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The Local Brew

By  Bryan Harrel

Harvest Moon

2006
ISSUE
4

If you have young children in Japan, it is practically inevitable that a trip to Tokyo Disneyland will be considered an outdoor activity in your household. For those not keen on theme parks, the Roti’s House brewery restaurant in the Ikspiari complex adjacent to Maihama Station will be at least some consolation for taking the kids to Disneyland.

Consider Ikspiari an extension of Disneyland itself. Curious nooks and crannies, entertainment here and there, and a proliferation of cute design themes are all part and parcel of this large shopping complex. It’s as though its close proximity to Disneyland itself has caused it to “catch” a mild case of Disneyland.

On the top floor (the fourth) on an open terrace, you’ll find Roti’s House, which houses the Harvest Moon microbrewery. Soon after it opened, the brewery produced less-than-stellar beer but, in the years since, the brew has continually improved to the point where even the most demanding beer enthusiast will wish upon a star for another pint.

A selection of five beers is normally offered: Pilsner, Pale Ale, Belgian Style Wheat, Brown Ale and Schwarzbier (a dark German-style lager). While I didn’t find the Belgian Style Wheat particularly Belgian, it was an interesting beer nonetheless. The others are all brewed accurately to style.

A set with good-size sample glasses of all these is only ¥1,260, and it represents enough beer for one sitting. Still, the thirsty enthusiast will want to have at least one more, and that would probably be the seasonal brew, often fruit-flavored.

In addition to the regular seasonal selections, other special beers are often available. These are the ones the Harvest Moon brewers enter in beer competitions, often garnering a medal or two.
Of course, they are often too strongly flavored (and brewed!) for the crowds that arrive before and after a day at Disneyland, thirsty for a light, refreshing beer not too distant from Sapporo or Asahi Super Dry. If you’re lucky enough to encounter one of these on the menu, by all means give it a try.

Roti’s House was named after the rotisserie ovens in which whole herb-raised free-range Echigo chickens are slowly roasted to a crisp. In addition to this house specialty, the restaurant offers a wide range of seafood, meats, sausages, pastas, salads and more. Prices are reasonable, and you will not go hungry.

Getting There
Take the JR Keiyo Line or Musashino Line from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station (about 15 minutes). The Ikspiari complex is adjacent to the south exit of JR Maihama Station. Web: www.ikspiari.com/access/index.iks

Roti’s House / Harvest Moon Brewery
Location: Ikspiari 4F, 1-4 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba
Tel: (047) 305-5652
Hours: Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (last order 10:30) daily
Web: www.ikspiari.co.jp/harvestmoon

To purchase Harvest Moon Beer for home delivery, go to Web: www.rakuten.co.jp/ikspiari/491298/ (Japanese only)