Kawazu Brewing : The Bottom Line
Kawazu Brewing was a great little surprise for me and it rounded off nicely a day that had been well spent. The beers were all good and matched to style, while the food was tasty, though it was a little on the small side in terms of portion size but I was hungry so that could have been the case there. The whole place is non-smoking, has free WiFi, most definitely family friendly, and even has beer to takeaway.
Kawazu Brewing : The Full Review
Heading into Okayama after a day spent at Matsuyama is a long and arduous journey if you take the limited express Shiokaze train. It’s only 2 hrs 30 mins, but it’s pretty tiring sitting down and looking out of the window for the whole time. I can’t imagine how people would sit on the local train between the two cities. After sitting down for so long, and then suddenly have to walk around for 4 hours is definitely not something I recommend at my ripe old age of 42, but when the weather is on your side, you have to take advantage of it.
I was searching for a place to have a late lunch with a beer in the area of Okayama Castle and Kawazu Brewing came up on my map. It was due to open at 3pm on the day I went there, a bit later than I would have liked for lunch, and too early really for a dinner but it ticked the right boxes – locally made craft beer and some fried stuff on the menu to help recuperate the spent calories hiking up Okayama Castle.
Kawazu Brewing opened in April 2022, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic in Japan, and at the time of writing is one of the newest breweries in the city. The brewery underwent a small crowdfunding campaign on Camp Fire and they well exceeded their target goal too. The head brewer, Nagahara-san, used to work for Kibidote Beer for 15 years before making his move into the craft beer market and is also a certified Beer Judge in Japan – so I guess he knows a little about beer. Kawazu Brewing is a fair walk from Okayama Station, but the closest station to it on the street car / tram network is around 5 minutes – a good chance to earn a beer or three?
Kawazu Brewing : Atmosphere & Interior
Kawazu Brewing was built from the ground up inside of a what appeared to be a garage to an apartment block, though it does seem quite light and airy inside, no doubt helped by the light woods that have been used. As you walk in, you can see the brewery on the right hand side of the bar, with the big open glass windows letting plenty of light in and bouncing off the stainless steel tanks.
In terms of seating, there is space for around 35 people inside, all seated, at various table and seating configurations; either along the back of the bar, or next to the brewery itself. The whole place is non-smoking, has free wifi, and also no table charge.
Kawazu Brewing : Beer & Tap Information
Kawazu Brewing has 10 taps of beer on at most times, with the majority of the beers on tap coming from Kawazu Brewing. However, the bar does try to support other local craft beer breweries so from time to time, there may be more guest beers on than in-house beers. There is also a macro lager on tap, though on the day we went to Kawazu Brewing it was Suntory’s Master’s Dream – in spite of the spelling above – which is a pretty good macro lager to have on tap.
The beers come in three sizes : small (284 ml) from 450 yen, medium (390 ml) from 800 yen, and large size (568 ml) from 800 yen, with guest beers costing more. That’s some pretty good pricing for beers that are really well made – I was genuinely surprised with the quality of the beers until I noticed the beer certifications that are dotted around the bar – great to see someone who is qualified making beers that match the styles. While there is no tasting flight or happy hour on offer, there are beers to takeaway only at the front of the bar.
Kawazu Brewing : Food Information
In spite of being super hungry, the food portions at Kawazu Brewing were perhaps the downside to my visit there, though don’t get me wrong, the food was very good. The food at Kawazu Brewing is all locally sourced as much as possible, and cooked fresh to order, so you may have to wait a while for your food to come. The fried chicken we ordered took around 20 minutes, though it was some of the best fried chicken I’ve had for a long time. The menus though were all in Japanese though all of the prices did include tax.
Kawazu Brewing : Bar Information
- Open : Weekdays 15:00 – 22:00 (L.O Food 21:00 Drink 21:30) Weekends & Holidays 11:30 – 22:00 (L.O Food 21:00 Drink 21:30)
- Closed : Tuesdays
- Happy Hour : –
- Phone : 086-897-0017
- Homepage (in Japanese) : –
- Social Media : Facebook / Instagram