Sunday, November 27, 2022
Home Bar Review Tap Room Beer Kotan in Sapporo, Hokkaido

Tap Room Beer Kotan in Sapporo, Hokkaido

by Rob
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Tap Room Beer Kotan : The Bottom Line

In spite of being one of the newer places we visited on our Sapporo drinking tour, Tap Room Beer Kotan is up there with some of the best of them in the area. It has beers at a very good price, a good variety of beers on tap, some tasty food, and also an outside drinking area for those warmer months. The whole place is non-smoking, has no table charge, free wifi, and also English menus for those wanting. It’s almost as if Tap Room Beer Kotan had done some research into what people want in a bar, and did it all.

Tap Room Beer Kotan Inside

Tap Room Beer Kotan : The Full Story

One of my plans for the Hokkaido trip was to get to Hop Kotan Brewing’s brewery over in Kami-Furano, but alas, it turns out that the weather wasn’t really conducive to driving for over two hours one way, and the brewery itself wasn’t allowing visitors inside, nor was there a taproom either on site. I wasn’t the first person to think of this it seems, and with the high demand for the beers from Hop Kotan – some of their online stuff sells out within an hour of going on sale – they released that a tap room would make sense. But not in Tokyo, Osaka, or some place on Honshu, but in Sapporo. And it makes sense as you’ll see later on.

Tap Room Beer Kotan opened in December 2020 and is located just next to Odori station in what is the main craft beer area of Sapporo city. It’s such a popular area that there could well be a guide coming up later this year about a 1 km stretch of road that you could just walk up and down frequenting various bars. Besides that, one of the aims of Tap Room Beer Kotan is to pair their local beers with local produce in the dishes.

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Atmosphere & Interior

The front of the Tap Room Beer Kotan tells a lie – you think you’re about to walk into some incredibly upmarket Japanese restaurant but in fact it leads you into this massive open space that more resembles a countryside bar. Lots of wood, rural looking stone faced walls, ivy lacing around the bar, and a very high ceiling which opens out onto a covered outside drinking area that was unfortunately closed on the day we went. Not a surprise as it had been snowing and was about -1c at the point in the evening.

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In spite of how open it was, Tap Room Beer Kotan was rather warm. There is space inside for around 40 people, with various seating arrangements – at tables, at the window counter, at the bar counter – and there is also some standing tables as well, if you’re that way inclined. The whole place is non-smoking, which also includes the outside deck area, and there is no table charge either. If needed, there is some free wifi with the information dotted around the bar.

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Approach to Covid-19

Like other bars in Sapporo, Tap Room Beer Kotan followed the same approach of temperature checks at the door (do these actually work?), alcohol spray for your hands, and social distancing between drinkers. Moreover, all of the staff were wearing masks, and if you spot anything that goes against the prefectural guidelines, there is the free hotline where you can report the bar or staff.

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Beer & Tap Information

Here’s where the evening went down hill – and in a good way! Tap Room Beer Kotan has 12 taps of beer on, with the majority of those being their own beers, with an occasional one or two guest beers on. The beers come in three sizes: medium (310 ml) from 650 yen, large (420 ml) from 800 yen, and dai-jockey (630 ml) from 1200 yen – with all those prices including tax. That’s some cheap beer and of course it makes sense because shipping is cheaper inside of Hokkaido so the saving in costs can be passed down to the customer. There is also a beer flight option of any three of the medium beers for 1,500 yen – and that is where things went wrong for me! Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any happy hour or takeaway options but then at this point of the evening, my brain had begun to melt down and forgot to ask the most simplest of questions. Too many choices of beers to get through!

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Food Information

With Tap Room Beer Kotan’s philosophy of pairing local beers with local food, the menu does change throughout the year, depending on what is in season, and what is available so the menu is going to be different when you go. The menus are available in English as well, and there are plenty of choices for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I went for nanohana, or rapeseed stems, that had been fried and they were so good that I went back for seconds! The menu wasn’t as large or as diverse as other places in Sapporo, but then Tap Room Beer Kotan is mainly about the beer.

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Information

  • Open : Weekdays 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O Food 22:00 Drink 22:30) Weekends 12:00 – 23:00 (L.O Food 22:00 Drink 22:30)
  • Closed : N/A
  • Happy Hour : N/A
  • Phone : 011-221-2505
  • Homepage (in Japanese) : http://hopkotan.com/taproom/
  • Social Media : Facebook / Instagram

Tap Room Beer Kotan : Location

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