Editor’s Note: Hops125 has closed. This review has been kept up for posterity’s sake.
Hops125 is an enigma of a place. I had to get that out of my system before I carry on writing. Located on a side street around Ebisu station, Hops125 seems like it has been around for ages yet I’ve only ventured in there twice, perhaps three times, in the last four years or so. Its decorative exterior seems to fit in until you walk around the corner to flames from a Hawaiian restaurant and scaffolding at a bar across the road. Moreover, whenever I’ve wanted to go for a beer there, it’s been closed and when I have called time on my drinking for the evening, Hops125 was open.
Walking into Hops125 is surreal. Part outside bar, part wooden inside, then part secluded, it’s almost trying to great there different zones. We sat down at the table across from the bar just after opening at 7pm and were given 3 or 4 different food and drink menus. Wine. Craft beer. Food. Tapas. Argh. Too much to look at.
Luckily, the beer menu was on top and easy to see. Hops125 features rotating taps, with domestic beers interspersed with foreign beers though they only had three Japanese craft beers from Ushitora were all that was on. A good choice though much narrower than the last time we went. Beers come in two sizes; either a regular 350ml from ¥950 or a large 470ml from ¥1150. Those prices included tax yet you had to ask how much each beer costs. It’s never a nice experience asking how much something costs, especially beer, so you either suck it up or go somewhere else. Both of the Ushitora’s we had were tasty though the price did nag at our brains.
The food menu is vast and expansive and encompasses lots of different styles though Hops125 specializes in the stinkiest of meats: lamb. Again, prices are not cheap and disappointingly, portions are small. As a tester, we ordered some chips that turned out to be wedges and got 14 chips at about ¥650. After two beers and those wedges, we decided to call it quits and headed back to ABC in Hiroo.
Hops125 One Paragraph Review
At the expensive end of craft beer prices in Tokyo, Hops125 runs Craft Hands a close second for breaking the wallet. The atmosphere is nice and chilled though it’s not enough to really balance the cost when there are cheaper and more viable alternatives in Shibuya and Roppongi.
Open: Monday to Saturday 19:00 – 02:00 Sunday 19:00 – 23:00 (L.O 22:30)
Homepage (in Japanese): Hops125
How to Get to Hops125
Hops125 is best accessed from Ebisu station, either from the west exit of the JR station. or the from the Metro Hibiya line. It’s about a five-minute walk.