A close call as to whether this or Popeye was my favourite pub in Tokyo (or in Ushi-Toraís case, should that be ípubsí). Ushi-Tora 1 - had a great chat with the bar man, really friendly, and impressive range of Japanese and US micros. Ushi-Tora 2 - all 8 Mikkeller Single Hop IPA on tap...enough said.
The staff here spoke a little English, I was with a friend who could speak Japanese so all was good. Good beer, great food, Wasabi pizza anyone? Had their íhouseí beer made by Baird and it was great. Went next door to the other venue and was just as good.
Very cool place in an interesting part of Tokyo. Had a very distinctive Japanese feel...if that makes any sense at all. Pretty small. Maybe 7-10 tables and room for another 10 at the bar. Very nice selection of Japanese micros along with some American stuff...Stone and Rogue to name two. Very expensive, but I felt the need to try 4-5 Local brews. They ranged from good to borderline awesome. Staff was very friendly, but spoke almost no english. Thanks to TimE for being my interpetur. Pretty sure you could get by without knowing the language...beer is spoken fluently here. If Iím in Tokyo again,this will be on my shortlist.
At first I thought I walked into the wrong place. Itstruck me as a new age version of a traditional Japanese eatery. Thank goodness I eventually saw the array of taps behind the bar. The Master welcomed me warmly and gave me a menu of all the beers and food they have. I looked at it and tried to pretend I could read Japanese but before I could get a word out he laughed and asked me what type of beer I like (Meaning no English menu). From there things just kept getting better. The 20 taps and 3 hand pumps had beers you donít normally see even at the better beer bars around Tokyo. Plenty of Ji-Beer and an assortment of international brews as well. Rouge was the American offering. I had a few of there offerings and all were at the proper temperatures and pulled with care. Prices werenít bad- for Tokyo. I only had the cheese plate to eat but it was tasty and very well presented which went with the classy but not overbearing mood of the joint. Smoking is permitted. Iíd say that Ushi-Tora and Popeyes are the main players in Tokyo but Ushi-Tora doesnít get any where near the attention. Iíll definitely be back.
Just visited one of the two Ushi-Tora ( the other one was closed on mondays ). We were a large group of foreigners in a very small pub, but the staff was very friendly, the pub itself pretty cool and the selection was awesome . Strictly Japanese micro brews on tap there, even if the place is decorated with lots of things from U.S micros such as Rogue etc... Staff spoke very little english, but enough to understand and give some ( good ) advice. A must go when in Tokyo, even if it is a bit tricky to find...
This is a great place, well actually 2 places. One sit-down/different food (fx. small bar/snack dishes)/nice beer selestion ..... another stand-up,/1 food (a nice soup)/a bit less beers. They have Sake on tap, fantastic. I will come back.....
Definitely a must stop in Tokyo. Very good selection, with interesting imports and older beers. Guys seem to know their stuff and get in nice beers. Definitely expensive. Hand pump beers from Yo-Ho were cheap, though. The smaller #2 bar is standing only, but more hardcore geeks were in there. Interesting draught sake as well. Great.
Meet the future of the Japanese beer scene. Ushi-Tora is at the cutting edge of craft beer bars in Tokyo, specializing in Ji-Biru (regional craft beer from Japan). It is owned & operated by 2 young beer geeks who seem pretty hardcore...in a good way. I was lucky enough to be there when an interpreter was on hand so communication was both easy & fun. These guys are not afraid to throw down and tell you what they think, good or bad. I like that. Their obvious passion for beer spills out from each tap, easily the most thoughtful draft line up I saw in Japan. Do not miss this place if you go to Tokyo.
Note: I rated 11 out of 15 for selection because I am comparing to all beer bars in the world. If it was just Japan, it would be a 14-15. Same with the overall rating (17). If it were just Japan, it would be a 19. We didnít have food.