craftheads

Craft Beer Japan

I just want to gush about how great the craft beer culture is growing in Japan.  I lived there from December 2010 to June 2014 and saw it grow like crazy!  I couldn't have done it without the Craft Beer Japan app I had downloaded on my phone.  That was an AWESOME app to have.  It was very handy, had all the info you needed and maps to get to the brew pubs.

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Antenna America - Yokohama - WOW!  Amazing!  So much fun!  You have to check out Antenna America if you are in Japan.  They are located in Yokohama among the majority of craft beer bars.  As you enter the bar room right in front of you is a wall of beer coolers holding the finest American craft brews for your picking!  Drink them on the premises or load 'em up and take them home.  They even carry merchandise from the different breweries they carry from t-shirts and pint glasses to stickers, hats and even Stone Brewing BBQ sauce!  They always have an awesome selection on tap and some great eats to soak up the booze.  I personally LOVE their fish tacos!  They have a nice big patio for the warmer days and just opened a larger seating area on the floor above complete with a foosball table.  You are guaranteed to have an awesome time.  The staff there is so friendly and they love to talk beer! Get excited and get over there!!!!

Some of the great beers you will find inside Antenna America

DevilCraft - Craft Beer Pub & Pizzeria - Kanda and Hamamatsucho - I was at the Kanda location when they opened DevilCraft.  Kanda's location is 4 stories high with each floor holding around 10 people max I would say.  The Hamamatsucho location I frequented more often as they had one floor and a nice size patio in front.  Both locations have the same amazing American craft brews and AWESOME Chicago-style pizza!!!  I mean amazing pizza!  I would say it best to reserve a table at either location though because they fill up quick on any Friday or weekend evening.  I was here when I tried Caldera's Roasted Hatch Chili beer for the first time!  I could not get enough, it was so delicious I just wanted to eat it!  

A glimpse of the amazing pizza paired with some tasty brews

STONE Craft Beer & Whisky BarAsagaya - This was a great go to spot even for a little trip after work on a weekday.  Small and quiet but had a decent selection of craft brews.  In fact they had a little fridge that sat right by the bar that you could just grab a bottle of your liking and the bartender would pour it in a pint for you to enjoy.  Great little cozy atmosphere and loved that they had beer magazines to flip through while tasting.  

Outside Stone Bar

Beer Pub ROGUEKichijoji - Another cute little place off the beaten path in Kichijoji.  Had a few good craft brews to choose from and a friendly staff.  Love Kichijoji, such a nice town to walk through with so many noodle/ramen spots and of course lots of yakatori spots!  The smells walking through the alleys are wonderful!  Great place!

Outside Beer Pub Rogue

Popeye'sRyogoku - Another great place found using the Craft Beer Japan app.  Good selection and decent food as well.  This place gets rather packed so good to get there a little early in the evening.  They always have some very small appetizer they give you before you order a beer and it is always so tasty (whatever it is).  Also right down the road from this is one of the best yakatori spots we have been to, unfortunately I do not have a name for it to share with you :/

CraftheadsShibuya - This was actually the first craft beer bar I visited after moving to Japan. It was not easy to find the first time but once you know where it is it's no problem.  They only serve craft beer (mostly American) and all types of American Bourbon & Whiskey.  They have a pretty tasty food menu but not super cheap.  Great cozy spot and they also sell some merchandise from some of the American craft beer breweries such as shirts and pint glasses.  Definitely recommend it!

Goodbeer FaucetsShibuya - This was another place I was at for the opening and it is not far from Craftheads!  Great atmosphere, good menu (again not cheap) and great selection of American craft beer with decent happy hour prices.  They have all sorts of bottles lined along the bar top and windows all around for viewing the city streets while sipping tasty brews.  

Watering Hole - Shinjuku - Kinda stumbled upon this gem one day boppin' around Tokyo and getting thirsty for some beer.  Noticed it was new to the Craft Beer Japan app and in the area. Awesome place and again, awesome staff!  I actually never went to any sort of establishment in Japan that didn't have anything but a great and friendly staff.  Great bar and great craft beer to choose from!  They had some good things on tap and a cooler you could help yourself to and pick from a good selection and have it poured into a glass.  One of the trips over I had myself a delicious Green Bullet from Green Flash!  Awesome beer!  This one is a sipper at 10.1%, don't think you will go pounding these down.  This place I visited several times!

Bashamichi TaproomBashamichi - Had to try this place of course since it is American style BBQ pub!  Great place, always friendly people and yummy food!  One of my favorite Baird Beers is the Saruga Bay Imperial IPA at an 8.5%.  Mmmmm!  Please check this place out!

There are many more great spots but these are some of my top picks and places I went to on more than one occasion.  I have to give credit again to the Craft Beer Japan app as it is how I found all these places.  Great times and I would love to go back to them all someday.  I miss Japan greatly.  Amazing culture, amazing people, amazing food and amazing brews!  

Kanpai!