Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Monday, 11 May 2009

Baird Nakameguro Taproom 1st Anniversary

& I got completely wasted.

Well, that's what it's for, isn't it? - a party, I mean.

It's not as if I'm gonna meet that 'certain someone' or clinch that important business deal of the century or even keep up the image of respect that everyone has for me.
So I got drunk.
Shamelessly, silly, completely leglessly drunk.

I bloody loved it.
Every slurring, dribbling out the corner of the mouth moment.

Well, all that is an exaggeration.
I got drunk but not that bad. At least I didn't think so.

It was a great day.

I woke up a little late, as I still had a hangover from the cheap beer and sake I drank at a work party and the good beer I drank at the Thrash zone the night berfore.

Still, as I made my way to Naka Meguro on the train around 1pm, I started to work up a thirst.I just couldn't wait to get to those suds.

Not quite as many people turned out as I would have expected on the Saturday.
Maybe more of the 'otaku ' crowd would turn up for the Sunday and Sayuri's birthday (Bryan's wife) and the launch of the Saisson Sayuri.
There were a load of guys there from Ratebeer, as Tim E was organising a 3 day weekendathon of beer, beer and beer. We had some amazing beer enthusiasts, including Kyoto Lefty from the States, Gazza from the UK (he's tasted and recorded notes of more than 19,000 beers), King Aragon from Sweden (I'm sorry, dude, I'm absolutely useless for remembering names but I do remember you looked like him! This guy has over 11,300 ratings on Ratebeer and has been to something like 90 countries - I didn't even know there were 90 countries!) and many, many other demigods of booze.It really was a pleasure and an education just to sit down and talk to those guys.
It's just a pity for them that they had to put up with me.

The beers were 700yen a pint and the food was 1500yen all you could eat, all day (well, I think they actually stopped cooking at 8 or so - not absolutely sure, as I was pretty far gone by then.).

The food was nothing special, really. A few small dishes but what there was was very nice.
I seem to remember the beef strips and cottage pie as very delicious. Also the fresh tomatoes.
Where's the beef?Here it is, at the bottom right of the pic. The spicy fries weren't bad, either.

The beer was first class.
In particular I loved the Columbus IPA and the morning coffee stout. The European Summer ale was refreshing. The anniversary ale also refreshing and light. The temple garden yuzu was very good but perhaps not as good as last year's batch. The Saisson Sayuri was very nice. I may get a pint of that next time I'm round here.

Happily, there were a lot of people I knew there.

This included Wayne from The Cat & Cask Tavern, a great little pub up near Ikebukero. Here he is, with his wife and his best customer.
He tells me, his best customer often drinks half of every barrel he sells!
The guy is an IPA monster!

Wayne always has good beer on tap (usually pale ales or IPAs on guest) and it's always in great condition. He's maybe planning on adding a handpump to the taps he already has.
"Cheers, guys!"
The guys seemed to be enjoying the afternoon. Pity Wayne had to leave, as his bar was opening from 5pm!
If you get the chance, I do recommend checking out The Cat and the Cask.

I also got to meet Glen Scoggins (a man who has travelled Japan in search of great bars and good beer and knows so much about both) and Steve 'Pudgy' (another friend and great beer guy from the states who also has an in depth knowledge of booze).

My good friend Tim M was also there, along with Emi his encylopediacally brained wife (I mean in the sense that she seems to know almost everything and everyone in the craft beer scene over here - not that she was hit over the head with an encyclopedia). Good people.
Tim likes his booze and knows a lot about it. He's travelled all over this country and indeed many more and can tell a few stories to say the least.
We all carried on drinking and I was so busy talking and drinking that I didn't have much time to take pics of my beers. They were all very good and they went down faster than I could photograph them.

Here's a pic of muggins talking to Steve Lacey (Lacy?). If you are into homebrewing, then you can't go wrong talking to this guy. One of the best homebrewers around. He produces some fantastic beer. Have you tried some of Loco's beer? Good stuff.
Those homebrewers are fantastic guys to get to know.
That hanabi that Tim E threw was amazing and the homebrew was outstanding.
Just a pity one dick went and almost ruined things.
At least my eye and side of my face cleared up ok. My jeans are still in shreds.
Sorry about that, guys.

Later on, another friend, Dave popped by, to 'do the switch'.
We both stayed a stint in the same sanitarium. He had a beer for me and I one for him. We often pick each other out a beer on our travels. Dave is a clever guy and is the man to talk to, if you have any labour despite issues, as he is heavily involved with the local foreign wokrers union. He also likes beer.

The afternoon was turning into evening and Tim E announced that the ratebeer guys were to leave soon, for Ushi Tora and more beers. There was just time for a group photo.

I was tempted to just run out of there with everyone's cameras.
Here's a pic of the Ratebeer guys and gals and Bryan and Sayuri and a monkey in a grey t-shirt.Silly monkey.

I stayed on, as I was drunk and happy and drunk and my other friend was due to arrive soon and I was also drunk.

Glen turned up later on and we all had a nice photo of us three happy chappies:Things seeemed to be simmering down. Glen and Tim seemed to be having a serious discussion!
Well, we can't have that!
I decided more booze was in order.
Things quickly got back to normal.

Here's a pic of yours truly with quite possibly the ugliest person I could find. Oh, she is hideous!!
This is Glen's better half and as you can tell, I'm not jealous.
Not one little, bloody, why-does-he-get-all-the-good-things-and-I'm-stuck-with-my-dying-kidneys-and-crying-myself-to-sleep-at-nights bit.

I'm trying to keep my eyes on my pint.

The lady is more than just a pretty face.
I meant she has a great personality and a sharp mind.

Welll, after that heart wrenching and soul crushing moment, I decided I needed a chaser to help me get home when the time came.
I decided on the Freudian water chaser combo, along with a big, stiff shaft of morning coffee stout.
Glen took the love potion option.
It seemed to work.
They are sisters.
Let me type that again:

Bastard.The love potion seems to be working.

However, there are side effects:Not the best framing for my Columbus IPA, but at least I'm the one engaged in drinking the beer, not...other activities.

After Glen was finished with the Husband, he started on the wife.It was not long after that that I got the heck outta Dodge.
Last train home.

Thanks, Bryan and co. for a great evening and some fantastic beer.


  1. Chuwy, I'm jealous!!!!!!!!

    We spent the weekend on the beach, biking in it wasn't that bad. We drank all the Yona Yona that the store had, Baird's Japan Tale Ale, and Nate's homebrew.

    By the way, Nate's IPA is Killer. You must have some!!! Wanna come down to the beach and do it country style?

    maybe a Japan beer nerd gathering?

  2. Sounds good.
    I hope you were talking about 'drinking beer', country style.
    I've done that country style.
    Otherwise, I'm not so sure.
    I'm still seeing if I can manage to get a free lift to take me to Osaka for the Minoh 12th anniversary BBQ and beerfest. They have a smoked weissen out now that I haven't tried yet. Scott is an awesome guy and showed everyone around the brewery - again. Don't know how many tours he's given of the place. always does a great job. I got to stick my face into the boiler AND keep my eyebrows!
    Fujisakura was great, too. We finally managed to be there when the head brewer was around. He gave us all a sneak taste of his upcoming seasonal and a couple of free pitchers of the old one too. Had some good beer at both places. The Taproom anniversary was a great affair. Good beer and good people. What more do you need?

  3. Hey sorry I been off the suds for a bit...Feeling better though!I'm pissed I didnt get to the ratebeer looked fanfuckingtastic. But life goes on! I'm hoping to do as much beering as possible in the next few months before I head back to Australia so we'll have to catch up...take it easy mate

  4. Jonno. You going home or just taking a break?
    I'm off to beers for books soon.
    Got it all wrong. Thought it was books for beers.
    What am I going to do with all theses bloody old books?

  5. lol nice...yeah books for beers...that would be sweet.

    im going back almost certainly for good. 5 years have been great but its time for new horizons! pity bout the beer situation in aus though!

  6. Chuwy, this blog doesn't let me leave my bookmark URL as part of the identifying data. I don't trust Google™ that much, so I am not signing up for anything more to do with it.
    I want to share this image I got on Saturday evening of you and Glen Scoggins, but if this page won't present an alternate commenting mechanism, you will have to E-Mail me to get the URL.
    I don't trust Live Journal at all since it "permanently suspended" bloggers who expressed viewpoints on blog pages SixApart felt advertisers would not want their ads to appear.So it got rid of those bloggers. {Even if they had paid for a "permanent" account!) Please don't click on ^that^ link. Click on this one instead.