Kawaguchi Brewery The Bottom Line
Saitama doesn’t have much to offer – nor does it have many craft beer bars in the area, let alone brewpubs. If you’re in the area though, Kawaguchi Brewery is worth a visit, now they have their own beers on tap. Their beers are better than most brewpub efforts I’ve had and are reasonably priced too. The whole place is non-smoking and though the downsides are the table charge (more about that later) and prices not inclusive of tax. If you ask nicely, the bar manager will give you the WiFi password too – but I only found this out once I had brought out the BT laptop.
Kawaguchi Brewery Full Review
Kawaguchi Brewery opened up in 2015 though initially, like most brewpubs in Japan, they were unable to get their brewing license straight away, so focussed on produce from the local area. Their motto is “good time and beer” and pride themselves on supporting the local community, either by hosting events in the bar, or by encouraging the community to drink and eat there. For those Americans reading BeerTengoku, Kawaguchi Brewery also states itself as residing in Brooklyn, if Tokyo were equivalent to the Manhattan area, though never having been to the west coast of the USA, let alone New York state, I wouldn’t know if this is true or not.
Kawaguchi Brewery is located about 10 minutes from JR Kawaguchi station on the Keihin Tohoku line, though it’s not located in the Sogo department store as my Google maps led me to believe. The facade to the brewpub is, well, weird. It’s no bigger than your usual local shop store, yet go inside and the bar stretches out and around. There is a bottle shop at the front of Kawaguchi Brewery, with lots of domestic craft beer on sale that can be drunk in store or bought to take away (which immediately gets you a discount of ¥200 per bottle). There is space for about 100 people inside, both seating and standing, and the whole place is non-smoking. Unfortunately, there is a table charge of ¥300 yen, but this gets you unlimited snacks – yes, unlimited curry fried pasta and you actually have to say stop, else it just doesn’t stop coming.
In terms of craft beer, Kawaguchi Brewery offers up four taps of in-house beers, alongside four taps from Saitama, although this does extend further afield from time to time. The in-house beers are cheaper than the guest beers. The beers come in mainly two sizes: half-size (220ml) for ¥480 to ¥680, and regular (330ml) for ¥680 to ¥800. There is also a four beer flight which gets you four glasses of 100ml for ¥1,000, with three of these being in-house brews, and another one of your choice. For those thirsty drinkers among you readers, Kawaguchi Brewery also has pitchers (1800ml) of their own beer for ¥3,800. There is no happy hour and the prices do not include any tax.
The food is pretty much your usual stuff, with fried food being the most common, though the menu did have some basic English on it. As mentioned, you do get unlimited fried curry pasta snack to go with your beer, if need be.
Kawaguchi Brewery Details
Open: Weekdays 17:00 – 23:00 Saturdays 11:30 – 23:00 Sundays & Holidays 11:30 – 22:00
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): https://www.kawaguchi-brewery.com/
How to Get to Kawaguchi Brewery
The closest station to Kawaguchi Brewery is Kawaguchi station on the Keihin Tohoku line. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the east exit.