Numazu Craft The Bottom Line
How can such a “small” place have so many good craft beer bars? Numazu Craft is another addition to a growing list of places to try when you’re in the area. While Numazu Craft is more of a taproom than a fully fledged bar, the beers are well made, cheap, and also come in a variety of styles as well. The whole place is non-smoking, both inside and outside, and there is no table charge either. Just make sure you take some food along with you as nothing is served at Numazu Craft. Be prepared to sit down, relax, and chat away with Kataoka-san in Japanese or in English – though he does love Liverpool so there is something bad about Numazu Craft.
Numazu Craft The Full Review
Numazu Craft is the taproom for Kakitagawa Brewing and opened in January 2018 after the usual lengthy process of getting a brewing license. However, the history of Kakitagawa Brewing, like many other breweries in Japan, is steeped in the not-so-long history of craft beer in Japan. Head brewer Akita-born Kataoka-san worked at Baird Beer – we in fact met him during our interview – for almost 9 years before leaving in 2016 to start up his own brewery. The first beers came out in February 2018 and it was actually head brewer at Baird Beer, Chris Poel, who recommended that we come to Numazu Craft on our trip down. This taproom though only opened weeks before our visit, at the beginning of April 2018.
Numazu Craft is about a 20-minute walk from Numazu station – so either be prepared for a long walk or a cycle. There are buses that pass by the area but not having a clue about Japanese buses in the area, it’s probably best we don’t recommend them either. The taproom is small – with space for 8 people seated inside on some stalls that clearly have been inspired by the Baird Beer Shuzenji Gardens’ ones, and also a small plastic camping table outside. The whole place is non-smoking, and has no table charge. For those wondering about English being available – a valid point seeing as we’re in the countryside – then don’t worry! Kataoka-san is a genial and friendly owner who happily explained things in English – without asking.
There are 10 taps at Numazu Craft but only beers from Kakitagawa Brewing are on sale, with 5 taps being regular beers on throughout the year. The beers come in one size which is a bout 400ml for between ¥600 to ¥650 with prices including tax. There is also a three beer tasting set for ¥700 which gets you any three beers on the menu at 150ml. All of the beers I tried were well made, with the Lava Porter and Rye Wheat Ale being two very drinkable beers worthy of larger purchases. The W-IPA didn’t taste as strong as I was expecting, and the cream lager was spot on for the style. I didn’t notice any happy hour, but at these prices, who needs one? There is also a small selection of bottled beers to take away as well.
There isn’t any food at Numazu Craft, seeing as it’s a tasting room after all. However, you can bring in your own snacks and food if you want.
Numazu Craft Details
Open: Daily 12:00 – 20:00 though random holidays may occur
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): http://numazucraft.com/テイスティングルーム
How to Get to Numazu Craft
Numazu Craft is about a 20-minute walk from Numazu station – so either be prepared for a long walk or a cycle.