Japanese beers are known throughout the world for their quality and great taste. Beer has been made in Japan since the 19th century, with four major beer producers (Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory).Craft beer in Japan isn’t quite as popular as in North America and Europe, but recently Japanese brewers are finding their feet. Bars and taprooms are popping up in cities across the country at a rapid rate.
This time, we would like to introduce some local craft beer breweries and bars, restaurants where you can taste local Kyoto’s craft beer!
- 1.Kyoto Brewing Co.
- 2.Kyoto Beer Lab
- 3.HACHI craft
- 4.BUNGALOW Shijo Horikawa
- 5.Beer House CRAFTSMAN
- 6.SVB KYOTO SPRING VALLEY BREWERY KYOTO
- 7.Beer Pub ICHI-YA
- 8.BeerBar MIYAMA162
- 9. Beer Komachi
- 10. BUNGALOW -Teramachi (Bar)
- 11. BEER PUB Takumiya
- 12. BEFORE 9
- 13. Beer Takanoya
- 14. Ichijoji Beer Brewery
- 15. Nishijin Ale Project
- Kyoto Bar Hopping Tour
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1.Kyoto Brewing Co.
This brewery specializes Belgian and American style craft beer. Three friends from Wales, the United States and Canada established the brewery in Kyoto to satisfy all the beer desires of people who feel something is missing from Japanese plain beer market.
Taproom opens at 4pm – 7pm (Tue-Fri), 1pm – 5:30pm (Sat & Sun) which allows visitors to enjoy fresh beer at the place. Bottles and growlers are available for takeaway and you can also purchase some at their online store.
【Open】4pm-7pm (Tue-Fri), 1pm-5:30pm (Sat & Sun)
2.Kyoto Beer Lab
Located alongside Takase River, Kyoto Beer Lab brews unique craft beers and serves at the bar. CHA Beer contains green tea leaves extract which is from Wazuka in Kyoto, known as one of the most beautiful villages in Japan. At the tap room, there are 8 different original taps to be served. There is a wooden deck by the river, it’s recommended to drink tasty craft beer outside under the sun when the weather is nice! Cherry blossom trees were planted by the wooden deck which allows guests to enjoy Hanami, cherry blossom viewing in spring.
On the first floor, there is a bar where you can try craft beers, wine and sake. They play vinyl records at the bar and record shop is on the second floor. It is a mix of nostalgic atmosphere and new culture. If you like the stylish bar with a friendly atmosphere, we totally recommend this place!
4.BUNGALOW Shijo Horikawa
Bungalow has ten taps devoted to Japanese craft breweries mainly from the Kansai area and also they have a good menu of French and European bistro. The first floor consists of a standing bar and sitting area which is open-air in summer whilst the second floor has only a sitting area which is more relaxing and comfortable.
5.Beer House CRAFTSMAN
They have 25 taps dedicated to craft beers, and tasting sets with all different varieties of beers. Their selection includes domestic and imported beers of all varieties including pale ale and India pale ale.
6.SVB KYOTO SPRING VALLEY BREWERY KYOTO
A nearly 100 years old townhouse near Kyoto’s Nishiki Market was fully renovated. You can enjoy the restaurant’s crafted Japanese food and the brewery’s innovative craft beer. From the 6 different types of beers you can perceive the brewers’ personalities and particular tastes. Kyoto limited edition and experimental beers are also available.
7.Beer Pub ICHI-YA
Community and the beer pub produced by Ichijoji Brewery. There are always ten draft craft beer rotating. Among them, you can always enjoy 7 types of beer from Ichijouji brewery. And select food ingredients for beer. They say, “Close up nobody is normal.” Along with their philosophy, This place welcomes the diversity of beers and people together.
You can enjoy craft beers from Kyoto and also you can get some game dishes there. If you are interested in Kyoto original meals and drinks, this is a good place for you.
9. Beer Komachi
Good Food, Good Beer, Good Staff! It is popular for tourists as well as locals and they have an English menu too. Most of the craft beers they have on the list are from all over Japan especially from the Kansai area.
10. BUNGALOW -Teramachi (Bar)
Second branch of BUNGALOW, 6 taps are at ready and serve the asiasn fusion food.
*Permanently closed in 2019
11. BEER PUB Takumiya
BEER PUB TAKUMIYA, with its impressive marine blue exterior, is 3 minutes walk from Karasuma-oike station. The dining bar specializes in draft beer from tap with a selection of 8 different craft beers mainly from brands in the Kansai area. Also a variety of original craft beers are available, cross-genre dishes which go well with beer; Fish & chips (fried cod seasoned with kelp),plate with Oboro tofu (half-curdled tofu), avocado and salmon roe. Guests are welcomed from group to single customer to enjoy the warm, cozy space. Visitors can walk in after a day’s work or during their holidays and mingle with the staff and regulars.
【Average price】3,500 JPY
12. BEFORE 9
Located in the business area, Karasumaoike,they have 8 craft beers on tap from not only Kyoto but from other areas such as Hokkaido and Nagano. The first floor consists of a standing bar and small tables and chairs, and the second floor is a sitting area with more seats. It’s renovated from the traditional house into the modern stylish design.
【Open】17:00 pm – 25:00 am
13. Beer Takanoya
Menu includes Japanese-style dishes and craft beer brewed by the beer master overseas. Store manager allows himself a lot of time and effort in the preparation for serving various delectable dishes. Assortment of smoked mackerel, chicken and so on has a variety of textures that perfectly pair with the craft beers. Their beer ranges from light to heavy type each in red, black and white that may impress even the connoisseur. Interior has a warm atmosphere attracting many group and individual customers.
【Average price】3,000 JPY
14. Ichijoji Beer Brewery
Kyoto Ichijoji Brewery was established in the aim of creating employment for people who have a heavy mental disorder. They deliver the proud beer made of clear water at the base of Mt.Hiei. They distribute their beer to several locations such as Beer Pub ICHI-YA, GASTRO PUB Tadg’s and Mamehachi.
15. Nishijin Ale Project
Well BEERING! is a made-up word combined Well Beer and Well Being together that they embraced as their philosophy. There are a range of unique craft beers; Nishijin Ale Yuzu Muge is a 6% fruit beer. It’s brewed using an English IPA and they added Yuzu to it during the secondary fermentation stages.
【Open】(Taproom) 5pm-10pm (Mon-Fri)
Kyoto Bar Hopping Tour
We have a bar hopping tour in Kyoto if you are interested in where locals drink in the evening! Your knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guide will take you to some of their favorite places and will tell you about the history behind.