Yokohama Beer is one of Japan’s first craft breweries, opening in June 1995. During their first 10 years, they went through many changes, each time achieving small improvements in quality. In recent years, they have also improved in consistency, product identity and have expanded the range of beers they brew.
Their current lineup of beers features a handsomely re-designed label with clear designations on style and type. Most accessible is likely the Pilsener, a richly gold-colored lager brewed by a triple-decoction mash process that features Saaz hops from the Czech Republic for a clean and refreshing bitterness and aroma.
For more hardcore beer enthusiasts, there is the IPA (India Pale Ale) which leans more toward the English style than the American, with a rich, malty flavor balanced by strong hop bitterness. Also notable is the White, patterned after the Belgian originals with the use of dried orange peel and various spices in a largely wheat ale with a light body.
Others include two German styles, a Weizen and an Alt. All are fairly well filtered with remarkable balance. In addition to these, Yokohama Beer often offers a few seasonal beers.
Perhaps the best places to sample Yokohama Beer are the two places that share the building at their headquarters. On the first floor is a pub, Pivovar Yokohama, open 5-11 p.m. on weekdays and 1-11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
On the second floor is the famous Umaya no Shokutaku restaurant that specializes in a wide variety of Italian dishes with distinct Japanese influences. Yokohama Beer also operates other restaurants and bars in the nearby Bashamichi area and in the Ariake area near Tokyo Big Site. See their Website for more details.
Yokohama Beer / 横浜ビール
6-68-1 Sumiyoshi-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Phone: (045) 640-0271