One of the best places to visit at night are where the drinks and food are. After a long day of touring the attractions and shopping, anyone would love to unwind and take a swig of chilled beer in the company of family and friends. A sampling of finger food like fish and chips, yakitori, tempura and even seasonal fruits makes for a delightful accompaniment of any drink such as sake or beer on those warm summer nights.
Beer pubs dot Kobe and other regions in Japan simply because after a long day at work, locals head to these places for a quick respite before they head home for the night. Tourists also get a taste of local beer and a sampling of other homegrown beverages and of course, local cuisine. Although beer pubs and some breweries serve a limited number of guests only, others have adjoining restaurants or are restaurants and cafes at the same time so your friends who don’t really drink get to have their fill of other items on the menu.
Kirin Brewery Kobe Factory
Although it’s technically not the typical pub that you just sit and drink, what’s awesome is you get to sample beer and learn how beer is made through the three different tours that they offer. They even offer beer that’s not sold anywhere. Make sure to book your tour ahead of time online since it’s a must if you wish to visit this factory.
An assortment of taps ranging from their very own local brews to international labels to a good selection of Rokko beers await you in this quaint pub in the middle of the bustling Sannomiya. It can accommodate almost 30 guests including six seated at the bar so it’s fairly big enough compared to other pubs. Beers and prices may vary so an experience of one tourist might differ from yours.
In Tha Door Brewing
If you’re into say R&B music or anything upbeat like that and you’re up for a mug of local brew then head out to the northeast section of Sannomiya and you’ll enjoy drinking and lounging here. Other than a couple of taps of home brew, you can also have ale, like either Ninomiya Funk Ale or Shiroinon White Ale.
The Harbour Tavern
Kobe has a lot of European influences, here’s a pub that is a testament to it. It is owned by a British entrepreneur, so expect hearty English items on the menu like sausages and Sunday roast that’s either lamb, beef or a mix of it that’s served after 3:00 p.m., of course on Sundays. There are also other cuisines that the English fancy that are available. It’s a rarity to find Aspall cider in Japan, but you can find it here.
The Avery’s Irish Pub
It’s an Irish pub with an assortment of unique local brews that their friendly staff will serve you. They will also chat with you as well if you’re up to it. They have a rotating selection so every time you come there’s probably something new for you to sample and enjoy with any finger food on their menu. It’s a typical pub where you can watch a game on TV with colleagues to relax after a grueling work day. It opens at 5:00 p.m. and closes at 1:00 a.m.
A spacious beer hall that offers a wide range of Sapporo beers and their very own Kobe Taishikan and the fruitier variety called Minato Kobe Weizen that they process in their underground brewery. There’s an all-you-can-drink menu and some 150 food items to choose from so you can have all night not just to drink your cares away but to sing your heart out on their karaoke equipment.
Harbor Kobe Beer (Kobe Minato Beer)
Located in the downtown area, they have rotating taps and the usual limited seating ambiance coupled with a friendly host who serves the guests. There’s some pica pica to munch on while downing their signature ales and stouts. There are four beers on tap that are either homegrown, Japanese craft or specifically from Sapporo. It’s a quaint prefab building and a minute walk from exit 1 of the Shin-kaichi Station.
Their really tall signature glasses of craft beer can be enjoyed with their house specialty yakitori. You can check out their black board with white handwriting for the list of available beer at the moment. The atmosphere is stylish, new and everything looks shiny since it just opened this year. There’s bar seating, some tables and alfresco tables complete with umbrellas in front of the pub. Other food items are also available like chicken waffles and cold cuts.
People enjoy beer by the pints and barrels along with grilled and fried finger food. It’s a relaxing way to cap the day or the week. Some pubs offer amenities like live band performances, sports TV and karaoke so it’s not just sitting around drinking and eating that you’ll be doing in these beer hotspots. The ambiance also differs from one pub to another depending on the area of the establishment. Others are quieter, more secluded and private, and some are jostling and lively with music and chatter filling the pub to its seams. No matter which pub you go to, what matters is you’re enjoying every drop of beer and you’ve somehow forgotten the stresses of the day.
By Ogiyoshisan [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons