Shinya Suzuki is a brewmaster in Yokohama with a sharp sense of dedication. On his brewery’s website, there is the stated goal of “Making Yokohama the craft beer city of Japan.”
While that is clearly open to interpretation, it is certainly a worthy pursuit. Throughout his career as a brewmaster he has dedicated himself to mastering the art of brewing Pilsner beer, generally considered the world’s most popular style. It is also the most difficult to brew well. Suzuki has dedicated himself to the cause and his Bay Pilsner is considered one of the best in Japan.
The other brews in Bay Brewing’s catalog are not far off, with his excellent versions of Bay Weiss and Piledriver IPA already sold out for the time being. By the time you read this, they should be available again along with a few other varieties. You may also order beer from the website for home delivery.
Also of note is that Suzuki brews Baystars Ale for the Yokohama Bay Stars baseball team, selling it at their games and on their website along with Baystars Lager by Kiuchi Shuzo, brewers of Hitachino Nest Beer.
Suzuki began brewing at Yokohama Brewery near Sakuragicho Station in 2005, soon working his way up to head brewer. He left in August 2011 to start Yokohama Bay Brewing. Located just south of the city in Totsuka, YBB has a remarkable record of success in a short time due to Suzuki’s efforts. They’ve opened a bar and restaurant near the brewery as well as another near Kannai Station in Yokohama.
Should you visit either location, start with a cold Pilsner, then move on to whatever else they are serving. You’ll certainly not be disappointed. If you are interested in craft beer in Japan, Suzuki suggests making it out to the Japan Brewer’s Cup on January 26-28 at Osanbashi Pier in Yokohama. Visit the YBB website for details and restaurant opening hours.
YBB Kannai Bar & Restaurant
1F, 2-15 Fukutomi-cho Higashi-dori, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi
(Three-minute walk from JR Kannai Station)
YBB Totsuka Bar & Restaurant
507-3-1 Kami-kurada, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama-shi
(Four-minute walk from JR Totsuka Station)