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
If you love to be packed with so many guests in there together, to have boring selection of Japanese beer, to talk with snobby staff and to taste their original beer which is way too far from being tasty, yes, this is the place for you. I seriously do not understand why so many internationals love this place...
This place is awesome. We went there on a Friday evening and picked up the last available table outside on the porch. The selection of Japanese craft beer on tap is superb with a lot of stuff I hadn't seen before. The happy hour special where you get one free side dish with each beer you order is an excellent deal; my friend and I were planning on eating dinner afterwards but after ordering three beers each we were full upon leaving. The food was pretty good with a decent amount of variety. The servers didn't speak much English but enough to get by and they were friendly. This is definitely a must visit for craft beer enthusiasts when in Tokyo.
This is the place you want to pay a visit when in Tokyo. Period.
Super busy during Friday's especially, so expect to have a bit of hassle if there's many of you. Being only a party of one, I was seated into a small, round table with 6 Japanese who didn't know each other. Plenty of good conversations even though they didn't know much English. That's a nice thing you won't get unless it's really crowded.
The marked beers on the impressive beer list (70 taps, mostly Japanese!) come with a side dish for free. There were 6 different selections ranging from fried chicked, spiced noodles to pizza. They were really good!
The staff was really friendly and speak enough English to get the orders done. There's one "Beer Advisor" who could talk quite a bit about the beers.
Had a blast there and it's definitely #1 place for me in Tokyo.
This is a really cool place, possibly insane and very Japanese. A loud and busy atmosphere. The service was great despite being super busy. A ton of taps, mostly Japanese. Happy hour brings free small plates of food with many beer orders. This is a good deal. The food overall is pretty good, mostly western style pub food. The staff are well trained and know a lot. Can get by without Japanese for sure.
This place has an absolutely huge tap list, so that is the main attraction. Nice spread of Japanese breweries, along with stuff from the US and Europe. They offer a 10-beer tasting flight, but you don’t get to choose the beers. Prices are perhaps a touch above average (based on my limited experience); although, they apparently have some happy hour promotions that are compelling. The service is pretty good and there are servers with good command of English. We had a couple food items here and they were good. One drawback of this place is that they close at 11.30pm, with last orders at 11pm (and they do shut fairly promptly). Our schedule only allowed us to get here at about 10.40pm on a Friday night, so we had to order quickly, and then eat and drink quickly. So, the experience was a bit rushed, though that isn’t the fault of the place, obviously. To the staff’s credit, they got our order processed pretty quickly and didn’t get too ornery when we were there 5-10 minutes past close. In terms of style, this pub has a kind of ramshackle, working-class feel to it, almost divey. Thankfully, this pub is easy to find (unlike some in Japan). Overall, this is definitely a pub that any beer geek should check out while in Tokyo.
This was quite the place. Visited while in Tokyo in November. A little off the beaten path but not hard to get to by any means. Has a big yellow Popeye sign in front so hard to miss walking up to it. Not a large place but they pack them in. Greated at the front by a host who immediately had us seated. We were shown the beer list in English, explained the happy hour specials and the beer board. We were there during happy hour so for every local beer about 30+ on tap, you got a free appetizer which was pretty darn good. A lot of local Japanese craft from all over Japan including their own. The service was quick to re-order and the prices were cheap. You could get small, full pours, tasting small set or tasting big set of 10+ beers along with the Tower of beer if you were really bold. We stayed about 1.5 hours before our dinner and was well worth the visit and deserving of a top 50 beer bar. A must visit while in Tokyo for the craft beer connoisseur
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.