Popeyeís is easily the best beer bar Iíve been to in Japan, and certainly deserves a spot among the worldís best beer bars. Why?
For starters, the atmosphere is great. Tucked away just a stoneís throw from Ryougoku station, the nondescript exterior might lead a few searching for some good brew to pass it by. But inside lies a traditional American pub style brewpub. Sleek counters, wooden tables, appropriate glassware and beer decor- and to top it all off, a huge list of the dayís available brews on tap. Yes, this is proper.
The quality is phenomenal re the beers. Iím originally from the Bay Area and frequent quite a few of the craft beer mainstays there and I still see brews at Popeyeís from the US (and Europe) that I have never seen on tap. Not to mention the unrivaled Japanese craft beer selection.
The service is attentive and helpful. I havenít gotten into any huge conversations with the staff yet BUT theyíve always been really quick to pour me a brew. And you kill the keg, get 9/10 of a beer- its on the house. Maybe with a complimentary appetizer (which has happened to me twice).
Selection- Iíll just list a few Iíve gotten here on draft:
Swan Lake Weizen
Swan Lake Belgian IPA
Swan Lake Golden Ale
Vamp Imperial Black Ale
Great Divide Oaked Yeti Imperial Stout
Cantillon Geuze (bottle)
Mikkeller Nugget IPA
Augst Winter White Ale
The list goes on... usually 40 on draft and a bunch of bottles are available.
The food is typical pub fare, but with a few extra treats thrown in. Hop infused sausages and emu sashimi are fresh in my memory.
Value- expect to pay about $11/pint. Thatís actually good for Tokyo. And the food is a deal.
All in all, if you are a craft beer head and are in Japan, you should not miss this for anything. It will be worth your while.
Visited 5x 2008-2010, most recent visit 11/2010.
World class beer bar. THE place to sample the most comprehensive scope of Ji Biru.
Outstanding staff- if you donít speak Japanese, and if you are polite and patient, you will find at least one of the staff will help you out. They will help you "tour" through their amazing world of craft beer.
One night, I sat next to a brewer, a young man who had studied in my home town of Seattle, and had wonderful staff on hand that made the night unforgettable. I felt that I was leaving friends when it was time to go. One of the clients even walked me back the subway station!
Ridiculous selection of beers. A great vibe, was humming the night we went, with plenty of locals (actually...all locals except for us). Staff, extremely happy, just add to the whole experience. Can take or leave the food, but hey, this place is all about the beer! If only I could go back regularly, or even once again :(
Fantastic large selection (70 beers on tap). Fine place. Ok large. On certain times you get a small food dish with certain beers -good idea.
They had samplers - but you had to find it on the menu - we got 20 cl. of 12 different beers - that kind of samplers !!
The largest selection of Japanese micros plus imports on draft in Tokyo.
defresh (16) , Japan | January 31, 2010| Updated March 10, 2013
Wonderful place. Occasionally holds unbelievable events - was lucky enough to attend Phredís beer tasting there. Go here if you like beer and ever are in Tokyo.
Update: Over the years that I lived near Popeye I tended to check in about once a month and I definitely think that my experience has gotten worse. The staff seems more stressed out and less convivial. I also havenít been as impressed by the selection as in the past - which to say that it isnít still quite good, just that for all the taps there sometimes doesnít seem to be anything that stands out.
This is Japanís beer mecca. Great staff, great beer. And now NON-SMOKING!(Smokers can do so on the balconey though).
Only drawback are the prices (it is Tokyo), and the lack of decent food. However certain beers come with small happy hour plates, so at least it can be free.
jonno (133) , Japan | April 16, 2009| Updated August 1, 2016
The place to go...blah blah.I could just copy and paste most of the comments already left about the place. All you need to know is they have lots of ji beer. Good food. nice people. eclectic customers. enjoy
Top notch place. Out of everywhere Iíve drunk beer, this place would be close to the best. Huge selection of very high quality brews, many of which youíll only find either here or at the brewery.
I was lucky enough to chat to the "master" on a busy Saturday night and he really seems like he knows his stuff.
The food is quite good without being anything special, but it goes great with the beer and the "Happy hour" between 5 and 8 is well worthwhile.
Not the cheapest place to eat and drink, but you wouldnít expect it to be (and Iíve certainly paid much more for less).
Overall: no complaints at all, I canít wait to go back again (sadly, it may not be for a while).
70 beers on tap? sounds perfect. Yet occasionally I turn up and the beers advertised have ran out and there is nothing I really want to pay good money for. Saying that, the number of times Iíve been there and the beers I hoped to have were no longer being served, I could almost always count on something that I knew and loved. Service is fast (sometimes maybe a bit too fast) and your beer arrives in no time. Is it just me or is the quality of the pint slowly going down? There have been many times when Iíve drank a certain beer there and it seemed a little flat or lifeless and know that Iíve had it better in another bar. This has happened on more than one occasion. However, their selection canít be beaten (from fruit beers to stouts to barley wines to American IPAs) and the atmosphere here is electric, when itís busy and things really get going. The mecca for beer lovers in Japan.
Food is not so bad but a tad expensive, like the beer. Take advantage of their OhSama set and get a free small foo