Hitachino Brewing Lab
Akihabara: Beer bar
Hitachino Brewing Lab (Akihabara: Beer bar)
Hitachino Brewing Lab
Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sun -8:30pm) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
decor: Notable decor
no smoking: No smoking

Occupying one of the most stylish settings for a taproom in Tokyo, this brewing laboratory from the ever-popular Hitachino Nest beer offers seven beers on tap, including some experimental lab-only brews that they're trying out. The brewery's hoppy Nipponia (Imperial Pilsner; 6.5% ABV) is usually available, and we quite enjoyed a single-hop Falconer's Flight Session IPA - quite sessionable at 4.5% ABV.

The food menu is quite ambitious for a small bar, with small dishes like beef cheek and pork stew, pork schnitzel and squid jerky. Results so far have been hit or miss: in the hit column was an excellent portion of pork rillettes, served in a glass jar with a layer of aspic on top and bits of crunchy vegetables mixed in with the rich pork. On the other hand, barbecue beef and pork cutlet sandwiches were unexciting - meaty but one-dimensional and lacking in pizzazz.

Located inside a repurposed century-old train station, the bar has structural girders overhead and beautifully restored brick walls, which are lined with shelves filled with various types of hops and other beer-related stuff. Two big tanks in front of the bar complement the brewery motif, and are actively used for brewing.

When the weather is nice you can also sit out in front of the bar, in the semi-enclosed entrance to the very tasteful Maach Ecute shopping complex. Most food dishes are priced Y380-780, and all beers are Y680, usually for a medium-sized pour.

Akihabara
Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sudacho 1-25-4 N1, Maach Ecute 1F.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended