Nested amongst the high righ buildings that surround the Yaesu exit of Tokyo station is Swan Lake Pub Edo, Swan Lake Beer’s own taproom, supplying the business workers with decent beer that perhaps don’t know the difference between a Asahi and a Kirin. Opened in 2012, Swan Lake Pub Edo was opened to celebrate Swan Lake Beer’s 15th anniversary and has proven to be a popular haunt for office workers and craft beer fans since. It is also one of the few bars in Tokyo that opens up relatively early and not 5pm, so useful for a quick beer if you’ve just been shopping in Liquors Hasegawa.
Swan Lake Pub Edo is located on a back street about five minutes from Kyobashi station but it can also be reached from the Yaseu exit of Tokyo station, yet I always seem to get lost whenever I go there. Either I take the street before, or the street after and have to double back on myself. It sticks out from the rest of the bars and shops in the area with the wooden facade out the front and has both inside and a (covered) outside area. My visit to Swan Lake Pub Edo came after a long day with family, first at the Lego Discovery Center in Odaiba (great place by the way) and then a trip to watch the bullet trains pull in to Tokyo station, and I was looking for a place to drink. The staff at Swan Lake Pub Edo were great about me bringing my son in for a quick beer and were very helpful too.
Seeing as we had just arrived after opening time, the staff were still cleaning some of the pipes, so choice was a bit limited though with 30 taps on show, yes 30, there was still a great selection of beers available. Though the Swan Lake Black-IPA was a no go. As was the Swan Lake B-IPA. Swan Lake Pub Edo does sell the whole of the Swan Lake Beer range, as well as some limited editions such as the Swan Lake Imperial Stout (go get it!) and there is also a selection of beers from other Japanese craft beer breweries too. Prices for Swan Lake Beers are ¥650 for a 250ml glass, and¥980 for a 500ml and both prices include tax. Prices for other beers vary from ¥830 to ¥880 for a 250ml glass, and ¥1300 to ¥1500 for a 500ml so it is best to stick to the Swan Lake Beers if you’re looking for a cheap(er) drinking session. There is also a happy hour from Monday to Friday, 1pm to 6pm, where all Swan Lake 250ml beers are ¥500 and Swan Lake 500ml beers are ¥800. A guest beer is included in this deal but changes daily.
The Swan Lake Porter is always tasty from the bottle and the draft is much better, especially at happy hour prices. It’s chocolate malts come through nicely and is always well-balanced, the only problem being I asked for a 500ml glass and ended up with a 250ml glass. Never mind. The barman gave me a sample of the Swan Lake B-IPA, their take on a Belgian IPA that is a good cross of wheat and bitter hops. Finally, the Swan Lake Golden Ale came up and was an interesting take on the golden range. Thankfully, this last one came up in a 500ml glass and all was forgiven.