After Hours: Japan's Thrashzone specializes in heavy metal, strong beer
Only a few minutes away from Yokohama station is one of the best brewpubs in Japan.
Adventurers are greeted at the door with a guitar amplifier with the words “Extreme Beer Only” emblazoned in lights across the front. The slogan rings true when you see that most of the beers on the chalkboard menu are more than 7 percent alcohol by volume.
But the alcoholic content isn’t the only thing that makes Thrashzone’s beer extreme. There is a measurement system called the International Bitterness Units scale, or IBUs.
Koichi Katsuki, owner of Thrashzone and the Thrashzone brewery, explained that most India pale ales, or IPAs, measure at 60 IBUs. “Most of ours are over 100,” he said.
Even with the high IBUs, Thrashzone’s custom beers are not overpoweringly bitter. Beers with heavy-metal-themed names, such as “Number of the Yeast” and “Hop Slave,” are surprisingly friendly on the palate.
The menu is small; they don’t have much room for a kitchen, but the food they do have is amazing.
Thrashzone cooks up a variety of french fries from different kinds of potatoes depending on what’s in season. Currently the menu has only danshaku potatoes, but that could change at any time. The real surprise is the sauce selection. Basil mayo as well as a few other flavors are big hits with the regulars.
A classic Queen concert played on the TV screens around the bar, but the music playing was by a Japanese grindcore band called SU19B. Patrons were amused by how often Freddy Mercury’s mouth synced with the music.
If you like beer and heavy metal, Thrashzone is where you need to be. If you like beer but don’t like metal, bite the bullet and try it anyway.