The 16 Best Craft Beer Bars in Tokyo

Japan's microbreweries are stepping up their game and Tokyo's craft beer bars are following suit. Discover the best of it with our guide to the 16 best craft beers bars in Tokyo.

Photo Credit: Momo Go via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Momo Go via Flickr CC

Unfamiliar with craft beer? A relatively new trend, craft beers are artisan beers made by small, independent, non-corporate microbreweries, often highly regarded for their breadth of taste and complexity in comparison with standard beer. Although craft beer in Japan isn’t quite as popular as in North America or Europe, Japanese brewers are finding their feet fast and bars and taprooms are popping up in cities across the country at a rapid rate.  

If you’re on a tight budget in Tokyo and you’re thirsty for some beer to guzzle, then vending machines or convenience store beers are your best bet. However, if money isn’t too much of a concern and you’re after something a little different, you’re going to want to check out the Tokyo craft beer scene. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the best craft beer bars in Tokyo to help you out.

1. Popeye

Photo Credit: Scott Robertson2009 via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Scott Robertson2009 via Flickr CC

Considered a founding father of the Japanese craft beer scene, Popeye, in the Ryogoku area of Tokyo, boasts 70 different varieties of beer on tap. If names like Swan Lake Weizen, Vamp Imperial Black Ale, Great Divided Oak Imperial Stout, Nogne 100 and Augst Winter White Ale get you excited, then Popeye is the bar for you.

The happy hour deal from 17:00 to 20:00 lets you enjoy your beverage with a selection of free food including sausages and pizzas, but the beer remains the main event. Indeed, with so much choice, choosing one can be quite the ordeal. Thankfully, Popeye thought ahead, coming up with the idea of a sampler set of 10 beers, hand-picked for their unique character. 

­  17:00 – 23:30, 17:00 – 20:00 (happy hour)

  closed on Sundays

­  03-3633-2120

  ¥  1000 – 1200/pint, 1700/Templer Set

­ 2-18-7 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

2. Craft Beer Market

Photo Credit: Mavashi Yanayiga via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Masashi Yanayiga via Flickr CC

Located in one of Tokyo’s busiest office districts, Craft Beer Market offers 30 varieties of Japanese craft beer. Each with a reasonable 780 yen price tag, this place is one of the cheapest craft beer spots in the city. Moreover, soak up some of the cheap beer with something from Craft Beer Market’s extensive food menu, all of which is to an excellent quality. 

­ 11:30 – 14:00 (lunch), 17:00 – 23:30 (dinner)

 closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays

       smoking prohibited

­ 03-5357-1392

  ¥  480/glass, 780/pint, 300/table charge

­ 1-23-3 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

­ Craft Beer Market

3. Beersaurus

Photo Credit: Aapo Haapanen via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Aapo Haapanen via Flickr CC

Tokyo excels itself in the themed bars and restaurants department, and as the name suggests, Beersaurus is another great addition to the list. A large dinosaur-themed bar located in Ikebukuro, this place is perfect for large groups or when you don’t want to run the risk of having to queue up outside.

Though it only has five craft beers on tap, the bar compensates with a huge selection of bottled beer and a great range of food options. Usually on the pricey side, take advantage of their happy hour deal between 18:00 and 19:30 which slashes the price of tap beer in half. 

­ 18:00 – 4:00, 18:00 – 19:30 (happy hour)

 Closed on Holidays, smoking prohibited

­ 03-5992-8217

  ¥  1,260/pint, (630/pint during happy hour)

­ Seiko building 3F 1-38-5 Nishiikebukuro, Tokyo

­ Beersaurus

4. Two Dogs Taproom

Photo Credit: Sean Kimmel via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Sean Kimmel via Flickr CC

Situated in the centre of Roppongi, Tokyo’s most popular nightlife district, you’d be forgiven for thinking Two Dogs Taproom was just another bar among many. But that’s where you’d be wrong. Two Dogs pushes itself above the rest with its 24 beers on tap, largely sourced from Japan itself. There’s even a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) deal available for 3,600 yen if you want to sample as many as your liver will allow. Their California-style and vegan pizzas are the highlights of the food menu, whilst the Roppongi Pale Ale, brewed in-house, is one of the most interesting beers on offer.  

­ 18:00 – 4:00, 18:00 – 19:30 (happy hour)

 Closed on Holidays

­ 03-5992-8217

  ¥  1,260/pint ( 630/pint during happy hour)

 2F Aries Bldg. 3-15-24 Roppongi, Tokyo

­ Two Dogs Taproom

5. Goodbeer Faucets

Photo Credit: Karl Baron via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Karl Baron via Flickr CC

With its 40 Japanese and imported beers on tap, Goodbeer Faucets is one of the largest craft beer bars in Tokyo. Expect crowds during happy hour, but this bar doesn’t feel as tight as others similar to it, giving you more space to enjoy your beer in peace. 

Although it could be considered a little sterile in comparison to the bars neighbouring it, it’s the beer that counts, and with house beers like Cream Ale, Cream Lager, Monster Ale IPA, an original Goodbeer Faucets Gyaru Blond, Redneck Amber Ale and more from an ever evolving selection, concerns about the interior design choices will soon melt away.

­ 17:00 – 24:00 (Mon – Thu and Sat)

      17:00 – 20:00 (Mon – Thu, happy hour)

      17:00 – 3:00 (Fri)

      16:00 – 23:00 (Sun)

      16:00 – 19:00 (Sun, happy hour)

 smoking booth available

­ 03-3770-5544

  ¥  900 – 1,300/pint (700 – 1,100/pint during happy hour)

 ­1-29-1, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo

­ Goodbeer Faucets

6. DevilCraft

Photo Credit: J Lippold via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: J Lippold via Flickr CC

Fifteen taps of regularly changed Japanese and imported beer, what more could you ask for? Well, perhaps some good food. No worries, DevilCraft has got you covered. Their Chicago-style deep dish pizza with rich mozzarella, parmesan and provolone cheese, topped with DevilCraft’s original marinara sauce is, it must be said, some of Tokyo’s best pizza. Ever-interesting beers like Schwarz from Hell, Clearly Evil IPA, DevilCraft Beethoven Bedeviled and the Devil John’s Brown are just some of the equally tasty brews on offer.

­ 17:00 – 23:00 (Mon – Fri)

      15:00 – 23:00 (Sat)

      15:00 – 22:00 (Sun, Holidays)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-6265-1779

  ¥  900 – 1000/pint

 ­4-2-3 Nihonbashi-Muromachi Chuo-ku, Tokyo

­ DevilCraft

7. Baird Harajuku Taproom

Photo Credit: Saldesalsal via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Saldesalsal via Flickr CC

Amidst the crowds and craziness of Harajuku, Harajuku Taproom is a welcome craft-beer haven. One of the pioneers of Japanese craft beer, expect nothing but quality here. Not just with their brews but with their delicious yakitori (grilled, skewered meat) as well. The staff are friendly and the service is top notch to boot. Some of their staple beers include Wheat King Wit, Rising Sun Pale Ale, Numazu Lager, Teikoku IPA, Shimaguni Stout and Shuzenji Heritage Helles. 

­ 17:00 – 24:00 (Mon – Fri)

      12:00 – 24:00 (Sat, Sun and Holidays)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-6438-0450

  ¥  beer: 1000 – 1100/pint

 ­1-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

­ Harajuku Taproom

8. Yona Yona Beer Kitchen

Photo Credit: Lunasea. via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Lunasea. via Flickr CC

Yona Yona Beer Kitchen is a newcomer to the Tokyo craft beer bar scene and a welcome one. With a chilled ambience, great service and a brilliant beer selection, this is the perfect spot for an evening beer or two.  

Partnered with the award-winning Yo-Ho Brewing Company of Nagano, Yona Yona serves up all the latest brews which never fail to be as interesting as the last. Don’t forget to balance your craft beer with some of their fine food. Highlights included the Hokkaido-raised ham, Yona Yona beer-seasoned edamame beans, homemade jumbo sausage, octopus and pudding.   

­ 11:30 – 23:00 (Mon – Sun)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-5510-4789

  ¥  450 – 530 (small), 680 – 780 (medium), 900 – 980 (large)

­ 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

­ Yona Yona Beer Kitchen

 

9. Campion Ale

Photo Credit: Taichiro Ueki via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Taichiro Ueki via Flickr CC

If Japanese-style pubs aren’t your cup of tea, then Campion Ale’s a pub you might just fancy. Owner James Williams’s homey barroom offers 15 beer selections and is one of Tokyo’s premier British pubs. Try their traditional fish and chips, bangers and mash, beef stew or steak pie while you’re there too. Skillfully avoiding the naffness of pubs in a similar vein, this is a great choice for when only a real pint will do. 

­ 17:00 – 23:30 (Mon – Fri)

      12:00 – 23:30 (Sat, Sun and Holidays)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-6231-6554

  ¥  600 (small), 750 (medium), 1000 (large)

­ 2-2-2 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

­ Campion Ale

 

10. Watering Hole

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Head to Yoyogi to see what proprietor Ichiri Fujiura, the first non-American winner of the American Homebrewers Association’s homebrewer of the year award, has to offer. Watering Hole boasts no less than 21 microbrews on tap in a daily rotation, with highlights including Grape Conversate, Surprise Me, Forever Simcoe, Mylar Bags and Crush It Galaxy, plus, an unparalleled selection of Japan’s finest domestic brews. Make like a wilder beast and head down to the Watering Hole next time you get a chance. 

­ 15:00 – 23:00 (Mon – Sun)

 smoking booth available

­ 03-6380-6115

  ¥  750/half pint, 1000 – 1200/pint

      900 – 5000/bottle

 ­26-5, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

­ Watering Hole

11. Antenna America

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

We’re perhaps cheating a little here, given that this pub is actually located in Yokohama, but, this choice is worth a minor detour from the rules. One for the Americans, this place is a beacon of west coast craft beer. Featuring eight taps on rotation, including big names like Green Flash, Coronado, Lagunitas, Bear Republic and Ballast Point, there’s plenty of drinking to be done here. What’s more, with most beers priced at just hundred yen, this place is budget friendly too. 

­ 15:00 – 23:00 (Mon – Fri)

      11:00 – 23:00 (Sat)

      11:00 – 22:00 (Sun and Holidays)

 smoking prohibited

­ 045-315-5228

  ¥  500 – 700/bottle

 ­5-4 Yoshidamachi, Naka-ku, Yokohama

­ Antenna America

12. Ant ‘n Bee

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

The only craft beer bar on the list that operates until six in the morning, this is one for the night owls. A little smaller than the others, if you’re lucky enough to find a seat, you’re in for a treat. Ant n’ Bee offers 20 taps of Japanese craft beer from breweries like Johana, Minoh, North Island, Swan Lake and more. With great service and friendly English speaking staff, foreigners can be sure a language barrier won’t get in the way of the fun at Ant n’ Bee.

­ 17:00 – 6:00 (Mon – Sun)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-3478-1250

  ¥   735 (small), 945 (regular), 1260 (large), 2520 (mass)

 ­ 5-1-5, Minato-ku, Tokyo

­  Ant n’ Bee

13. Ushitora

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Whether you want to drop by for a quick drink or settle in for the long haul, Ushitora’s a good choice. With 35 taps, you’re not likely to get bored in a hurry. Plus, what makes Ushitora unique is that it’s actually two bars in one. One being a bit smaller with seats available and the other being a standing bar for the more casual approach. Though a little bit pricey, Yuzu Saison Okkuku, Rai Jin IPA and Iwate Kura IPA will quench your thirst and perhaps ease your concerns about the price tag. 

­ 17:00 – 2:00 (Mon – Sun)

 smoking prohibited

­ 03-3485-9090

  ¥   650 – 750/half pint, 1100 – 1300/pint

  ­2F, 2-9-3 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

­  Ushitora

14. Craftheads

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

If choice is your number one concern, head straight to Craftheads and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by their massive selection, evenly divided Japanese and American beer. Rotating taps, great service, amiable staff and a fun environment, beer geeks will certainly be pleased.

It’s by no means the cheapest joint in Tokyo but if money isn’t an issue, it’s a safe bet. If you really feel like splurging, why not pick up a bottle of Dark Lord Imperial Russian Stout 2009? A rare beer you won’t be seeing anywhere else in the city. 

­ 17:00 – 24:00 (Tue – Fri)

      15:00 – 23:00 (Sat)

      15:00 – 22:00 (Sun and Holidays)

 Closed on Mondays, smoking prohibited

­ 03-6416-9474

  ¥  750/half pint, 1100 – 1300/pint, 500 – 6000/bottle

 ­1-13-10 B-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

­ Craftheads

15. Vector Beer

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Vector Beer, hidden down an assuming Shinjuku street, is one of the cheapest Japanese craft beer bars in Tokyo. You’ll be welcomed with a choice of 17 microbrews on tap and although there is a table charge, with a price tag of 450 yen for a glass and 750 for a pint, a trip here is more than worthwhile. Try out Vector Beer’s own Shinjuku Beer or take advantage of the great selection of Japanese beers like Baeren, Preston, Hansharo, Iwatekura, Baird, Minoh, Rokko and Hitachino Nest.

­ 17:00 – 00:00 (Sat – Thu, Holidays)

       17:00 – 2:00 (Fri)

 Closed on Mondays

­ 03-5788-5222

  ¥  450/glass, 1100 – 1300/pint, 350/table charge

  ­1-36-5, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

­  Vector Beer

16. Shinshu Osake Mura

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Nagano Alcohol Village, or Shinshu Osake Mura, once upon a time only offered sake from Nagano prefecture, but recently has spread its wings, deciding to stock some of the finest Nagano craft beers as well.

Selling it at not much more than cost price, Shinshu Osake Mura won’t disappoint. Take, for example, Shiga Kogen, a fine beer priced at just 390 yen, or Ao Oni and Tokyo Black at just 280 yen. These are prices you won’t find in many other Tokyo bars. What’s more, if you’re interested in trying some of the sake, a tasting set comes in at just 1,100 yen. If it’s sake you’re after, however, check out our dedicated guide before heading anywhere.

­ 11:00 – 23:30 (Mon – Fri)

 Closed on Weekends, Smoking Prohibited

­ 03-3572-5488

  ¥   700/glass, 260 – 540/bottle

 ­ 2-20-15 Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

­  Shinshu Osake Mura

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