Craft Beer Tasting in Tokyo! 7 Must-go Beerhouses

craft beer

photo by Ted Van Pelt

Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo are Japan’s major beer manufacturers and their products are exported worldwide and loved by people across the world. But other than these beer-manufacturing giants, there are many microbreweries in Japan brewing beautiful beer every day. In Tokyo, there are a number of bars that specialize in Japanese craft beers offering small servings or beer-tasting sets. In this column, we will introduce seven must-go beerhouses that offer beer tastings in Tokyo.


Shinjuku Ale

As you know, Kabukicho is the most famous bright-lights district in Japan. Among many restaurants and bars clustered in this area, Shinjuku Ale opened in 2021. The 1st floor is a standing bar, the 2nd floor is a chic counter bar, the brewery is located on the 3rd floor, and the rooftop is the BBQ floor, so the entire building is a beer-drinking facility. They offer dedicatedly manufactured 7 tasty beers from classic ale to unique fruit ale. If you are a first-timer, you may want to try the tasting set that comes with small servings of 4 different beers. You will find your favorite straight away!

Shinjuku Ale
Address: Marui Building, 1-14Kabuki-ch, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-6205-5970
Trading hours: 18:00 – 4:00 (next day)


TAP&GROWLER Shimokitazawa

In the back of the tiny store, 19 shiny beer taps align on the wall. At TAP&GROWLER Shimokitazawa, you can purchase beer from 1oz so that you can choose to taste a little of many different beers, purchase beer by the glass and drink there, bring your own food to enjoy with beer, or whatever style you desire. Also, all the beers on tap can be bottled in a growler, a reusable large glass bottle, for takeaway. The selection of beer is very unique that you don’t really see their beer at ordinary liquor shops. I’m sure you can find your new favorite here!

TAP&GROWLER Shimokitazawa
Address: 1F Iijima Building, 2-33-6 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-6416-8767
Trading hours: 15:00-24:00


Hitachino Brewing Lab.

Hitachino Nest Beer is a range of craft beer made by Kiuchi Shuzo, an old sake brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture which was established in 1823, started manufacturing in the 1990s. From classics such as lager, pale ale, and weizen to a few different flavors like beer made with Japanese plum and fruity beer, they offer a wide range of beer. Among other Hitachino Brewing beer stores in Tokyo, this store in Manseibashi offers beer making experience course with a professional brewer so that you can make your own original craft beer. Of course, there is a tasting set on the menu, from which you can choose 3 different flavors of beer.

Hitachino Brewing Lab.
Address: N1 1-25-4, Kandasudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-3254-3434
Trading hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00、Sun & Public holiday: 11:00-21:00



This TAP&CROWLER Shibuya is a beerhouse in Shibuya that regularly offers more than 20 types of Japanese craft beer. You can choose the size from 1/2 pint, 3/4 pint, and 1oz, so it is free to stick to large size of a particular flavor or taste many different flavors. You can also purchase empty beer cans and ask the shop staff to fill them with the beer on tap for takeaway. Inside the store is small but the wooden-based interiors have a warming atmosphere so that you can chill out and enjoy your drink.

Address: 6-20 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-6416-5948
Trading hours: 15:00-24:00


Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo

This big beer restaurant is located in Daikanyama. With the brewery adjacent to the restaurant, you can enjoy 7 types of special beer and tasty meals. What is recommended here is the pairing set that comes with 6 types of beer and matching snacks. You can taste small servings of different types of beer such as Rich flavored IPL, mild white beer, and fruity beer. Also, they offer a wide range of food menu including little snacks that go perfectly with beer and satisfying big meals.

Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo
Address: Logroad Daikanyama,13-1 Daikanyama-cho,Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-6416-4960
Trading hours: Mon-Sat 9:00〜23:00, Sun 9:00〜22:00



Just 3 minutes’ walk from Ebisu station, this beerhouse offers very unique serving style in which you can pour your own glass as much as you want. Beers are sold from very small serving, so that you can even taste all types of beer there. You will receive a “POUR card” on your arrival to tap it on the panel above the tap to purchase beer. All your purchase information is recorded on the card to let you pay at the cashier smoothly. It is just like a self-service gas stand. They offer 15 brands of craft beer and these are regularly changed once the barrel is emptied so that the beer list is frequently freshened. Also, many types of canned beer are available from the fridge.

Address: 1F Ebisu MF Building, 4-6-1 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 050-5484-7161
Trading hours: 15:00 – 24:00


Watering Hole

Watering Hole is a bar specializes in Japanese and non-Japanese craft beer and offers 21 types of craft beer. They have a wide range of beers including lager, IPA, light ale, and fruity ale. The most recommended menu here is that tasting set that comes with 4 types of beer of your choice. If you don’t know what to choose because there are so many types of beer, just ask the shop staff. They are always happy to help you to choose your beer. They also offer a snack menu. This is the best place to drop by for a quick drink on the way home.

Watering Hole
Address: Unit 103, 5-26-5Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL: 03-6380-6115
Trading hours: 15:00 – 23:30


Raise the glass and say “Cheers!”

So, we had a review of beerhouses in Tokyo where you can taste Japanese craft beers. All these bars have a great selection of unique beers. Some of the stores even offer takeaways by bottling or canning! Craft beers are normally manufactured by microbreweries and are often difficult to purchase from ordinary liquor shops, so this is a great service! If you feel like something other than your usual beers, just drop by these shops to find your new favorite!





あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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