Highbury The Home Of Beer The Bottom Line
With me being an Arsenal fan, I should love Highbury The Home Of Beer. It’s got everything an Arsenal fan would love: Arsenal memorabilia, Arsenal fans, Arsenal games, and the library atmosphere to boot. But the prices left me feeling a bit cold and confused considering I could get the same beers for cheaper elsewhere and also for larger sizes. The food was just not up to scratch. And for me, those are the sticking points. While Highbury The Home Of Beer does have an outside drinking area, it’s the smoking area too, though all no table charge and tax inclusive prices is always welcome. Ando-san is welcoming to all, though I didn’t see any other London football team fans in there.
While British themed pubs are seemingly popular in Japan, football themed pubs are far and few between in Tokyo and with Highbury The Home Of Beer, they’ve dedicated themselves to London’s winningest team – Arsenal FC. Located near Shinjuku-Gyoenmae station, Highbury The Home Of Beer opened in September 2016, just in time to catch the beginning of the football season in the UK.
Decked out in Arsenal memorabilia, the atmosphere at Highbury The Home Of Beer is very much of a British pub and has a similar atmosphere with TVs playing football matches in the background loud enough to be heard, but not so loud it drowns out the conversation. There is plenty of space inside, with tables for standing and sitting for about 30 people and standing room at the bar too. There is also an outside area for drinking too, though this also doubles up as the smoking area as the inside is completely non-smoking. There is also no table charge at Highbury The Home Of Beer either.
There are 11 taps of craft beer, and the tap list is written up in a 442 formation behind the bar. The list is split between Thornbridge – a UK brewery that does make some nice beers – and domestic craft beers too. On the day I went, there were offerings from Hitachino Nest and Ushitora as well. There are also plans for the bar, under the guise of Highbury Brewing, to start producing their own beers for sale as well. Beer size and price is stupidly confusing when sober, so I can’t imagine the problems after a few beers. Beers tend to come in small (270ml) for ¥700 ~ ¥850, 1/2 UK pint (283ml) for ¥750, medium (350ml perhaps) for ¥1,000 ~ ¥1,200, large (470ml) for ¥1,000, and UK pint (568ml) for ¥1,000 to ¥1,200. Anything else is a guessing game of the size and truly a disgrace. After spending ¥1,400 trying to get a Ushitora beer in a UK pint, I kind of gave up and moved on elsewhere. There is no happy hour, nor are there any tasting sets either. Thankfully, the prices include tax and you pay as you order.