Cool Beer Craft : The Bottom Line
Go for the happy hour – which is an absolute bargain in Japan let alone Hokkaido – and soak up the table charge in that time at Cool Beer Craft, and get some tasty food. Outside of the happy hour, then Cool Beer Craft is an ok addition to the craft beer scene in Sapporo. I didn’t notice anytone smoking in Cool Beer Craft; however, I’ve heard reports that they do allow it, so take that with a pinch of salt. Prices include tax as well though those wanting an English menu might be out of luck. However there is some free wifi.
Cool Beer Craft : The Full Story
Walking around Sapporo, I stumbled across Cool Beer Craft and saw that they had a happy hour. Always a good idea to check out a place with a happy hour I thought. It also seemed that Cool Beer Craft had been open for a while as there was already a sizeable crowd at the back of the bar with some laughter and loud chatter going on.
Cool Beer Craft opened in February 2014 and is located in between Odori station and Susukino station, though it would be also fair to say that it is rather near the Tanukikoji stop on the Sapporo streetcar route. Cool Beer Craft is part of a company called Boo Craft, who operate several shops in Sapporo, though Cool Beer Craft seems to be their only craft beer bar in the area at the time of writing.
Cool Beer Craft : Atmosphere & Interior
Cool Beer Craft is quite a spacious place, with a variety of seating – some larger tables at the back of the bar, behind the kitchen area, some tables in the main entrance area, plenty of counter seating, and some standing tables at the front of the bar, by the main windows. Not being able to see the whole place, I was told there was seating for over 40 people but the front tables are often used for standing drinkers. There is a table charge though of 418 yen, which includes tax, and this is pointed out to you when you walk in – so you’re given a chance to get out though during happy hour, the prices are cheap to suck up this cost.
On the day that I went, there wasn’t anyone smoking, but after reading up about Cool Beer Craft some more, it seems that they have been allowed to continue operating as a smoking establishment under some sketchy grandfathering laws. I think that if you ask for ashtrays or ask about smoking then you can, but the store doesn’t promote it. One point to note – they were playing Die Hard on some of the TVs in the bar – a bonus point for having one of the best Christmas movies ever made.
Cool Beer Craft : Approach to Covid-19
When you walk into Cool Beer Craft, you’re asked to spray some alcohol on your hands and have a quick temperature check. The staff are also wearing face masks and employ social distancing. The most interesting thing though is prefectural wide system of being able to log onto a site and report any bar or eatery that is not employing basic protocol for the preventing of the spread of Covid-19.
Cool Beer Craft : Beer & Tap Information
Cool Beer Craft has 10 taps of beer, though some of those are dedicated to Asahi’s Sumidagawa “craft” range, so less said about that, the better. The rest of the beers on tap are generally domestic, though they do have some imports from time to time. Moreover, there are some cans as well for drinking, but I didn’t see any prices for them, but I suspect they come with the dreaded corkage fee. The beers come in three different sizes: small (200 ml) from 715 yen, medium (330 ml) from 935 yen, and large (568ml) from 1,320 yen with those prices including tax. There is also a 3 beer tasting set of 150 ml for 1,430 yen and also a happy hour.
Let’s get down to business – Cool Beer Craft has one of the cheapest happy hours I’ve come across in Japan full stop. From 4pm to 6pm, all the domestic craft beers are 30% off for all sizes, so a large beer is now 924 yen… That is simply a ridiculous price for happy hour beers and you bet I took advantage of it over a few days. They even call last orders on the happy hour time so feel free to pick up some more beers while you’re waiting. This offer doesn’t count towards beer flights though but the small size is cheap enough to get a few samplers in.
Cool Beer Craft : Food Information
The parent company of Cool Beer Craft, Boo Craft, as previously mentioned, has three different shops in the area, with slightly different themes for all of them. However, Cool Beer Craft does source their meat from their own butchers, and while there are a few options for vegetarians on the menu, the bar is mostly focussed around meat goods. The lamb was sourced from a Hokkaido farm and was cooked to perfection. The menus were not in English and nor was I offered one, though there are some pictures on the menu if you get stuck.
Cool Beer Craft : Information
- Open : Daily 16:00 – 01:00 (L.O Food 0:00 Drink 0:30)
- Closed : N/A
- Happy Hour : Daily 16:00 – 18:00
- Phone : 011-596-0774
- Homepage (in Japanese) : http://boo-craft.com/
- Social Media : Facebook / Instagram / Twitter