hogfodder (34) Washington | February 19, 2008| Updated December 18, 2008
The only place in Tokyo I simply had to go to twice. I was in town for the Tokyo Real Ale Festival on the same weekend, which Popeye is essentially the promoter of. The Japanese draft beer list was so impressive I couldn’t do it all in one night. It was almost too good to be true, and I wondered if the selection was especially good just because the festival was that weekend so everybody was there and they pulled out all the stops. Regardless, if that’s how it is all the time at Popeye, I would consider this one of the essential beer bars in the world. Their “display kitchen”-style cask beer systems behind the bar are really cool. Staff was fabulous. Easily the best selection of Hakusekikan beers I found (though I think Ushi-Tora had more Baird). More importantly, Popeye had the greatest range of adventurous styles to choose from. Many of the bars have a lot of Ji-biru beers, but they are often all in the 4%-6% amber, pale, ESB range...kind of like US craft beer bars were 10-12 years ago. Not that you
There’s not much to say: if you love beer and you’re in Tokyo, you absolutely must go to Popeye’s. It’s cramped, loud and always busy, but the service is brisk and the selection is an incredible mix of the best Japanese beer and some very worthwhile imports.
Comparable to an anthill. People everywhere, staff everywhere. Service is fast and friendly. Beers are many Japanese crafts and some European and US beers. Sort of expected some Korean, Chinese, Thai... beers as well, that they didn’t have. This is maybe not to be expected though. Met some nice people at our table and had a great time. Definitely recommended.
We popped in during Tokyo Beer Week, the place was absolutely packed. There was some kind of party going on, I believe opening of the beer week. At one point everybody stood up, did a toast and a singalong. Hard to rate ambiance and service in those circumstances. Service was good considering the crowds - we’ve received what we ordered in reasonable amount of time. Impressive tap list, 70 taps, lots of Japanese crafts and some interesting imports. Epic Big Bad Baptist was great. Unfortunately didn’t get a chance to revisit, I’d consider this one a must when in Tokyo.
Certainly a cool place and a must visit. Hardly relaxed, but interesting atmosphere. Good mixture of tourist (and probably expats) and local. Mostly attentive staff. Great selection of Japanese microbrew and tasty food.
Really cool Japanese pub. Kinda blends an English pub with Japanese sensibility. A flight of ten beers is less than $20usd. The free otoshi was delicious. And the beers came within minutes of ordering, despite a packed house. Best selection I found in Japan, but definitely not as large as other first world countries. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Tokyo though.
---update 2015 Christmas time--- Man this place was a madhouse but oozed convivial good cheer with the master presiding over it all with a beneficent smile.
------ old review from 2009 visit ---- A must if you are visiting Tokyo, they have a tasting set which is great and a fantastic happy hour! During happy hour all beers on the menu marked with a crown come with a free half-dish of food - great value. As everyone says, probably the best selection of draft beer in Japan with friendly knowledgeable staff.