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Craft Beer at Spring Valley Brewery

My beer epiphany at Daikanyama Log Road in Shibuya

I usually favor sake over beer, but maybe I just haven't been drinking the right stuff, because recently I experienced a beer epiphany at Spring Valley Brewery.

Spring Valley Brewery in Daikanyama
Spring Valley Brewery in Daikanyama

After visiting Bunkamura in Shibuya with a friend, we strolled over to check out Daikanyama Log Road. As we were passing Spring Valley Brewery we noticed customers on the terrace with a lineup of small glasses filled with liquid of various colors. Curiosity piqued, we took a look at the menu, and discovered that we could try 'Beer Flight', a selection of six different craft beers in 100 ml glasses at the very reasonable price of ¥1300. They also offer a Pairing Set, which is the Beer Flight with matched foods, for ¥2,300.

The waiter laid a strip of paper on the table with information about each beer including the brewer's name, the bitterness rating and the key hop used. He put each glass in the appropriate section of the paper, then left us to it.

Beer Flight: six different craft beers
Beer Flight: six different craft beers

Now let me tell you about the different kinds of beer...

First was 496, Spring Valley's signature beer. You know how it feels when you take that first mouthful of beer after working (or playing) hard throughout a hot, tiring day? It's so good, right? Well, multiply that by a hundred and maybe you can imagine the first sip of 496. What a wonderful flavor! Personally I can't imagine a more perfect beer.

Next came 'Copeland', a pilsner named after the founder of the original Spring Valley Brewery in Yokohama. It was very palatable, but I think I'm not crazy about pilsners - I like a fuller flavor.

Next up was a dark beer. I've always enjoyed dark beers, but to my mind 'After Dark' was far ahead of anything I've ever drunk before, including Guinness. It was smooth, rich, fragrant and gorgeous, and 100 ml was definitely not enough.

I was intrigued to sample the next beer, described as a fruity wheat malt beer, because a German guy once raved to me about wheat beer. 'On the Cloud' was certainly did justice to the German guy's description. The key hop in this beer is Nelson Sauvin, from my home country, New Zealand, and this beer would be just as delicious with seafood and salad as a glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

Both my friend and I thought the last two beers were kind of silly. 'Day Dream' is flavored with yuzu citrus and sansho pepper. Both flavors I usually love, but as my friend said, “It tastes like medicine”. 'Jazzberry” is flavored with raspberry, and personally I don't think beer and raspberry are a good combination, but I guess someone else might like it.

There is a great range of food you can order to go with the beer of your choice. We shared some delicious avocado hummus served with rye crispbread, but we're already planning to return for pizza – and more beer of course!

The brewery is open from 8:00 am to midnight every day except Sunday, when it closes at 10:00 pm.

Avocado hummus with rye crispbread
Avocado hummus with rye crispbread

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Justin Velgus 7 years ago
Great personal recommendations. I am very thirsty now!
Victoria Vlisides 7 years ago
Always awesome to hear about a craft beer place -- looks colorful!

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