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A Taste of America in Tokyo’s Itabashi City

Date: 10.15.2020

Tokyo Aleworks Taproom in Itabashi.

If you are looking for award-winning beers and tasty bites in a sophisticated spot, look no further than Tokyo Aleworks Taproom in Itabashi.

 Just a short walk from Itabashi Station, in a quiet residential area, this bar is a distinctive and congenial place to spend some time, either in its bright interior or on its outdoor terrace.

The interior is airy and modern.

The space is light and uncluttered with touches of greenery. An American influence is also notable—check out the old-fashioned pinball machine and the authentic pretzel warmer, as well as the clothing and other items for sale.


Signature Brews

Tokyo Aleworks’s logo.

The Taproom is best known for its cold beer and tall burgers, but it also serves other food, such as pizza pot pie and malt chicken wings as well as various coffees and snacks. It was established by two American beer fans living in Tokyo who wanted to bring to Japan a taste of their home country’s brews.

The welcoming entrance.

Operating under the motto “Craft Revolution, Not Just Evolution,” the pair create their own ales on the premises, in the adjacent microbrewery. The steps of their brewing process are sketched artistically on the Taproom’s wall (mill, mash, boil, ferment, age, and pack). If you’re lucky when you visit, you might catch a glimpse of some of the brewing action through the window.


Award-Winning Tokyo Beer

The Taproom boasts some of the best ales around, including four that won awards at the Japan Great Beer Awards 2020, run by the prestigious Craft Beer Association.

The Taproom’s beers have won numerous awards.

Two brews took the gold in their categories: Flagon Filler ESB and Back to Basics: The Irish Red. The Hop SamuRye, a deep-red beer with rye spiciness and a complex hop flavor that includes orange and pine notes, won the silver.

Fans of light and refreshing American-style ales might enjoy Junior’s Cream Ale, which was awarded the bronze. With a faint malt and hop character and made using a recipe inspired by a long-running microbrewery in New York, this ale is named in memory of the father of the head brewer.

There is a wide range of craft beers and other beverages.

Other popular favorites on the beer menu include Baby Got Hops, an American-style IPA (India pale ale); Shinjuku Weisse, described as “a textbook version of the German classic beer with a soft marriage of cloves and bananas and a creamy yet dry body”; and Matcha JPA, a Japanese pale ale.

A half pint of Baby Got Hops, an American IPA.

And if you can’t decide what to have, don’t worry—you can order a tasting set of four beers in small glasses. It won’t take long to find your favorite!


Flavorsome Food

The Sweet Chili Sour Cream Burger.

The burgers at Tokyo Aleworks are Instagram-worthy. The patties are piled high with special toppings, such as Iberico chorizo mozzarella and sweet chili sauce and sour cream, before the usual lettuce, tomato, pickles, and olives are added—and then the entire tower of food is sandwiched between two halves of a brioche bun.

If you still have room after eating all of that, why not try a twist on a Japanese favorite? Ask for the Super Garlic Cajun Edamame, one of the Taproom’s top recommendations. 

There are also assorted sausages, which are a great accompaniment to beer, and the Taproom’s original beer pretzels. Once you see the golden pretzels being heated in the pretzel warmer on the counter, you won’t be able to resist trying one.


Great Service


The staff members are friendly and skilled at recommending the best beer to suit your palate or choice of food. Most of them can take your order and answer questions in both Japanese and English.


Tempting Souvenirs

There are different kinds of beer and some other items for sale.

A visit to the Taproom is not complete without a browse in its little shop. There are witty beer-themed T-shirts as well as Tokyo Aleworks’s original highball glasses and half-pint beer glasses. You can even purchase high-quality stainless-steel beer servers made by GrowlerWerks.

One wall in the store is given over to refrigerators full of all kinds of beer for sale. There is an ale for virtually every palate, including some Taproom originals with a Tokyo theme. Try the Yoyogi Lazy Hazy IPA or the Roppongi Hezy Nights IPA and see if they match your image of the areas!


Tailored to Different Tastes

The Taproom has comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a brew outdoors, an iconic burger to indulge your appetite for the unusual, or some new varieties of beer to sample, Tokyo Aleworks is the place to go. And being only a five-minute walk from Itabashi Station, it is quick and easy to reach from central Tokyo. Tokyo Aleworks Taproom is a little taste of the United States in Japan.


Tokyo Aleworks Taproom

1-8-4 Itabashi, Itabashi-ku 173-0004


This article was written by Louise Lawson.

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