It was only in the middle of 2021 that I knew that I had a brewery less than 5 kms from my house in the form of Yokohama Bay Brewing Totsuka. Of course, going there and finding out that it wasn’t in fact the brewery but a taproom was a little bit disappointing, but the owner said the brewery was up the road and I had probably passed it without realising due to it looking like a metal works. The bar manager mentioned the brewery occasionally has open days where people can go along, have a look around the brewery, and drink some (cheap) beers. Of course, with Covid-10 still going on, it was unknown when the brewery would be open, but keep an eye out for it.
Well that day came along at the beginning of February and what with a quasi-SoE going on – does anyone still think that these work once the horse has bolted – the event was limited in numbers and also all-seating only to minimise the risk of transmission. On the day of the event, there was space for about 30 people at various plastic patio seating both inside the brewery, and out front. And let me tell you, in spite of the blue skies, somehow we managed to get the coldest area in the brewery.
On the day, beers at the Yokohama Bay Brewing Brewery event were discounted and came in two sizes: half pints (240 ml) for 500 yen and pints (470 ml) for 800 yen, with some of the specials costing a little bit more. Yokohama Bay Brewing Brewery aren’t well known for their IPAs but the traditional styles, such as pilsners, weizens, and dark lagers are pretty damned good.
From left to right:
- Yokohama Bay Brewing Bay Pilsner – This was the non-filtered version, hence the cloudiness to it, and it was fantastic. Imagine a pilsner with just a smidgen of sourness, in a good way, to it, and that’s what this non-filtered version was like. It was subtle compared to the regular but this was the deemed to be the best on the day.
- Yokohama Bay Brewing Dark Lager – A schwarz but a Czech style with it being a little thinner in the body, but with a bit more roasted quality to it. Not acrid thankfully but definitely noticed the black malt present in the beer. Some chocolate to once it had warmed up but good.
- Yokohama Bay Brewing Mikan Wheat – Take a wheat beer base and then add some mikans, or satsumas/clementines, to the beer and you end up with a refreshing beer that is perfect for summer or warmer days. Just a shame it was single digit temperatures on the day.
- Yokohama Bay Brewing Bay Weiss – When this is fresh, like it was today, the Bay Weiss is a fantastic example of this beer – light and fruity with a good bite to it. There was a bit of funk going on from the yeast, which brought a light dusting of fruitiness but overall, well balanced.
Besides drinking beer, the brewery was pretty much opened up for people to walk around and have a look on the day, with the head brewer, Suzuki-san, greeting people as they came in. The brewery itself is a very tall building, with lots of remnants from it being a metal works in its previous life. The huge copper pots really do dominate the brewery, though the sparkling stainless steel did catch my eye, it’s not often you see copper pots at a brewery, with TDM 1874 being only the other one that I know of.
The event felt very chilled out, there was no music or entertainers mind, it was just about people coming together and having some beers. I’ll definitely go again to the next event – whenever that may be – and try to get some of the beers to takeaway.