Craft Beer Maltan One Paragraph Review
Craft Beer Maltan is a funny little bar; it’s a place where I could happily sit and drink for hours on end and chat with the interesting, and slightly eccentric owner, Nakamura-san. It’s quaint and interesting decor reminds me of pubs from the UK from the 70’s and 80’s but the place is incredibly smoky. Heck, even the owner happily smokes away behind the bar as he serves beers. With no table charge and tax included in the price, it is still one of the cheapest places to drink in Kanda, though the range of tap beers is smaller compared to Devilcraft down the road. If you don’t mind the smoke then it’s a highly recommended bar with plenty of character.
Craft Beer Malton Full Review
Open in 2007, Craft Beer Maltan has been around in Tokyo before the second burst of the craft beer market started and it has seen plenty of contenders open up in the area. I’ve visited Craft Beer Maltan a couple of times in the past and have always found it an interesting and fun place to visit; interesting owner, other customers that welcome everyone and anyone to the conversation and a decent lineup of craft beer. It’s located near the south exit of Kanda station, Craft Beer Maltan could pretty much be described as a smoking dive bar with plenty of character. As it is a basement bar, it can be easy to walk past it unless you spot the small sign outside.
Inside, Craft Beer Maltan has plenty of space for large groups or people drinking alone. There are about eight seats at the counter with about fifteen tables dotted around the bar. If you do sit by the bar, be warned, I’ve never known someone to smoke so much in such a short amount of time. I don’t like to harp on about smoking but there are readers of BeerTengoku who are averse to it. It is a smoking bar as well though the amount of smoke does vary. I’ve been on weekdays, where no one has been smoking at times, but then other times it’s been full of smoke. While the same applies to weekends.
There are eight taps at Craft Beer Maltan, with three being the same every day: Shiga Kogen IPA, Minoh Stout on hand pump, and Yona Yona Real ale on hand pump. There are also some guest beers on tap as well, with four different ones on the day we went: two from Ushitora, Shiga Kogen House IPA, Minoh W-IPA, and also the Aqula Maltan Amber Ale from their eighth anniversary. Beers come in two sizes of either half-pint (280ml) at ¥650~¥800 or US pint (473ml) at ¥950~¥1200 depending on which beer you order. Craft Beer Maltan doesn’t have the most extensive range of beers on tap but it’s worth coming for the guest beers.
The fridges behind the bar hold a variety of Japanese craft beer bottles, such as Sankt Gallen, Minoh, Swan Lake, and also Johanna, as well though with prices approaching the same price for draft beer, it would be foolish to buy them, especially with Nomono in Akihabara and Le Collier / Liquors Hasegawa in Tokyo station just one stop along in either direction. Make sure you check out the Twitter feed for the latest beer listing before you go.
The food at Craft Beer Maltan varies from full meals of fish and chips and garlic mushrooms to smaller snacks such as chips and edamame. With all the smoke though, I just went for the small cheese plate that had three different cheeses. Nice but the overpowering smokiness meant I wasn’t too happy eating in here. Luckily I had eaten before hand.
Craft Beer Maltan Details
Open: Monday to Thursday 1700 ~ 01:00, Friday 17:00 ~ 04:00, Saturday 17:00 ~ 24:00
Homepage (in Japanese): http://maltan.ojaru.jp/
How to Get to Craft Beer Maltan
Craft Beer Maltan can be reached from either JR Kanda on the Yamanote and Chuo line or from the Tokyo Metro station on the Ginza line. If you’re using the JR line, turn right out of the south exit and the building is right in front of you. If you’re using the Tokyo Metro station, take exit number two, turn right, and walk straight.