Bakushu Club Popeye The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the most variety of beer in a bar then with Bakushu Club Popeye it’s the one and only place that you should look at, with its 70+ taps of craft beer. It’s a must go place at least once; however, with the years gone by, Bakushu Club Popeye is no longer the seminal place to have craft beer in Tokyo as there are other choices which are far more convenient and also cheaper too. All the prices included tax, there isn’t a table charge, they have bilingual menus, and also a wifi connection too. The wifi password is “70beersontap”
Bakushu Club Popeye The Full Review
Why has it taken us so long to review Bakushu Club Popeye – Tokyo’s first and legendary craft beer bar? Well, it’s not like we’ve been back there too many times since our first visit in the cold winter of January 2004. Of course, any craft beer fan in Japan has to go there at least once if they’re in the area to find out what all the commotion about the place is. Bakushu Club Popeye, or to give it its more common name of Popeye’s, opened in 1985 and has been in the same location since. Moreover, Aoki-san also started up Strange Brewing, which supply Popeye’s with their in-house beers, though we’re yet to see them outside of the bar.
Bakushu Club Popeye is located near Ryogoku station in Sumida-ku – it’s actually on the opposite side of the Ryogoku Kokugikan, the famous sumo stadium. It has space inside for what appears to be upwards of 70 people though be prepared to get very close to the person next to you. On the numerous occasions I’ve been, it’s been very cramped and cosy. Amazing how many people you can fit inside such a small place. There is also a seating area outside for small groups and the whole place is non-smoking. For those wondering, there isn’t a table charge either, so you don’t have to worry about that.
But Bakushu Club Popeye is all about the beer – all 70+ taps of beer. There might not be every kind of style of beer you know of on tap, but you can pretty much find something you might like to drink. For those that know me, it’s hell to drink with me – I can’t decide on a beer even if there is only one beer on the menu, so this was going to take some time. There is a Beer Attendant who can help you out as he asks you questions about what kind of beers your like and tastes. Beers come in a variety of sizes and prices with the small being generally 9oz (266ml) with prices from roughly ¥600 to ¥700 and 14oz (420ml) with prices from roughly ¥880 to ¥1300. All the prices have tax included, even the ones with a ‘0’ on the end, so there are no surprises there. There is also an interesting happy hour whereby if you order any beer on the menu that has a crown mark next to it, you receive a small plate of food.
Once you have had 6 beers and 6 plates of food, I didn’t feel the need to try any of the main dishes at Bakushu Club Popeye, though some people did order around me. And it didn’t look anyway as appetising as the beer did, but then noone comes to Popeye’s for the food really.
Bakushu Club Popeye Details
Open: Monday to Friday 17:00 to 23:30 (L.O 23:00) Saturday and Holidays 15:00 to 23:30 (L.O 23:00)
Happy Hour: Weeekdays 17:00 to 20:00, Saturday and Holidays 13:00 to 20:00. Receive one small plate of food with every beer that has a crown mark.
Phone: 03 3633 2120
How to Get to Bakushu Club Popeye
The closest station to Bakushu Club Popeye is JR Ryogoku on the Chuo-Sobu line from Tokyo. It’s also a seven minute walk from Tokyo Oedo Ryogoku station as well.