It’s a good question, really. What do you do on a Sunday when all your weekend errands are complete? More honestly, what do you do on a Sunday when you’re completely ignoring all your errands? If you’re in the mood for a pint of ale that question gets doubly difficult. Most establishments offering fine ale and beer close there doors to us thirsty, would be patrons, on that particular day. I’m sure this has helped drive down the number of Monday morning hangovers, but it’s still quite bothersome (And why not start the work week with a hangover? It seems like the right mood to be in when you’re reminded again you’ve sold out to the “man” and you’ve still got 20 years of Mondays left before that condo in Florida). Thankfully it’s a little easier to get a nice mug of ale ever since Baird opened up their Nakameguro Taproom in, surprisingly enough, Nakameguro, Tokyo.
Upon entering you find yourself in an open, well light space unlike most Tokyo pubs. Plenty of seating is available in the tables without being shoehorned in next to a table full of rowdy strangers letting loose. If the tables do fill up, the wall is lined with barstools and a counter to rest your elbows and beer of choice on. It’s family friendly (at least during the day, haven’t been there past 1800 yet) and I’ve routinely seen mothers and their small children in the place enjoying a fine meal.
Oh, the beer. Of course the year round brews are always on tap. And the lineup of seasonals is always impressive (Baird makes more seasonals than most any brewer I know of). But the real treat is the four cask offerings the Taproom has. When I was there this past weekend it was a solid lineup of their 40-Shilling ale, Poor Boy Brown Porter, and Nakameguro Bitter Batch #007.
While I only had the last two, both were in seemingly excellent condition, served at proper cask temps, and mighty tasty. It can be difficult to find real ale on tap in Tokyo, so when you do I suggest taking full advantage of it. In addition to the cask ales, I also enjoyed trying out Baird’s Dubbel for the first time. I was trying to stay remotly sober so I only roger’d up for a taster of it, but the keg was nearly cached so in addition to the bit I paid for, I was given the remainder on the house. What’s better than free beer?
The only drawback of the visit was the cheese plate I ordered to go along with my beers. I found it to be unimaginative and the quality of a few of the cheeses were so-so at best. I know that’s not indicative of the rest of their menu, as the first time I visited I woofed down their excellent fish and chips.
The taproom is an excellent place for a Sunday pint, or a pint on any day for that matter. Good food, fine ale (and a lager or two) and a relaxed atmosphere to do some light reading or conversing with some pals makes the Taproom a winner in my book.
On the web: Taproom