Tag Archives: craft beer

Book & Bed (+Beer) Hostel Opens in Kyoto


The Book & Bed Hostel who opened their first branch in Tokyo in late 2015 are opening a new hostel in Gion entertainment district of Kyoto this December. This time the minds behind this bibliophile’s dream have added a crafty bar space into the mix. I’ve written all about it for the ZenVita blog and you can read that right here: Browse and Carouse at Kyoto’s Newest Hostel: Book & Bed & Beer!

Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2014 – May 10th @ Sanjo Shopping Arcade

The flyer for this year’s Craft Beer Festa in Kyoto’s Sanjo Arcade has now been released!

Craft Beer Festa

Here are the details:
Date: Saturday 10th May 2014
Time: 14:00 ~ 20:00
Place: Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade centred on the Sanjo/Ōmiya Park


  • 10 minutes walk north of Hankyu Ōmiya Station
  • From JR Nijo Station’s east exit walk south to the first set of lights and then east for ten minutes.
  • Subway Nijojo-mae Station’s exit 3, walk south for 3 minutes.
  • Nearby bus stops are Shijo/Ōmiya (四条大宮), Senbon/Sanjo (千本三条), and Horikawa/Sanjo (堀川三条)

Here is a MAP.
For further details check the official website (Japanese): http://www.kyoto-beer.com/

Found via Japan Beer Times.

Craft Beer in Japan: The Essential Guide by Mark Meli

Ry and mark

Real beer lovers: Publisher Ry Beville and author Mark Meli launching the book at Tadg’s Bar Kyoto.

This is an excellent little book, packed with useful information for beer lovers here in Japan and a handy portable size for carrying around to all those bars. Personally, I enjoy drinking craft beers, but I am very far away from being an expert, and far too lazy to study the variety of beers available in a systematic way. Fortunately, Mark Meli has done my homework for me. Mark has long had an almost venerated reputation as the authority on craft beer here in Kyoto. In fact Tadg revealed at the book’s launch party that he has long relied on Mark’s counsel when choosing beers for his bar. Now Mark has distilled that expertise and five years of research into this fine book: the very first, and currently only English language guide to Japan’s craft beers. Continue reading

Craft Beer in Kyoto

A pinty at Tadg's

A pint at Tadg’s. Craft beer has become a serious business in Kyoto.

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. Continue reading

Three Friends @ Craft Beer Bar Bungalow

Messrs. Lambe, Yellin & Taylor enjoying craft ales and good conversation at Bungalow

Messrs. Lambe, Yellin & Taylor enjoying craft ales and good conversation at Bungalow.

Just a quick post to put you in the mood for this Saturday’s Craft Beer Festa. Last Thursday I went to the craft beer bar Bungalow with friends Ted Taylor and Robert Yellin. It is a delightful place and I enjoyed many fine ales and bar snacks. Definitely this is a premier location for craft beer enthusiasts in Kyoto. Here are a few pictures + notes that I managed to take before I became too absorbed in the conversation (or absorbed by the beer)…

Coedo Kyara (Medium)I started with a Coedo Kyara. This  is a Marzen beer, which can mean many things to many people, but this one was light bodied with a slightly malty but clean taste. A perfect starter beer.  I should add that they have ten beers on tap here, so I was drinking small glasses so as to fully sample the variety on offer.

Ted considers an Angry Boy (Medium)Here’s Ted now gazing upon a Baird Angry Boy. A British style Brown Ale, you can’t go wrong with this. Medium bodied with a mild hoppy, nutty flavour. You could easily spend the evening just on this one, but life’s too short and many more beers await!

On the advice of Mr. Yellin, a delicious Kinshachi Imperial Stout


On the sage advice of Mr. Yellin I next tried a Kinshachi Imperial Stout. Not too heavy for a stout, this has a rich cocoa taste with hints of berries. It would be a good beer to finish on – though I have to admit we didn’t. And now that I remember it, there is also a tiramisu made with stout on the dessert menu that I neglected to try. Must remember next time!

IMG_3632Bungalow is on the south side of Shijo just a little east of Horikawa. Here is a map. Everything else you need to know is written right here (just click for the website):


Craft Beer Festival Kyoto 2013 地ビール祭京都 2013

Craft Beer Festa 2013

When? This Saturday May 11th from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Location: Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade

“This year’s festival will once again take place along the Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade, but this time from one end all the way to other, making this the longest craft beer venue in Japan, stretching some 800 meters. Shops along the arcade will serve food, while craft brewery booths will be lined up along the way.”

Craft Beer Festa 2013Participating breweries:

Kyoto Machiya Brewery
Kyoto Shusan Kaido Beer
Ichijoji Brewery

Nagahama Roman Beer
Minoh Beer
Chite Ryoko
Rokko Beer
Zig Zag Brewery
Akaishi Brewery

Map - Click to enlargeTohoku
Iwatekura Beer

Harvest Moon
Shonan Beer
Yokohama Beer
Brimmer Brewing
Baird Beer
Gotemba Beer

Outsider Brewing
Shiga Kogen Beer
Minami Shinshu Beer
Kisoji Beer

Tokai, Hokuriku
Johana Beer
Ohya Brasserie
Kinshachi Beer

Chugoku, Shikoku
Daisen-G Beer
Beer Hearn (Matsu Beer)
Umeshiki Beer
Kure Beer

This information was cut and paste from the highly recommendable Japan Beer Times.

Kyoto Craft Beer Festa – Saturday March 2nd in Zest

Kyoto Craft Beer Festa 2013From the Japan Beer Times’ Facebook page (via Robert Yellin):

This Saturday, 11am-6pm, Kyoto kicks off its bi-annual craft beer festival in the Zest underground shopping arcade. The mini festival features all four Kyoto craft breweries and a few guests from the region (Minoh, Zig-Zag), as well as local food vendors, live music, and the Japan Beer Times (hawking our shirts, bags, etc). It’s generally a good time. After the fest, you could train down to Beer Belly Tenma in Osaka, where the Masaji Beer Project launches. What a day for craft beer!

Check the link for a map and further details: http://zestoike.com/?page_id=40

Baird Beer & Oysters at Dining Room You

oysters and baird beer

This picture by Robert Yellin

Many thanks to Robert Yellin for introducing us to Dining Room You, earlier this month. Hearing that they had both oysters and Baird beer there I was eager to give the place a try. We found it casual, and relaxed with a tiny garden at the back. Snow was gently falling to set the mood.

Here’s Robert in his element with a IMG_5007bottle of Angry Boy Brown Ale. Realizing that the owners of You were keen to compliment their food with the very best nihonshu, Robert felt that something was missing from the menu, and was good enough to introduce them to Baird Beer. It’s a shame to drink cheap beer when you are eating good food. Now they have the very best craft brews and all are served in these lovely ceramic cups.

oysters (Medium)

This picture by Chihiro Yadokoro


We weren’t just there for the beer though, but for the oysters. Robert ordered five right off the bat – raw with just a slice of lemon. I have to agree with Robert that this is the best way to eat them. But for those who can’t stomach them raw, there are plenty of options: steamed in sake, fried, in tempura… So many tantalizing alternatives to try!

Here’s two more with yuzu ponzu.

IMG_5009 (Medium)

IMG_5011 (Medium)
Robert is also keen to recommend the Jikon nihonshu. He brings a little bag of sake cups with him when he goes drinking, as he feels it’s a shame to drink good sake out of mass-produced cups. He’s right too. The flavor of the nihonshu is subtly altered by the shape and texture of each individual hand-crafted cup. You are not simply drinking sake, you are experiencing it through the medium of a craftsman’s art.

IMG_5015 (Medium)

Oysters are a seasonal dish and in season now, so if you want to try them you’d best get yourself up to You pretty soon. But it’s not all oysters there of course. We had steamed clams, grilled broad beans, gyoza, and saba no kizushi (mackerel marinated in mackerel). And how better to finish the meal than with a dish of macha tea-flavored chocolate ice-cream?

Great food, great beers, great nihonshu… and most importantly great company. That’s the good life for you. We’ll definitely be going back.

map to YOUDining Room You is on the north side of Shimochoja Dori, east of Horikawa, next to a Family Mart convenience store. Here is a map from Bing.
Opening hours: 17:30 – 00:00
Closed on Tuesdays.
Tel: 075-414-0166

The Third Annual Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2012

All those who missed the craft beer event at Zest last Sunday, will be pleased to know there is another such event on May 13th. This from the organizers:

2012 will be the 3rd annual Kyoto Craft Beer Festival. In 2011, an estimated 4000 people enjoyed 12000 beers on a beautiful Saturday in May.

In 2011, Kyoto welcomed its 4th brewery, making Kyoto the city with the most craft breweries in Japan! The quality of Japanese craft beers continues to rise with more and more breweries placing highly in international beer competitions. No longer just for omiyage anymore, increasing numbers of craft beer lovers are fueling a rise in the number of people enjoying the variety that craft beer provides consumers.

In addition to being a tourist destination, Kyoto is home to craftsmanship rich with enterprising spirit, a large student population, and international residents well versed in the riches of craft beer! The Kyoto Craft Beer Festival aims to spread the joy of craft beer as far and wide as possible from the Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade in the heart of Kyoto!

The event will also support the ongoing recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and flood damage in the Amami Islands.

Date & Time: Sunday, 13 May 2012, 11:00 until 18:00

Price (tentative):
Presale: 3500yen (10 ticket book) Day of: 400 yen/glass
(All beer to be served on draft in 7oz. plastic cups or original event glass)

Other Goodies:
Food, original event glass, original event T-shirt

京都三条会商店街 Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade

Follow on Twitter: @kyoto_beer

Breweries: Around 20 breweries on site!
Confirmed: Minami Shinsyu Beer, Matsue Ji-beer Beerhearun, Daisen G-Beer, Minoh Beer, Jyohana Beer, Yokohama Beer, Shonan Beer, Ichijoji Brewery, Bay Brewing Yokohama, Umenishiki Beer, Shiga Kogen Beer, Kyoto Machiya Beer, Ohya Brasserie, Baird Beer, Ise Kadoya Beer, Okura Brasserie, Fujizakura Heights Beer, Kizakura Beer, Shuzan Kaido Beer, Nagisa Beer, Helios Beer, Sankt Gallen Brewery…more to come!!!


Charity “Books4Books” Book Fair @Tadg’s + Upcoming Craft Beer Events

Kevin Ramsden has organized a special event coming up on Sunday November 27th at Tadg’s Irish Bar & Restaurant. Kevin says,

There will be a “Books4Books” Book Fair during the afternoon on the 27th which will give you the opportunity to buy some great second-hand books (though many are recent titles and in good condition) at super low prices and directly support education and reading for children in third world countries at the same time.  Please check the details below, and pass on this information to as many people as you can:Date:  Sunday November 27thPlace:  Tadg’s Irish Bar & Restaurant (see www.kyotoirish.com  for directions)Time:   12.30 – 6.00

What to do:   To make this book fair work we need two main things.

Basically, you bring, you buy, you doubly donate!!

1)  We need you to come along and bring some of your books with you (in good condition) so that we can add them to the pile and get a good selection going

2)  We then need you to buy some of the other books that will be on offer to keep the donation cycle working.

All books will be priced at 200 yen each, but more generous contributions are definitely encouraged.

Continue reading