Shiokaze BrewStand The Bottom Line
In spite of travelling for almost 90 minutes to get here, I was pleasantly surprised by Shiokaze BrewStand and would happily travel again to get here. It ticks off everything I want in a bar – a decent amount of taps with enough variety on them, cheap prices that include tax, and some decent music playing in the background too. Shiokaze BrewStand is designed as a bar where you can come and drink, maybe have a couple of snacks, so don’t go expecting lots of food here, though there are some choices in the area. The whole place is non-smoking, has no table charge, and also has free WiFi to boot. The downside? It’s far. Very far. Like deepest, darkest Chiba far.
Shiokaze BrewStand The Full Review
I had honestly never heard of Soga in Chiba until June 2020, when Chris Poel, ex-head brewer at Baird Beer, opened up his brewpub taproom in the town. Why Soga? Well if you take a look at our craft beer map, you’ll see that there is nothing else in the area. And also, that the building that the taproom is located in became vacant and fulfilled the needs of Chris and his team.
Shiokaze BrewStand is located less than a five minute walk from JR Soga station. It’s also hard to miss as the front of the store has one of those giant vinyl plastic signs that shops of yore in Japan once had. It helps to make Shiokaze BrewStand stand out more from the buildings around it, and also provides some shade from the sun.
Shiokaze BrewStand Atmosphere and Interior
The first thing you notice about Shiokaze BrewStand is the amount of wood around. The inside, and also outside deck, to the bar were designed and made by the same carpenter who has done most, if not all, of the work for the Baird Beer Taprooms in Japan, Nagakura-san. Inside, there is space for about 16 people, with three tables for 2 people each, and then another 10 counter seats dotted around both the bar counter, and the front window. There is also a small outside drinking area on the deck, with space for two tables of 2 people a piece and then a small standing area. While the inside is non-smoking, the small standing area does have a smoking receptacle so stand away from there. There is no table charge at Shiokaze BrewStand and there is also some free WiFi too.
It seems that Shiokaze BrewStand has also taken some other hints from Baird Beer, with the Baird Numazu being one of the major ones. There is a huge, wall-mounted TV just in front of the toilets, with music being streamed over, and I suspect sports events possibly being shown from time to time, such as the superbowl.
Shiokaze BrewStand Approach to Covid-19
Shiokaze BrewStand is located in Chiba, so the stringent checks that are occuring in bars located in Tokyo are not recommended in Chiba; however, they are following guidelines. All the staff are wearing protective masks, and the seating between people is at social distancing levels. There are alcohol sprays dotted around the bar.
Shiokaze BrewStand Taps And Beer Information
For a small bar, Shiokaze BrewStand has a surprisingly large number of taps, with a great variety of beers on tap too. Of the 15 taps, there was obviously a heavy leaning towards Shiokaze Beers, and the remaining taps were split between domestic and imports. The beers come in two sizes: half US pint (240ml) for ¥500, and then US pint (473ml) for ¥900, with those prices including tax. There is also a bottle fridge at the entrance of the bar, with beers available for takeaway, or drinking in, which occurs a corkage fee of ¥200 per bottle drunk. Unfortunately, there is no happy hour or beer flight, but at these prices, you don’t really need one.
Of the beers I had that day, all four of the Shiokaze Beers were solid representations of the styles, with the Raz Porter and Momo’s Kiss being my favourite out of the bunch I had. I would have liked to have tried some more, but alas, the beers had begun to kick in and take effect.
Shiokaze BrewStand Food
If you haven’t eaten enough before coming to Shiokaze BrewStand, then it’s highly advised to do so as the offerings at the bar are spartan to say the least. There’s some tasty nuts and sausages on sale, but it’s not enough to fill you up. The menu was in English, and all the prices included tax as well.
Shiokaze BrewStand Details
- Open: Weekdays 15:00 – 22:00 (L.O 21:30) / Weekends 12:00 – 22:00 (L.O 21:30)
- Closed: See social media
- Happy Hour: None
- Phone: 043-386-4450
- Homepage: N/A
- Social Media: Facebook / Instagram