Matsumoto Brewery Taproom The Bottom Line
Matsumoto Brewery Taproom is a great little place in an area of Nagano that is deadly in need of some decent craft beer bars. The main downside to Matsumoto Brewery Taproom, at the time of writing, is the hours that the bar is open; however, if you take a walk around Matsumoto then it’s the norm. Being open from 1pm to 7pm limits the amount of post-tourist drinking you can do, so best get in quick before it closes. The whole place is non-smoking, they have beers to take away as well, and a small drinking outside of the store where you can watch people walk on bar. If you stand at the bar, expect to have conversations with everyone that walks in – it’s that friendly. If you want a quiet beer, then go upstairs for some relaxing beers.
Matsumoto Brewery Taproom The Full Review
Matsumoto Brewery Taproom, as the name explains, is the taproom for Matsumoto Brewery, the first brewery to open in Matsumoto city, home to almost 250,000 people. Though it has a relatively small population compared to Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and so on, it’s well known for its tourist spots and is also designated to become a core city in 2020 – meaning it can carry out some key roles without having to rely on the prefecture for decisions. The taproom itself opened in April 2016 after a small crowdfunding exercise and also help from some overseas brewers to get the brewery open in 2018.
Matsumoto Brewery Taproom is located in between Matsumoto station and Matsumoto castle, on the south side of River Ta that runs through the city from south to north and branches off in a few places. The inside of Matsumoto Brewery Taproom is tiny – the first floor has the bar and a small standing area for about 5 to 10 people, while upstairs has space for about 10 people seated. The whole place is non-smoking, including the small drinking area out the front too. There is also no table charge either. The main thing to note about the atmosphere, which could have been influenced by the amount of beer people were drinking, was how friendly everyone was. The staff were happy to talk about the beers, their recipes, the ingredients and took great pride to explain the concept of Matsumoto Brewery. The customers were also happy to chat about things too.
There are four taps of craft beer on at Matsumoto Brewery Taproom – with all four taps being dedicated to Matsumoto Brewery’s beers. The beers come in two sizes: half UK pint (283ml) for ¥600, and UK pint (586ml) for ¥1,000. There weren’t any beer flights on nor was there a happy hour either. However, there are bottles to takeaway if you do get to Matsumoto Brewery Taproom late and they’re about to close. The beers were a little on the “too much head” side but the staff were happy to top them up when asked.
I didn’t get to try any of the food as I had arrived after last orders for food had been called – I couldn’t sway them to give me even a plate of chips! However, I was told that they do have some small bits and pieces, such as gyoza, and some chips too for those looking for a quick bite.
Matsumoto Brewery Taproom Details
Open: Monday to Sunday 13:00 to 19:00 (L.O Food 18:00 Drink 18:30)
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): http://matsu-brew.com/
How to Get to Matsumoto Brewery Taproom
The nearest station to Matsumoto Brewery Taproom is JR Matsumoto on the Shinonoi Line, Ōito Line, Chūō Main Line and Kamikōchi Line operated by Alpico Kōtsū. The bar is about a ten minute walk from the station.