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

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Towers 5th anniversary - free beer!

From 1st September until Sat, 5th, Towers standing bar is celebrating it's 5th anniversary.
Wow, 5 years already!

To celebrate, they are putting on some good beer and have a special week long stamp card system. If you buy any 4 pints, your 5th pint is free! I think that's a great idea (as I can easily get thru 5 pints).Not only that, but if you can't manage the 5 pints in one sitting, you can keep on using the card for the whole week! This means that, say on Tuesday, you buy 2 pints. You go back on say, Thursday and buy another 2 pints - that means you've reached 4 pints on your stamp card- the next one's free! Nice.

I started things off wiht the Towers specially dry hopped Ozenoyukidoke IPA. This i probably my favourite IPA in Japan. Gorgeous, she is! This time, the IPA was dry hopped with cascade hops. Towers was pretty busy (usually fits about a dozen in there, all standing close together), but not as busy as it was on the Tuesday. Then, the people were spilling out in the street.

I went ont the Wednesday. I met quite a few freinds and people connected with the craft beer community.

Here is the manager, barman, chef & friend from the Harajuku Taproom:One of the Yokohama beer brewers also came in for a few drinks and to say congratulations on Towers being 5 years old. Good times.

My second beer was another Ozenoyukidoke IPA. Lovely!

Ozenoyukidoke IPA Towers Special 7.5/10

For my third beer, I thought about a Sankt Gallen Shonan Gold, but it ran out (the Chuwy curse?). So instead, the manager put on some special Sankt Gallen XPA which had been dry hopped, so it was extra hoppy. I decided to get me sum of that.
The XPA is on the left, my nextbeer which was an Ozenoyukidoke IPA is on the right.
The XPA was very hoppy and very dry tasting. Not too much malt base or swetness in there. A tad on the thin side, mouthfeel wise. Good and hoppy. So hoppy that I should have had this first, ebfore the wonderful hoppy fruitniness of the Ozeno. It took me a while to get used to the dry hoppiness of this beer. Towards the end, it started to be a pleasure to drink.

Sankt Gallen dry hopped XPA 6/10

I decided against another of these dry beasts and went back to my favourite Ozenoyukidoe IPa. And very good she was, yet again!

Now I had drank 4 beers, so my next one was free.
I had these to choose from:
Minoh DIPA (handpump) 1000yen
Minmi Shinshu dunkle weissen
Bear Republic Red Rocket ale 1000yen
Yokohama hanabi ale
Baird Teikoku IPA

Normally, I may have gone for the handpump DIPA but this year, Minoh has dissapointed me, DIPA wise. It used to tbe their best beer. Now it's just malt and littl e hop flavor. too sweet.
I decided to try the Minami Shinshu (from Nagano) dunkle weissen. I'd heard good things about it and seeing as it was 'free' I gave it a shot.

The Chuwy curse struck again.
Barely a quarter of a pint was served and it ran out. Typical. At elast I got this little bit of beer for free. And it was horrid. Really, really bad. Burnt malts or wheat. Tasted really bad. I'm glad I didnt get a pint of this. I've had the dunkle weissen before, a few years aback and it was in n way this bad, so I figure this was something to do with coming from teh bottom of the barrel. Either too much sediment got mixed in there or something was very wrong.

I thought about the Yokohama Hanabi ale, but I looked at a friend's hanabi ale and it just looked too weak. It was a pale ale. I asked him how it tasted and he replied 'nomi yasui' - easy to drink.
Okay, maybe not what I was after.
Anyway, I ended up going with a Red Rocket Ale instead:
It's not my favourite Bear Republic but I hadn't tried it for a while and it would normally cost 1000 a US pint, so I took advantage of the free beer situation. Not bad. Not my favourite style but not bad. 6/10.
Just then my good friend Rei came in. She had an Ozeno IPA too.
We chatted and then moved on to the Bulldog bar, hopefully for some Ruination DIPA.
I should have known.
The Chuwy curse struck for a third time that night.
The Ruination had just finished.
Instead, I had a bourbon barrel aged Ballast Point porter, in respect for the National Bourbon Heritage Month which was going on in the States (there you go, DH).
She was a bit wild coming out of the tap, but the manager did a great job of keping my head small (not meant to sound dirty). The beer was quite sfot and easy to drink. The bourbon flavor was very, very gentle.
Quite nice and not the bourbon flavor attack I was dreading.

Then I got the last train home, after chatting to a German and an Irishman.

The end...

If you have the chance, check out Towers. There will be more interesting beer on tap soon, including Hakusekikan Super Vintage and another barrel of Ozenoyukidoke IPA!

And don't forget that Bulldog is just a short stroll away, too.


  1. Chuwy still reading and loving the blog from here in kangaland...good to see Rei out with you fora drink.

    Enjoy your hops...I am starved over here. Went to the beer bar tonight here in brissie and asked for a hoppy beer.I was offered a 'best bitter' that had supposedly one many awards and was a 'hoppy beer'.

    After chomping through a lot of malt I got a few hops faintly playing with themselves under the malt. I looked up the beer and it had a 1.75 rating on ratebeer!

    I tells ya...aussies wouldn't know hops if it came upo and bit them on the...

  2. eerrrr one should be 'won'