Mikkeller Tokyo (Shibuya)

Mikkeller Tokyo is a really hip place to be, and one of the few places where you can get a beer and visit a love hotel at the same place.  To be honest, Mikkeller Tokyo isn’t connected to a love hotel, but there is one across the street, making the location very interesting for people watching.

If you don’t know much about Mikkeller, it is a famous brewery in Denmark.  They became famous for phantom brewing with other breweries in the area, so they didn’t have their own brewery at the start.  They still created recipes and they became famous for some interesting beers.  They are one of the most famous craft breweries in the world, becoming known for their crazy styles and flavours.  The owner has even become a bit of a superstar in his own right.

Mikkeller Tokyo is the only Japanese branch of Mikkeller, but they do have branches around East Asia as well, such as Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.  The Tokyo branch is located in the heart of the love hotel district in Shibuya, and literally across from the front entrance is the entrance to a love hotel.  There are a few eateries in the area as well and it appears to be losing its love hotel moniker as people generally want privacy when visiting a love hotel.

The main draw, at least for me, was the riff raft that is around the area.  On one morning, when we were doing some filming for Taiheiyogan, a scruffy looking transvestite walked by muttering to herself.  It was one of those situations where you avoid eye contact and just wait for them to pass, regardless of how long it takes.  That was a rare occurrence for sure as you are more likely to see various women and men walking in and out of the love hotel across the street.

Of course, Mikkeller’s shop is really cool.  It is located in an old building and they have a lot of concrete.  You can see various artworks from Mikkeller’s brand on the second floor and there are huge windows that are opened up in summer to allow people to flow out into the street.  You do have to be careful as the street is really small and cars pass through often enough that you can’t really spill completely onto the street.

The beers at Mikkeller are not all from Mikkeller.  They often bring in rare beers from around the world.  With the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Tokyo happening in September, they had a lot of extra beers for sale at Mikkeller Tokyo.  You were able to see a lot of great rare beers that you couldn’t get in Japan, and some of them were even difficult to get at their home base.  They continue to bring in rare beers from around the world from their friendship network of breweries.  You never know what will be on tap until you actually go there, or check their social media.

While most people just drink at Mikkeller, they also have great food.  They specialize in Danish treats from the Danish style meatballs to open face sandwiches.  I know a lot of people will balk at the prices of the beer and food, but you are definitely paying for the quality.  I wish I was rich so I could go to Mikkeller often, but it is a great treat to go and grab a few beers every now and then, and the food is worth the extra cost to try something new.

Mikkeller Tokyo is a really cool place to visit.  The atmosphere makes a visit well worth it.  The delicious variety of beers will have you making new friends, and the people watching will have you seeing a side of Japan you never knew existed.  Regardless of what is happening, Mikkeller is a friendly place and they’ll do everything they can to accommodate you.