Editor’s Note: Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka has closed. This review has been kept up for posterity’s sake.
Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka One Paragraph Review
If you want some cheap midday beers and only if you’re in the area, Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka is a reasonable choice, though make sure you’ve eaten beforehand. The beers weren’t served in the best condition I went, with them being rather on the flat side; however, there is a wide choice available so it could have been restricted just to the one beer. The bar is non-smoking and also includes tax in all of the prices as well. There wasn’t a table charge either; however, there was no WiFi and none of the menus, bar the signs dotted around the room, were in English.
Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka Full Review
Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka opened in September 2015 and was the first craft beer bar to open in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo. It’s the second bar in the Craft Beer Kitchen chain, with the other one being located in Tama-plaza. Jiyugaoka is a strange place as it’s a major commuter town in the suburbs of Tokyo, so quite a late starter to the craft beer scene. I had just finished up in Big Love Records and was looking for a place in the area to meet a friend that was open at 2pm. Thankfully, this place is open from 11am until late so a bit of a result there.
Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka is located in the Luz Jiyugaoka building about five minutes from Jiyugaoka station, which is located on both the Tokyu Toyoko Line and also the Tokyu Oimachi Line as well. Besides getting lost in the station for about five minutes trying to find the north exit, the bar is easy to find. There are two main seating areas: either outside by the stairwell, which has space for about 10 people, or inside once you get past the taps and gauges on show (more about that later). There is plenty of space inside with a good distance between the tables, so you’re not jammed in shoulder-to-shoulder with the next set of drinkers. Inside and outside are completely non-smoking and there wasn’t any table charge on the day we went.
There are about 20 taps of craft beer, with the leaning towards domestic breweries. There were a couple of imported craft beers on the list though they had sold out when asked for. Beers at Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka come in three different sizes: small (270ml) from ¥450 to ¥700, medium (380ml) from ¥700 to ¥950, and large (473ml) from ¥850 to ¥1,150. There is also a happy hour from 11:00 to 16:59 where three select beers are charged at small for ¥450, medium for ¥650, or large for ¥850. All the prices include tax too.
The major gripe I had about Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka is that the beers seemed a tad thin for my liking – a bit on the watery side. Moreover, the Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale that I had first of all seemed flat – while the gauges did show the gas levels for all the beers being individually set, I couldn’t help but ask about the beer. The beermeister, as he’s called, mentioned that the beers are served like this, also with no head, to allow the customer to “embrace the full aroma of the beer” – his words.
The food at Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka appeared to be delicious on the menu – three types of potatoes for chips, and a nice appetizer of smoked starters – but when they arrived, talk about disappointing. The chips were, well, wedges that had been cut horizontally across the potato the short way and the smoked plate, which was supposed to be shared between 2 to 3 people, would have been perfect for one person – as a starter. Make sure you eat a bit before you go Craft Beer Kitchen as it could get pricey with all the food you need to at least have some semblance of a meal.
Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka Details
Open: Monday to Sunday 11:00 to 24:00 (L.O Food 23:00 Drink 23:30)
Happy Hour: Yes. Three beers as chosen by the beermeister at small for ¥450, medium for ¥650, or large for ¥850 from 11:00 to 16:59
Homepage: Craft Beer Kitchen on Gurunavi
How to Get to Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka
The closest station to Craft Beer Kitchen Jiyugaoka is Jiyugaoka on the Tokyu Toyoko and Tokyo Oimachi lines. Take the north exit and the Luz Building is less than 5 minutes away.