Editor’s note: Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo in Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo closed at the end of March 2018. This review is being kept up for posterity.
Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo One Paragraph Review
If you’re looking for some cheap, craft beer that is a gamble, then Nishi-Ogikubo Bakshu Kobo is the right place for you. You might get lucky and end up with some nice beer, though you may end up with some bad beer with massive amounts of head. Like Koenji Bakushu Kobo, the warm, friendly atmosphere and cheap beer make it a winner. Moreover, the chance of you getting the same beer twice is very low as the recipes are always changing. There is no table charge, tax is included in the price and the whole bar is non-smoking both inside and out. Some of the menus are in English but none of the staff spoke English on the day we went.
Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo Full Review
If you’ve read our review of the Koenji Bakushu Kobo, then you should know what you’re getting at this place. Nishi-Ogikubo Beer Kobo is the fifth iteration of the Bakushu Kobos slowly making their way across the Chuo line in Kanto. Bakushu Kobo, which literally translates to “beer workshop” is best described as a brewpub. The chain started out in 2009 when Nomura quit his job as an advertising executive to start making ‘tezukuri’ as he calls it or hand-made beer. He also built the interior, and some of the exterior of Koenji Bakushu Kobo by himself too. Industrious…
Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo is located about a five-minute walk from JR Nishi-Ogikubo on what appears to be the main shopping street of the area. It’s very easy to find and a welcome addition to an area that seems to be on the cusp of the craft beer scene but without any proper bars of its own. Though like the Koenji branch, this one was decked out in so much wood, in particular chipboard, you would think the owner had got a special deal on it. Chipboard is EVERYWHERE and most of it is unpainted or unvarnished, so be weary of splinters. There is plenty of space inside, with about fifteen tables dotted around the bar, with some seating outside. The whole bar is non-smoking too and there is no table charge either.
The beers at Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo are all brewed on-site and you can see the brewery behind the counter. The beers come in two sizes, small at 235ml from ¥250 to ¥500 and jokki at 435ml from ¥400 to ¥600, though without any explanation as to why the price difference. The most annoying thing about this place, and heck, the owners are even brazenly open about it is head. The price of beer includes head and if you don’t want it, well they aren’t going to top the beer up. Some of the beers had 40% head and when I complained the guy behind the bar replied with “that’s what our customers want.” Not the best customer service we’ve had. Beers can also be bought to take away using a growler if you have one, though there are some for sale on site.
The food at Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo followed the food at other branches with chips and sausages being favourites of ours but the problem was all the menus were in Japanese. One of the people we were with lamented the fact that for a popular bar, there was a lack of bilingual menus.
Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo Details
Open: Tuesday to Friday 17:00 ~ 23:00 (L.O 22:30) Saturday 11:30 ~ 23:00 Sunday 11:30 ~ 21:00
Closed: Monday (for brewing)
Homepage (in Japanese): http://beerkobo.web.fc2.com/nishiogiindex.html
How to Get to Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo
The closest station to Nishi-Ogikubo Bakushu Kobo is JR Nishi-Ogikubo on the Chuo line (rapid) and the Chuo-Sobu local line. Turn left out of the north exit and walk straight for about five minutes.