Those lazy Saturdays when the kids are at the in-laws lend themselves perfectly to some early afternoon drinking. Craft Beer Bar Kannai has been on my list of places to go for the last few years; however, whenever I have gone there, it’s either been closed, full up, or they’ve run out of beer. Luckily, the last time I went to Craft Beer Bar Kannai there was only one person in there and I was warmly welcomed.
Craft Beer Bar Kannai is located down some alleyway and is incredibly easy to walk past without realising it. Heck, it’s difficult to know if it is open or closed unless you try pulling on the door handle. Don’t let the sign “Sorry, can’t speak English” put you off. As long as you can read katakana and order in basic Japanese, then you’ll be fine. The decor is very smart and the master of the bar was wearing a waistcoat, suit, and a bow tie. I felt very underdressed in my jeans and t-shirt but thankfully there is no dress code.
Looking over the bar, the menu is dominated by Shiga Kogen beers.Craft Beer Bar Kannai has twelve taps, but nine of those were dedicated to Shiga Kogen on the day we went, with some North Island, Minoh, and a Harvest Moon on tap. Prices start out at ¥1100 for a 500ml glass, or ¥800 for a 320ml glass. If you’re only going to stop in to pick one up for the road, there is a special Yokohama Sanpo Glass, or a Yokohama walking beer, which is also ¥1000 for a plastic 500ml glass, which you can take out with you. All prices include tax so there are no surprises at the end, besides how many beers you may drink.
First up, North Island Ultra C IPA, where the C stands for citra hops. This beer is not available in bottles and came highly recommended courtesy of a friend in Hokkaido (Thanks Darren!). The glass was quite thing and I was wary of breaking it. The master mentions that it is to improve the flavour, but with so many hops in, it was debatable whether it made much difference. Next up was the Shiga Kogen 10th Anniversary beer and just in time. As soon as the beer was poured, the keg kicked and I was left with the last draft of this beer. A delicious overall taste on this beer, very dry and fruity. Feeling a bit light headed, it was time for one final beer; the Shiga Kogen African Pale Ale. I had this before at Craftheads in Shibuya and enjoyed it.