Marca Cafe & Beer Factory The Bottom Line
Marca Cafe & Beer Factory always has an interesting selection of craft beers, freshly brewed in house, but the comfort and atmosphere of the bar leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a standing bar with very little room, no food options, and no decor. If you’d like to try something new or experimental, stop by for a quick drink as it’s practically a guarantee that the beer menu will feature something you haven’t tasted before, but if you’re looking for a nice place to spend an evening with friends you’d better look elsewhere.
Marca Cafe & Beer Factory The Full Review
I used to visit this bar quite often, as it’s right around the corner from where I work. It used to be exactly what I was looking for in a brewpub: they had a good selection of beers brewed in house, a decent food menu, and the space to sit down and enjoy it all. Unfortunately, they closed their doors in February for a major renovation, and didn’t open again for nearly two months. Needless to say, when they finally did re-open I was excited to see the changes.
My excitement was short-lived as I discovered that they had eliminated all the seating at the bar to make room for additional beer tanks. The brewery aspect of the bar, once relegated to a backroom where it could be seen from the bar, was now expanded into the customer area. Of course, more than just seating was lost in this process. The kitchen which once stood behind the bar was slashed as well, meaning that they no longer serve food other than a cup of mixed nuts for ¥300 or a small plate of cheese and crackers for ¥500.
The way beer is served at the bar was changed as well. Previously the list of beers would include 3-4 standard priced beers and 3-4 limited beers that cost 200 yen extra per glass. Now they have 4 beers on tap at all times and the prices for each are always the same. A small beer (250ml) is ¥500, a large (500ml) is ¥900, and a flight is ¥1200. Since the flight contains one small of each of the four beers on tap, it’s definitely the best value, but the counter area is the only place you’ll have room to set it down and it only has space for about three people. There’s a little additional space for people willing to hold their beers in a narrow hall alongside the tanks, or the beer can actually just be taken out of the bar since everything is served in plastic cups. Everything is ordered via tickets at a machine at the counter, and those who really enjoy the bar can also purchase glasses, plates, or T-shirts.
Making up for the spatial issues and lack of food at Marca Cafe & Beer Factory is the beer itself. While they do sometimes have normal styles like kölsch, saison, and pale ales, the four beer list almost always contains at least one that’s more interesting or experimental. On my most recent visit I ordered the flight pictured below which contained (from left to right in the picture) a Belgian White, a Session Hazy IPA, a Coffee Amber, and a Berry Porter. In the past they’ve also offered a sake IPA, Yuzu Pale Ale, Chocolate Brown Ale, and Maple and Raspberry fruit beer. The rotation changes quite often, so even if you get a flight one week, if you return a week later you’ll probably have four different beers to try, and because they are truly a microbrew, the recipes sometimes change. I’ve had that Belgian White twice now and the ABV and flavor was noticeably different on the second trip.
Marca Cafe & Beer Factory Details
Open: Sunday through Saturday 15:00-21:00
Closed: National Holidays
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): http://beermarca.com/
How to Get to Marca Cafe & Beer Factory
The closest station to Marca Cafe & Beer Factory is Nishi-Nagahori on the Sen-Nichimae or Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi lines. The bar is about a 3 minute walk from the station.