Minami Yokohama Beer Labo The Bottom Line
While the beers at Minami Yokohama Beer Labo were drinkable (more on that later), it’s the cosy atmosphere that I liked more than anything else. It felt like I was sitting in someone’s living room drinking their beer. There was a real mix of clientele – families with young kids, families with teenagers, your local neighbourhood drunkard, along with the ojisan too. The whole place is non-smoking though there is a table charge and very little is written in English besides beer names and food names – sometimes that’s all you need. Would I go again? Not unless I was in the area but that’s only because I don’t live in the area; however, if you haven’t been, it’s one of the better little brew pubs in the Kanto area.
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Minami Yokohama Beer Labo The Full Review
Minami Yokohama Beer Labo has taken some time for us to review – mainly because when it first opened, it was really a case of a work in progress. The beers were rough around the edges and didn’t quite taste like the styles they were representing. After being warned off and leaving them for a year or so, Minami Yokohama Beer Labo was the second in our stop on the Keikyu Line brewpub crawl after Yokosuka Beer. It opened in April 2016 and is also Kanazawa Bunko’s first brewpub – in fact it’s Kanazawa Bunko’s ONLY craft beer bar at the time of writing. Strange for an express stop but I guess with it being a commuter town then there is not much need for a bar.
Minami Yokohama Beer Labo is located about a 5 minute walk from Keikyu Kanazawa Bunko station. From the outside, it’s easy to walk past as it looks like someone’s house from the outside. As you approach, the first floor can be seen but that is the brewery, and noone appeared to be manning it on the day we went. Were we supposed to ring a bell? Noone was around? Was it closed? Nope, you have to go upstairs to the second floor, which appeared to be like someone’s living room. Tatami mats and a few tables dotted around. The tatami area had space for about 12 people, with four tables, along with 6 seats at the counter, and another two tables for six people next to the counter. The whole place is non-smoking, but there is a ¥200 table charge, for which you get a small plate of mixed nuts.
All the beers at Minami Yokohama Beer Labo are brewed in-house, with no guest beers on tap. On the day we went, there were five taps of beers, that came in two sizes: glass (260ml) for ¥480 to ¥640 and mug (400ml) for ¥630 to ¥780. Prices do not include tax though. Moreover, there is no happy hour nor and beer flights on offer; however, you can get some bottles to take away if you so wish. The beer servings were ok, a bit on the heady side, but the beers were not as bad as we had heard. The beers themselves matched up with the styles, thought the Imperial Chicken Stock IPA was an interesting highlight of the day – brewed with real chicken stock. The Belgian White was also a particular good effort of the style as well.
The food at was quite basic – there were only two electric hobs and a small microwave – but it was cheap as well. The toasted sandwich was simple enough and the chips came in two flavours: plain or spicy (which was just curry powder that had been added).
Minami Yokohama Beer Labo Second Opinion by Joe
I loved this place! It’s a real change of pace to see a pub like this, a tiny brewery in a refurbished old house. As Rob said, it’s like drinking in someone’s living room. Food is basic but the brewers are living up to their “Labo” (Lab) name and experimenting with some interesting recipes. I was genuinely surprised to see not only an Imperial IPA, but one made with chicken! The legendary Cock Ale has come home to roost! And if you’re wondering, it was nice! the bitter hoppiness of the IIPA was nicely balanced by the silky umami of the chicken. I made duck fat rye a while ago and it reminded me of that.
Minami Yokohama Beer Labo Details
Open: Weekday 17:00 – 0:00 Saturday 13:30 – 0:00 Sunday 13:30 – 23:00
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): N/A
How to Get to Minami Yokohama Beer Labo
The closest station is Kanazawa Bunko on the Keikyu line.