Good Beer Faucets
Tapping the warmth in Shibuya
By: Amy Holdsworth | Jan 20, 2012 | Issue: 930 | 7 Comments | 7,100 views

Courtesy of Good Beer Faucets

¥900-1,100 for 400ml; ¥600-750 for 200ml. Food from ¥500

Nonsmoking seats available

At windows for a good view

Nice ambiance, wide selection, no table charge

Beer served at wrong temperature

2F Crossroads, 1-29-1 Shoto, Shibuya-ku

Tel: 03-3770-5544

Nearest station: Shibuya

Open daily 5pm-midnight

It’s perhaps unfair to judge a bar after three days of operation. But clutch your hats, dear readers: we had to send back a beer.

Though facing competition from stalwarts Craftheads and Baird Taproom, the latest craft-beer bar, Goodbeer Faucets comes with a pedigree—it is owned by the Goodbeer Club, which sells premium beer at goodbeer.jp. Expectations were high.

The setup is nice: a smoke-free interior (a respite in hazy Shibuya), counter space and windows, and a minimal decor. We found hints, however, that form had been chosen over function: the stylish stools were uncomfortable, and the tap system was not adequately cooled.

The menu was underwhelming. Though consisting of 42 pours, one-third was Baird’s entire lineup and the remainder was dominated by trendy hoppy brews, like Ballast Point Sculpin and BrewDog.

We skipped the food—Ibérico ham (¥500), goat-cheese salad (¥1,200)—and ordered Left Coast Trestles IPA (previously enjoyed at Craftheads) and BrewDog Chaos Theory (first tasting). Both were ¥1,100 for 400ml—a 200ml glass is usually about ¥750. The beers arrived separately, thanks to a German-style pouring technique plus some extraneous technology used by the waiters, who delivered orders to the bar via iPod Touch.

Thus, the Trestles came warmish. Most Indian Pale Ales can be served “cellar” temperature (12-14ºC), though you’ll often get them cooler from tap or bottle. US-style IPAs are best at slightly cooler (7-10 ºC), as they are often hop-heavy with a thinner body. Here, the ale had to be chugged down in two minutes or it became undrinkable.

The Chaos Theory was interesting, but a bit too heavy on the Simcoe hop for me. Again, it was undermined by treacly warmth; a bit colder, and it might have been earthily fragrant. It was a struggle to finish the pint.

At this point, we should have switched to heavier beers, best served warmer. There was an Imperial Red Ale on tap, as well as some stouts. Instead, we mistakenly opted for Shiroyama’s Lemongrass Ale, remembered as a slightly sweet, herbal beer, and of a lighter persuasion. After several minutes, during which the ale was spied warming up on the counter, it arrived. After the first unpleasant tepid sip we sent it back and asked for the check.

Our server graciously removed the last beer from our check, while explaining that the beer was warm because “we don’t chill our glasses here, unlike other bars.” Still, we were urged to return, and the problems would be fixed. Let’s hope so, as Goodbeer Faucets could offer a smoke-free break from Shibuya’s buzz.

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  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/shaymm09/ Shay

    Ha, you can drink what you want and how you want it,but….brewers prefer for their beers to be served at “room” temperature (40-55f) depending on the beer. I’m sure the people in charge of this place know that and were accommodating the patrons of the beer according to those rules. Good article, I would have preferred to hear more about the selections, variation of selection and maybe atmosphere of the bar.

  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/shins/ ames

    Hey, thanks for the feedback! (This is the writer). Yup, as I said, beer is often served around 13 degrees Celsius (55 F), but this seemed unusually warm. It’s been awhile since it opened, and it had a nice vibe, so definitely worth a trip. The menu of beers does change, except for the Baird lineup. Hope this helps :)

  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/dede/ dede

    i think It is unfair to judge a bar after three days of operation.
    line up holds up to 12 different japanese beer (excluding baird) that was not mentioned at all.
    beer condition was warm due to a technical problem that was fix few days after the opening .
    should come for a visit and see the place as it works great now .
    the ONLY 9-13 Celsius beer we have are an english style hand-pumps,all other 40 beers
    are controlled by and american micromatic glycol system , currant beer condition is perfect !
    please come to see by yourself

  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/beerisbest/ beerisbest

    Strange article, 14 degree ipa…hmm dont think so unless you are a smelly old man in some countryside english pub..”trendy”…american craft probably counts for 0.000001% of beer in japan so trendy might be a bit of a stretch. I suspect the author is new to the craft beer scene in japan and probably thinks she knows about beer…bur doesnt

  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/beermeplease/ beermeplease

    Who are you? It really seems like you don’t enjoy what you do and why you do it. Where is your integrity? You list beers and bars like you know what you are talking about. If you know so much, how didn’t you come to the conclusion that a bar with the most cutting edge beer dispensing system in Japan might have a couple kinks to work out in the first week?

    Did you ask any of the staff or did you just sit up on your high-chair chuckling about the warm beer and the poor review you were intending to write? This review does nothing to promote a truly original place, with excellent food, a world beer selection and fair prices.

    In no way do I condone warm beer, but to focus on that aspect without the littlest bit of warmth shows that you are not part of the scene, disconnected from what is going on in craft beer and really need to evaluate your motives.

    Journalistic integrity is one thing, reporting the facts, sure you got a warm beer, but get over it. See the bigger picture. This article is just sad. It discourages when it should encourage. Go back, or don’t, but don’t count on getting a seat, the place is pretty packed.

  • Judy

    Just been to this bar- terrible!!!! I wish Japanese would stop trying to copy/imitate trends and maybe create some of their own. Kinks to systems should be worked before becoming operational(dry run). I was served warm disgusting beer and the whole atmosphere was try hard. I bet the posters below are the owners as well, keep trying lads or go back to your Sakai.

  • JR

    I tend to agree with the author of the article. The beer selection was underwhelming, with way too much emphasis on Baird’s mediocre line of beers. The Ant N Bee in Roppongi has fewer offerings, but much wider variety. Sure the Ant N Bee is not as trendy/fancy as Goodbeer Faucets, but I prefer the more traditional atmosphere as well.

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