price, right? It turned out that I was wrong. The cheap kegs were still there one week later without much sign of going anytime soon. Of course, by the time this review gets out, then the kegs will have all gone.
TBE Brewing is located about three minutes from Ebisu station, which is located on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and the JR Yamanote line though it is hidden down an alleyway and on the second floor of a building without much signage outside. In fact, I didn’t realise I had walked past the bar twice until another customer outside pointed me in the right direction.
It’s not until you get past the bright white store below and the stairs upstairs that you realise how small TBE Brewing is. It appears to take the whole floor up when you look in from the outside. It’s not the smallest craft beer bar we’ve been to but it’s small and cosy. There is space around the kitchen area for about ten people to sit, with tables dotted around the outside but don’t think those tables are solely for the people sitting there. You could be sitting there relaxing with friends then suddenly more people get seated next to you. Of course, it’s nice to sit and talk with new people but if you’re on a date, then you could end up with a third party joining you.
There are ten taps at TBE Brewing though on the times we went there, they were all dedicated to craft beer from across Japan. There was supposed to be some imported craft beers on the menu too. The beers come in two different sizes: regular (270ml) for ¥600 ~ ¥800 and also a US pint (470ml) for ¥900 ~ ¥1,200. There was a good choice of styles so there is at least something for everyone rather than just IPAs or pale ales. The main problem is that the beers didn’t include tax and the heads were quite large. And you all know our opinion of beer sizes and the amount of head they pour you. Thankfully, the staff were happy to top up the beer to a more reasonable amount than in the picture above.
The food is cooked freshly in front of in a kitchen the same size as Craft Beer Bar iBrew but there was a decent amount of snack-like food going on. The BeerTengoku staples of fried chicken and chips were on the menu but the prices and servings were not great. While the chips were tasty (they were liberally doused with parmesan and truffle oil) the portion was tiny for the ¥580 we paid. The buffalo chicken wings were again tasty, with a true butter and hot sauce mix coated all over them, but it cost ¥680 for three wings. And don’t forget the tax as well on top of that. And then there is the ¥300 table charge where tax must be paid on top of that too. So at least we know how the beers can be so cheap…
TBE Brewing Details
Open: Monday to Friday 11:30 ~ 15:00 17:00 ~ 23:30 (LO 23:00) Weekends and holidays 13:00 ~ 23:30
Homepage (in Japanese): TBE Brewing on Tabelog
Social Network: Facebook
How to Get to TBE Brewing
TBE Brewing is located in Ebisu and has two train lines that run through it; the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and the JR Yamanote Line. The best exit from the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line is exit number 5 while from the Yamanote Line you should take the West exit and turn left out of the barriers.