Hundreds of beers and a taste of European cuisine

Restaurant Guide
From Stripes.com

Hundreds of beers and a taste of European cuisine

by: Tyler Hlavac | Stars and Stripes | May 20, 2016
World Beer Museum Yokohama Cuisine: Beer Garden, Pub
Price: n/a
Review: n/a
Hours: Monday - Sunday: 11:00-23:00
Address:
2-2-1 Minato Mirai Nishi-ku,
220-0012 Yokohama-shi , 14
Japan
Phone: 045-664-2988
Email:
Menu: n/a

When you’re looking to do Tokyo-style things, but don’t want to deal with crowds of people or overpriced shops, Yokohama is the place to go. But what do you do when you get there? Ask around, and you’ll often get blank stares or mentions of Chinatown or the Red Brick Warehouse shopping area. But, not much else. However, do a little bit of digging below the surface and you’ll find plenty of great places to visit in Yokohama.

One of those is the World Beer Museum, which I had the pleasure of discovering while searching on a Turkish Airlines phone application, of all things. Equal parts restaurant and beer hall, but not actually a museum, the World Beer Museum offers dozens of beers on tap, a robust and diverse menu and is conveniently located approximately a 5-10 minute walk from Minatomirai Station.

The layout of the “Museum” is a spacious open floor filled with tables, with dim lights and 1960s-style cocktail music playing over the sound system. Flanking the tables are several beer counters resembling different geographic locations, including English, German, Belgium and Czech pubs, as well as a 1950s American Diner-style counter.

I didn’t see anyone actually sit at the counters, but I assume the counters are more for people looking to just drink, whereas the tables are more for people looking to have an actual meal. The Japanese waitresses were all clad in German Oktoberfest-type dresses which, upon doing a Wikipedia search, I discovered are called “dirndl.” This seemed slightly odd to me at first, but then again, I thought to myself that the Japanese must feel the same way seeing foreign tourists paying to try on Kimonos. No, the male waiters were not wearing lederhosen; they apparently decided to not embrace the theme and stuck with regular attire. The restaurant was dead empty when we showed up at 11 a.m., but quickly filled up when the lunch crowd arrived but never got too crowded.

Scanning the menu, I was surprised to see that it was both quite extensive and had a kid’s section, which is convenient for parents like me who are trying to stay hip while going out with the kids. I had expected minimal pub fare, but instead saw pastas, pizza, sausage platters, seafood skewers, mussels, pretzels and more. The food prices depended upon what you might want; some of the items like the Seafood Skewer or the Spare rib plate were in the 3,000 yen and up price range. There was also a super cheap lunch menu for those economically minded that offered several kinds of hamburger steak combos, which ran from 700 to 1,100 yen. The lunch menu probably accounted for the huge influx of salarymen who arrived shortly after noon.

I ended up ordering the sausage platter, poutine and a pretzel. The sausage platter came with three types of sausage, mustard and sauerkraut. The sausages where well cooked and crunchy on the outside, but soft and juicy on the inside. The pretzel was, no joke, one of the best pretzels I’ve ever had in my life. Period. It was very soft, fresh and nearly melted in my mouth. The poutine was good. But I’ve never had poutine before, so I had zero idea as to what it was supposed to taste like. All I know is that it’s French-Canadian and bad for your health.

The beer menu is equally extensive. Skimming through I saw 20 or so draft beers from many different countries, although Germany, England, Belgium and the Czech Republic seemed to be the most common. The draft beers ranged in alcohol content from a measly 2.8% to a strong 11% (strong for me at least). The back pages of the menu also contained dozens of additional bottled beers, with many being available for carryout purchase.

My wife pointed out that they also had Budweiser listed; in case you want to be the guy or gal who goes to a beer hall and orders that. I ordered the popular Franzikaner Weissbier and my wife ordered the Spaten Optimator, which the menu claims is what monks would drink when they were fasting. My beer was light and refreshing. My wife described her beer as tasting like “something you would drink while fasting,” which I took to be a positive endorsement.

Overall I was very satisfied with my experience. We ended up having three draft beers, a sausage platter, poutine, a pretzel and two deserts for around 8,000 yen. It was a little bit more than I cared to spend, but then again I kind of expected that as I was facing the double whammy of eating at an ethnic restaurant in Yokohama; both of which are factors that raise the cost of a meal. I do plan to visit again, but next time I’ll probably stick with the set lunch menu. And order more beer.

Directions: From Yokosuka-Chuo station, travel to Yokohama Station then take the Tokyu Tokyo/Minatomirai Line Local for a short, three-minute train ride to Minatomirai station. Take exit #3 and walk 5-10 minutes to the World Beer Museum. The Museum is located in the basement of the Dockyard Garden. The Museum is located near the Hard Rock Café and the Yokohama Landmark Tower. Queen’s Square and Queen’s Tower A are also nearby landmarks.

World Beer Museum Yokohama
Directions: From Yokosuka-Chuo station, travel to Yokohama Station then take the Tokyu Tokyo/Minatomirai Line Local for a short, three-minute train ride to Minatomirai station. Take exit #3 and walk 5-10 minutes to the World Beer Museum. The Museum is located in the basement of the Dockyard Garden. The Museum is located near the Hard Rock Café and the Yokohama Landmark Tower. Queen’s Square and Queen’s Tower A are also nearby landmarks.
Hours: Open every day 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: 2-2-1 Minato Mirai Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Land Mark Plaza Dockyard Garden B2F
Phone: 045-664-2988
English Menu: Yes