The second day of RBJG 2009 opened at a place I drink at quite frequently-Baird’s Nakameguro Taproom. It just so happened that RBJG coincided with the one year anniversary of the taproom which made for an even more enjoyable time.
Once again, I showed up a little late. I figure by now most people I know are used to this so I’ve pretty much stopped apologizing for it. It’s going to happen, lets both just deal with it. The weather was beautiful that day and at first I was a little disappointed we were at a bar with no outdoor seating. After drowning my sorrow with a couple tasty pints of their seasonal brews (and enjoying the delicious food that was offered in a buffet style that day) I learned that they have plastic to-go cups ready for your order. This excited me. But what was I going to drink under the sunny sky? I had a nip of someone’s European Summer Ale a while earlier and thought it was quite good, so that was it. I’m not sure if it was the beer, the weather, the slight buzz I was carrying at the time, or the combination of all of that and being in a crowd of devoted beer geeks, but that was one of the best beers I’ve had this year. Crisp and clean, and oh so refreshing. I had plenty of great during RBJG, but that may have been the best. Later on we were graced with Bryan Baird’s presence and mobbed him for a bunch of photos (what else would you expect from tipsy beer enthusiasts?) and some questions about his beer brewing business.
I won’t claim credit for our next stop, because the thought of it had never crossed my mind, but I’d say my outdoor drinking at Baird at least inspired it… We decided to make a stop at Tokyo Food Show in the Shibuya station to pick up a few brews a piece and take them to Yoyogi park where us revelers would once again enjoy the beautiful weather and Japan’s awesome “drink wherever you want” policy. I don’t know about anyone else, but outdoor drinking (or as GBCB calls it, “Street Drankin”) is one of my all-time favorite pastimes.
Once the sun started to set it was time to head off to the top-notch craft beer bar Ushitora. With a plethora of taps offering many fine Jibeer and some imports as well, Ushitora is one of the best bars in Tokyo. If you thought I can only be late to an all-day event once, you’d be wrong. I had to leave the park early and check-in at my capsule hotel in Shinjuku and that took much longer than expected. Following that, I got lost (it had been a while since I was at Ushitora), had to make a few phone calls, then finally, at long last, was able to have a few pints. I was impacted first by First Impact, a truely remarkable beer, and followed that with Second Impact (also very nice). By the time I was on to my third or fourth beer most of the crew as calling it quits as we had an early morning to get up for. I say most of the crew, because four of us decided to make our way to Frigo, in Shinjuku, for a nightcap. I worked my way through about three fantastic belgian beers (including a sour and remarkable Cantillon) before finally calling it quits- at a little past two in the morning.
The second day of RBJG was by far the most drunken, loudest, and expensive day of RBJG. But I think it may have been the most enjoyable. Great beer, amazing weather, outdoor imbibing, and good company all converged to make that day a blast. I’d say the biggest problem with that day was staying out far to late (more on that in day 3), but why would I ever cut short a good time?
Day three coming soon.