Nihonbashi Brewery The Bottom Line
If you’re going to call yourself a brewery and have you own beer on tap, make sure you have plenty of your own beer on tap – and that was the biggest problem with Nihonbashi Brewery, besides some small niggles that you can probably guess. The place promises so much – a great chilled out atmosphere, with some very comfortable seating along with some tasty food. However, the prices do not include tax and there is also a ¥350 table charge outside of the lunch time hours – which gets you a small bowl of malt, not the best offering for you to eat really. There are also some English menus available too and the whole place is non-smoking too.
Nihonbashi Brewery The Full Review
Ningyocho has never been high up on our list of places to visit for craft beer, but there has been a small wind of change in the area, and in November 2016, Nihonbashi Brewery opened up in the eastern part of Tokyo that is probably better known for dolls as during the Edo period, it was a flourishing entertainment district that hosted Kabuki theaters and puppet shows. and sprawling high-rise mansions than for craft beer.
Nihonbashi Brewery is located between Ningyocho and and Bakuroyokoyama stations on the Tokyo Metro. It’s charm lies in the fact that they took inspiration from the Portland brewery HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery), and that is evident with the amount of wood and also HUB tap handles. However, calling Nihonbashi Brewery a brewery is a slight misnomer, as when you walk in, you may expect to see large brewing vessels and a brewing operation going on, but the actual brewing area is hidden to one side – a shame really in such a busy part of town. This does mean there is more than ample seating space, with space for about 25 people at various tables dotted around the bar, and also another 15 people along the counter that stretches around. However, Nihonbashi Brewery does have a ¥350 table charge and that doesn’t really get you much besides a small bowl of (unused) malt to snack on.
Though there are 13 taps of beer on at Nihonbashi Brewery, on the day we went, only one of those taps was dedicated to their own beers – not really helping push the idea of Nihonbashi Brewery being an actual working brewery. The other taps are sourced from both domestic and overseas, with the beers coming in three sizes: small (200ml) for ¥380, medium (300ml) for ¥580, and large (470ml) for ¥980. None of these prices include tax so make sure you add that on. Moreover, there is no happy hour nor any beer flights, mainly because the small beers are cheap enough to compensate for that according to the water. It’s shame that there are also no takeaway beers seeing as how there is a large residential population in the area, it would have been a good idea to have some crowlers to takeaway.
Where Nihonbashi Brewery does excel is the food and that’s where it seems the food came first and the beer was an afterthought. However, the main downside to the food is that it is all so fancy. All I wanted was some chips – which I got with a large dosing of porcini cream cheese and a ton of bonito flakes on top. Thankfully there were some plates for me to scrape all of the bonito flakes onto, but the chips are damned good. The menus are available in English and there is plenty of choice for vegetarians as well – a welcome change.
Nihonbashi Brewery Details
Open: Monday to Saturday 11:30 – 23:00 (L.O Food 22:00 Drink 22:30) Sunday & National Holidays 11:30 – 22:00 (L.O Food 21:00 Drink 21:30)
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): http://www.zot-inc.com/SHOP/nihonbashibrewery.html
Social Media: Facebook
How to Get to Nihonbashi Brewery
Nihonbashi Brewery lies between Ningyocho [Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and the Toei Asakusa Line] and Bakuroyokoyama [Toei Shinjuku Line] stations.