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Where to Find Japanese Craft Beer in Los Angeles and Culver City

Where to Find Japanese Craft Beer in Los Angeles and Culver City

Los Angeles is a city dotted with numerous microbreweries and taprooms, which contain a variety of both domestic and foreign craft beers. In previous entries in our series on Japanese craft beer up until now, we’ve introduced the brewing methods of various Japanese craft beers – this time, we’ll be introducing a special event that allows you to drink Japanese craft beers in Los Angeles.

Craft Beer Izakaya

Harajuku Taproom in Culver City is a Japanese craft beer izakaya that serves over 50 varieties of Japanese craft beers and sake. Izakaya are like gastropubs or tapas bars – they’re spaces where people can enjoy alcoholic drinks together alongside casual cuisine.

Harajuku Taproom has a popular original menu featuring karaage fried chicken (with Japanese craft beer part of the recipe) and chicken wings in addition to grilled yakitori skewers and sausages –  all of which pair exceptionally with beer and sake.

Harajuku Taproom is the first overseas taproom of Baird Brewing in Shizuoka. Baird Brewing was founded by Bryan Baird, an American living in Japan, and his wife in their ever-growing love for beer.

Limited-Time Japanese Craft Beer Event at Harajuku Taproom

At the start of 2020, Harajuku Taproom held a limited-time Japanese craft beer event.

We visited the taproom on the second night of the event and found the garage shutters facing the street fully open, with locals filling both the terrace and the taproom. In addition to the normal menu,  special Japanese Craft Beer Celebration menus, which contained profiles of recommended beers, were also added to tables.

The Diverse Range of Japanese Craft Beers

One drink that particularly stood out in the crowded taproom: the delicious mix of deep green liquor and light green foam that makes up Kizakura's Kyoto Beer Matcha IPA.

The novelty of its color and matcha flavor sparked curiosity among the dining guests. Taproom regulars were intrigued by the beer: “It’s a beer I’ve never seen before. I saw it on the special menu and thought it sounded interesting. Matcha is popular, and people say it’s good for your health too. I honestly wasn’t sure about a matcha-flavored IPA, but it turned out to be delicious. The matcha flavor pairs especially well with Japanese food.”

In another area, a man who ordered Miyazaki Hideji Beer’s Kuri-Kuro Dark Chestnut Ale – a beer made with roasted black Miyazaki Prefecture chestnuts, ground into a paste and mixed with barley– had this to say in satisfaction: “It’s cold today, so I was craving a stout to warm me up. The fact that chestnut is an ingredient drew my interest. It has a smooth taste and a slight sweetness, so I find it appealing as an aperitif or a post-meal dessert drink.”

A party of six women picked up the menu and decided to try Yoho Brewing’s Suiyobi no Neko (“Wednesday Cat”) – a Belgian-style white beer spiced with orange peels and coriander. Its fruity smoothness, distinctive of citrus beers, stirred up conversation while the beer’s cute name and design played a part in staging a fun atmosphere.

We took a quick glance around the taproom, and saw that half of the tables nearby had ordered Japanese beers. Many customers were enlivened by pairing the bountiful flavors of Japanese craft beer with food.


HARAJUKU TAPROOM

4410 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

Website: https://hjtaproom.com/

This limited-time event is not only going on in Los Angeles, but also San Diego, San Francisco and Portland until the end of February. You’ll be able to enjoy beers from six breweries (COEDO Brewery, DHC Beer, Karuizawa Brewery, Kizakura, Miyazaki Hideji Beer and Yoho Brewing) in restaurants and bars in each city. Why not look for a favorite beer among the extensive flavor varieties?


Japanese Craft Beer campaigns are currently happening at the following locations:

FAR BAR

Campaign Period From February 1st to February 14th
347 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA
https://www.farbarla.com/

SAKE DOJO

Campaign Period from February 1st to February 14th 
333 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA
https://www.sakedojola.com/

KAPPO HONDA

Campaign Period from February 7th ~about two weeks
18450 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA
https://www.izakayahondaya.com/restaurants/fountain-valley/

FISH & BIRD SOUSAKU IZAKAYA

Campaign Period from February 4th ~about two weeks
2451 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
https://fishbirdizakaya.com/


 

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Want to read more about Japanese Craft Beer? Discover the fascinating craft beer scene in Japan with the following stories: