• Drink in the scene at Kyoto’s coolest craft brewery
• Sample inventive seasonal beers and specialty ales
• Join the locals for drinks in the sunshine
Microbreweries were slower to take off in Japan than in other parts of the beer-loving world, but the ji biru (craft beer) trend has gained serious traction here of late. Artisanal brewers are now popping up all over the country, but one of our favorite new contenders is in Kyoto, just a half-hour train ride from the Conrad. Tucked in a quiet residential neighborhood 10 minutes south of Kyoto Station by taxi, you’ll find the unassuming headquarters of Kyoto Brewing Company. On sunny days, beer aficionados gather around makeshift outdoor tables. Inside, taps pour beers brewed on-site with American hops, Belgian yeast, and Japanese water, a winning alchemy that produces easy-to-love beers like the citrusy Ichii Senshin Belgian IPA, and seasonal brews such as Fuyu No Kimagure, a Mosaic-hopped white pale ale. Note that the cozy tasting room, with stylish blond-wood accents and a view of the tanks, is open only on weekends. Sometimes a food truck is parked outside, but it’s wise to do as the regulars do: pack snacks!
From the Conrad, walk north to Osaka Station and take the JR Line to Kyoto Station (about 30 minutes); from there, it’s a 10-minute taxi ride to the brewery. Opening hours vary; check the brewery’s website or ask the Conrad concierge to confirm.