Home Bar Review Isetan Beer Bar (Shinjuku / Tokyo)

Isetan Beer Bar (Shinjuku / Tokyo)

by Rob
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Isetan Beer Bar : The Bottom Line

Isetan Beer Bar is a funny little place – it’s quaint and has a good stock of beers in the back to takeaway but the feeling of being rushed to drink beers in 30 minutes just didn’t sit right. I can understand why though – Isetan Beer Bar is a tasting bar for whatever brewery is on tap that week.

Isetan Beer Bar : Background

Isetan Beer Bar is styled as a craft beer bar by craft beer fans and masters – though what that means in Japan is beyond me as “craft beer” seems to have taken on a new meaning with Kirin doing their upmost to try and upset the balance of the craft beer industry in Japan. Isetan Shinjuku store started focusing on craft beer during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. As a result of focusing on expanding their craft beer lineup, they have created a lineup that will attract the attention of craft beer lovers.

Anyway, random rant aside, Isetan Beer Bar is located inside of Isetan Department store in Shinjuku. It opened in February 2023 in the B1F, and can be found alongside a large sake store and some other food shops that are usually found in these kinds of department floor layouts.

Isetan Beer Bar : Atmosphere & Interior

To say Isetan Beer Bar is small would be a misnomer as it’s made up of two parts – the standing drinking area, and a large refridgerated section at the back that houses over 200 beers that can be bought to takeaway only. The standing section can supposedly hold six people, but you’ll be tightly packed in. Alongside this, there is a 30 minute limit for customers or a 3 beer maximum – that’s it. Once your 30 minutes are up, then you’ll be cut off and can’t come back.

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Obviously the whole place is non-smoking and there was some free wifi, but will you be here long enough to really appreciate it all and log all the beers in the short amount of drinking time?

Isetan Beer Bar : Beer & Tap Information

Isetan Beer Bar operates on a rotating brewery system, so every week or so, there is a different focus on a brewery, either from Japan, or from overseas. There are only three taps of beer on, with all beers being served in 265ml glasses from ¥800 though that does depend on the brewery. There’s no discount on buying all three beers but they do have growler fills available based on units of 100ml from ¥300.

Though there are beer fridges filled to the brim, the beers are solely for takeaway and you will be turned down if you try to drink any of them in store, so don’t bother.

Isetan Beer Bar : Food & Menu Information

There were some simple snacks on at Isetan Beer Bar that are designed to be paired with the beers but I wasn’t hungry and the snacks didn’t really appeal to me. The beer menu had some English on it – enough to order a beer, and that’s what counts.

Isetan Beer Bar : Bar Details

Isetan Beer Bar : Location

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