29BY The Bottom Line
Craft Meat and Baird Harajuku Taproom both show that with the right prices and menu, you can’t really go wrong with meat and craft beer – if it’s priced right and the servings are good. Perhaps someone should have told 29BY about these two places as it’s hard to recommend the place in its current form. At the time of writing, the prices are too expensive for both the amount beer and food that you get. The main upsides to 29BY is that it is non-smoking (there is a smoking booth but it’s enclosed and by the toilets) and also that there is no table charge, but the prices do not include tax. Moreover, only the bare minimum of information is in English, so make sure you take someone who can read Japanese. At least the chips are worth going for though.
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29BY The Full Review
Kannai’s soon-to-be second brewpub, behind Yokohama Bay Brewing Kannai, opened in December 2017; however, at the time of writing, there was no brewery equipment installed, nor any working taps of their own beer. Not the best start really for Gojo-san. Yes, the same Gojo-san that used to work at Yokohama Beer has upped and moved sticks to get his own brewpub (254 Beer) working. It’s due to start making their own beer in June 2018 – once the typical Japanese bureaucracy has done its job. Knowing what they’re like, it could well take longer than that.
Located between Sakuragicho and Kannai station, 29BY is in the busy area of Kannai at the north side – there’s lot of other bars in the area. However, it is the first one in the area that specialises in horse meat and also yakitori. 29BY is on the second floor of the building, with 254 Beer aiming to be on the first floor. It’s as you walk in that you notice the brewery is missing. Go up the stairs at the back and you walk into a darkened floor with space for about 30 people or so – if you don’t mind sitting close to others. The bar itself is non-smoking, though there is a small booth at the back that is for smokers. I did see some people smoking on the day but didn’t notice any smells coming from there. There wasn’t any table charge anywhere in the bar.
At the time of writing, 29BY only had beers on from other breweries. There were 8 taps on with an even split between domestic craft beer and imported craft beer. However, the kicker was the prices. All of the beers were priced at ¥850 to ¥950 for 350ml and none of the prices included tax – making 29BY one of Kannai’s most expensive places to drink. I’m hoping that in the future, the beers from 254 Beer downstairs are priced cheaper than the imports. There wasn’t any beer flight on offer nor any happy hour either. Only the basic beer information was in English but it was more than enough to order from.
The food at 29BY is primarily based around meat – horse, chicken, and pork – so if you’re vegetarian, you’re not going to have much luck. The prices were a little more than expected; however, the food is tasty. The chips though – WOW! – spicy curly fries for a decent sized portion. Before I knew it, they had gone and I was wanting more. But just not with the price of the beer though.
29BY Second Opinion by Joe
A couple of points here. We’re not criticising 29BY for their lack of beer- we know that breweries are required to be functioning while the license application is processing, which can take upwards of six months. So they might as well open up with what they’ve got and make a bit of cash, eh? And they are making up for it with beers from other breweries. But as Rob said, the beers are pricey for what you get.
Also, we need to reiterate that this place serves horse meat. I personally have no problem with eating these majestic animals, but for some people it’s as off-putting as a restaurant that serves whale meat. Also, the yakitori is cooked traditionally, which means it may arrive on your plate still clucking.
Open: Tuesday to Friday 16:00 – 23:00 Saturdays 15:00 – 23:00 Sundays 15:00 – 22:00
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): https://254beer.blogspot.jp/
How to Get to 29BY
29BY is located between Kannai on the JR line and also the Yokohama City Subway. It can also be reached from Keikyu Hinodecho station as well.