Brewery or Cafe – Hitachino Brewing Lab


Ever seen the movie, The Interview and remember those fake stores that are for show? I’m not going to say the Hitachino Brewing Lab was that, it was good, but it was also fake. Leave it to the Japanese to create a brewery experience without the brewery in a tiny café space. There’s brewing equipment, brewing ingredients, multiple taps, and yet I highly doubt they actually brew there. I mean, the kettles were set in the corners of the café and don’t look usable. It was odd, but makes me see that the Japanese are quickly getting down with the craft beer movement. Finally.

In a shopping center in the Akihabara area, where I’m told Otakus hang, there’s a little café, Hitachino Brewing Lab. I hesitate to call it a bar, because there really isn’t any bar area, but they happen to specialize in beer. Beer café?


The deal is they serve close to 10 draft beers, hot food, and little canned snacks. Hitachino beers are widely distributed in the states, but it’s mostly amber ales, dark ales, and I haven’t had any hop forward beers by them. At the Lab there were a multiple hoppy beers and I ordered one with Amarillo hops and another with Cascade hops. They were both good and fresh and had a smooth light bitterness. They don’t have sampler sizes and each beer costs 700 yen, not bad. By the way, when you order a beer, they pour it via the tap, then soak the bottom half of the glass in water, I’d assume they don’t want the glass to frost up? It makes your glasses all watery and kind of annoying.


The interesting and odd part of the Lab is that they have displays that explain the beer color, bitterness, and even various hops, grains, and some chemicals. I like the mini beer education they have at the Lab and it’s seems to be something others are doing like Kirin at their Beer Garden in Shibuya.

Not many places serve this many varieties of Hitachino beers, so if you’re like me and love the booze, it’s a nice place to hit up. Oh and the shopping center that the Lab is located in, is like all Japanese things, adorable.

Source: Hitachino Brewing Lab

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