Craft beer is trending in Kyoto with craft beer festivals twice a year, many bars stocking varieties and some bars dedicating their business completely to promoting craft beer culture. There are two craft beer breweries in Kyoto, and another starting next year. Here I talk to Tadg McLoughlin who runs the eponymous Tadg’s: a craft beer specialty bar in Kyoto, about being on the cusp of this trend. Below the video I have posted a list of bars serving craft beer in Kyoto, with links for maps and details.
Bars serving craft beer in Kyoto:
Tadg’s: The Home of Craft Beer in Kyoto – With 23 beers on tap, Tadg’s easily reigns as the top destination for craft beer in Kyoto. http://tadgs.com/
Bungalow: 10 beers on tap, organic wines & fine dishes. Read my review of this bar here: http://www.deepkyoto.com/?p=8572
和知 – “Wachi”: Gordon says, “Wachi, a 4th floor walk up bordering the east side of Daimaru has some good stuff (mainly bottles and a lot European) as well as fine Japanese-style alcohol and good AmamiOshima food.” Here is their site (Japanese): http://wachi.info/ and here is a MAP.
Beer Cafe 麦潤 (Bakujun): 8 beers on tap but pricey and has a seating charge (300 yen). Also the owner seems to have a bit of an attitude problem. Maybe he got out of the wrong side of bed the day I ventured in, but I won’t be going back. Pity. Still other people say good things about his cooking. Here’s the site (Japanese) should you still want to try it: http://ameblo.jp/mugideuruoi/ See Tabelog for a MAP.
Castle West Irish Pub: Usually has a few crafties plus YonaYona real ale. See the site for details: http://castlewest-kyoto.com/ Click for a MAP.
K6: Stocks Toshi’s IPA and Yona Yona Ale. Here’s the site: http://www.ksix.jp/ and here’s a MAP.
I’m told that Japonica, Hale, Jam Hostel Sake Bar + Cafe and Matsukawa Saketen also stock some craft beers but cannot bear personal witness to that effect. Please leave info in the comments if you know of any others. And if the list above does not prove satisfactory, you might consider downloading the Craft Beer Japan app to search for more. It’s very useful at only 250 yen and you can make the money back with coupons!
UPDATE: A correction and some additional information from Kansai Beer Lovers – 関西のビール愛好会: “Just so you know, Kyoto has 4 craft breweries. 3 in the city limits (Ichijoji, Kizakura Kappa Country & Machiya beer) one is in the countryside (Haneda Syuzan Kaido). Ichijoji is a brewpub (ED: Tingara) specializing in fruit beers & has draft kegs available, Kizakura Kappa is a big sake brewer in Fushimi, Machiya is also a sake brewer with a pub/sake museum near Kyoto Gosho & production facilities in Fushimi I believe…”
Many thanks to KBL & thanks also to Ted Taylor for taking the video and picture above.
Mark Meli says
My new book, Craft Beer in Japan: The Essential Guide, has just been published. We will be having a release party at Tadg’s on October 18 from 20:00. Hope you can make it. Several fine beers from the best brewers in Japan will be available for ¥500 per half pint. See the facebook event page for more information!
Michael Lambe says
Thanks Mark. I’ll have to post the event info for you soon!
David Gill says
Wachi is a rip off. Paid 900 yen for a half pint and a cover charge not signposted. US beers well overpriced by bottle.
Michael Lambe says
Actually, I’ve never drank there myself. I went in once, but quickly left because there were too many smokers. Probably won’t go back now that I’ve read your comment! Thanks for the warning!