Craftrock Brewpub The Bottom Line
Usually we give a new brewery or brewpub some time before trying out their beers, and Craftrock Brewpub has the potential to do well, as long as they introduce some variety in their beers and improve them – hopefully with some feedback they will. The bar itself is a bit of style over substance too – even though it felt like a big space, the closeness of the tables felt a little claustrophobic at times, definitely a run over from the Craft Beer Market (CBM) influence with everyone rubbing elbows. Moreover, there is also a table charge on top. However, without trying to be all negative, there are some positives to Craftrock Brewpub that will get me going back again once they’ve had time to work on their system. The whole place is non-smoking and the prices also include tax, and there is also some free WiFi on top.
Craftrock Brewpub The Full Review
So what do you do when you have a successful chain of craft beer bars in Tokyo, with another one in Osaka, and you’re looking for new ideas? Well you close a couple of the stores down (Jimbocho Terrace and Koenji) then try to open up a brewery, then realise that perhaps a brewpub in this day and age would be a better idea – make your own beer then sell it to other bars in the chain. That’s exactly what the owners of Craft Beer Market, a company called Steady Works, have done with Craftrock Brewpub – a venue that works as a brewery, a bar, and also a music space too for concerts and performances in the heart of Tokyo.
Craftrock Brewpub, or to give it its full name Craftrock Brewpub & Live (urgh hate the usage of that word), is a brewpub located in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo that is better known for its rows of upmarket department stores and antenna shops, than craft beer. The bar is situated in the Coredo bulding, which also doubles up as an office space and a large food court across various floors. Craftrock Brewpub itself has space for about 150people inside, all seated at various tables and along the counter, though there is a small standing area that wasn’t in use on the day we went. The main problem we have with the seating at these various iterations of the CBM chain is that your continually rubbing elbows with someone elses or someones back – it would be nice to have just a little bit of space to drink. I guess they try to cram more people in to drink more and get more of that special table charge of ¥300 but don’t worry, if you’re standing then there’s no table charge, but there’s no way to know until you go if you can stand or not. There is some free Wifi though with passwords posted around the bar.
As we’ve already mentioned, Craftrock Brewpub is also the main vehicle for Craftrock Brewing, and with 14 taps of beer on, there is a heavy leaning towards their own beers, with the rest of the lineup consisting of a mixture of domestic and imported craft beer. The beers come in two sizes: the Craftrock Brewing beers are priced at half pint (250ml) for ¥600 and pint (473ml) for ¥900 while the guest beers are half pint (250ml) from ¥680 and pint (473ml) for ¥980 – so clearly it’s better to drink the in-house beers. There is no happy hour nor any beer flights on – a shame as it would have been good to try a variety of their beers rather than drinking lots of halves. The in-house beers are ok, though we suspect the head-brewer, Ryo Suzuki who has experience working at DevilCraft, should improve the beers as time goes on.
The food at Craftrock Brewpub is a little rough around the edges though – mixed service with portion sizes that vary – another remnant of the CBM chain – cheap beers with slightly pricier, smaller portioned food to get the money in. The loaded fries did look good. Hopefully the service will improve too as the staff get trained and used to it. All of the menus are both in Japanese and in English with some of the staff also being bilingual too.
Craftrock Brewpub Details
Open: Daily 11:00 – 23:30 (L.O Food 22:00 Drink 22:30)
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): https://craftrock.jp/brewpub/
How to Get to Craftrock Brewpub
The closest stations to Craftrock Brewpub are Mitsukoshimae [Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line] and Shin-Nihombashi [JR Sobu Line].