The Local BrewBy Bryan Harrell
Yokohama Brewing Co
Umaya no Shokutaku Restaurant
While Yokohama hardly conjures up images of outdoor activities, a lot of what most visitors do there involves a great deal of walking. What’s more, many people who head west and south from Tokyo invariably pass through Yokohama on their way there or back. But who needs any rationale for visiting Yokohama Brewing when they plainly offer a ¥1,800 all-you-can-drink (two hours) deal in the restaurant upstairs?
After running through a number of management changes since their founding 10 years ago, Yokohama Beer is finally hitting its stride with reasonably consistent brews, though forays into new and unusual beers have created new challenges for them.
Recent efforts have included a beer with masala spice (to go with curry), beers with honey and fruit, and even the recent Habanero Beer which will simultaneously slake and stimulate your thirst. Never mind, with an astonishing range of products for such a small brewery, Yokohama Brewing also offers the old favorites: Pilsener, Weizen, Alt (a German-style brown ale), and India Pale Ale. While these are hard to find in stores, if you go to their Website, you can find out where they are available, or purchase them directly for home delivery, though be warned they are not cheap.
The real deal, however, is just upstairs from the brewery in the Umaya no Shokutaku restaurant which bills itself as “wa-sei itarian” (Japanese-style Italian) and offers a surprising number of dishes that are rather classy, featuring fresh local vegetables and fish among the standard pizza and pasta offerings.
Best of all, for an additional ¥1,800 (for two hours), you can enjoy the all-you-can drink of a wide array of beer which not only includes the eight or so beers they brew, but also wine, whisky and what-not. At this price, it’s some of the most reasonably priced craft beer in Japan.
Yokohama Beer / Umaya no Shokutaku Restaurant
Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0013
Tel: (045) 641-9901
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (last order)
Fridays, Weekends and Holidays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last order)
Restaurant Website (Japanese): www.umaya.com
Brewery and mail order sales Website (Japanese): yokohamabeer.com