Yebisu Beer Museum: visit the tasting room, take a tour, and learn about Japan's oldest brewery
So I’m a big fan of beer. Whenever I’m traveling, I like to visit a brewery whenever I can.
When you are in Tokyo, Japan, don’t miss the FREE Museum of Yebisu Beer, where you can learn all about Japan’s oldest brewery, take an informative tour, and try several varieties in the tasting salon.
Yebisu Beer is Japan’s oldest brewery. It was founded in Tokyo’s Ebisu neighborhood (the neighborhood was named after the brewery, and the brewery was named after the Japanese god of luck) in 1890. The brewery hired a German brewmaster in order to try to create a European-style beer, and by 1900, the brewery had already won awards in international beer festivals.
Taking a tour at the Museum of Yebisu Beer
Tours of the museum cost 500 yen ($5) and include a beer tasting session with an expert. Tours depart from the main hall frequently, although they are only offered in Japanese. If you can’t understand Japanese, you can take a self-guided tour of the small exhibition hall for free. There, you can learn all about the history of Yebisu Beer.
After taking the tour, or visiting the gallery, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and the Tasting Salon.
The Tasting Salon has a unique way of buying and tasting beer. You can’t just hand over yen for a glass; instead, you have to exchange 400 yen ($4) for a Yebisu Coin, which can be redeemed in the Tasting Salon for a beer. Yen can be exchanged for Yebisu Coins at coin exchange machines, although make sure you use the right amount of money, as your coins cannot be exchanged back into yen. If you buy too many coins, don’t worry… a Yebisu coin makes for a decent souvenir of your visit to the museum! (I may have kept an extra Yebisu coin for myself).
You can order from a range of Yebisu beers that are not available in stores, including “The Hop”, “Meister”, “Premium Black”, and more. One beer costs one Yebisu Coin.
In my opinion, the best way to try a few different beers is to order the tasting set. One Yebisu tasting set costs 2 Yebisu Coins, and comes with three beers and a small relish tray.
Where is the Museum of Yebisu Beer?
The Yebisu Beer Museum is located in Tokyo’s Ebisu neighborhood in an open-air shopping center called Garden Place. The neighborhood was actually named for the brewery that was founded there!
How to get to the Museum of Yebisu Beer
The Museum of Yebisu Beer is easy to reach from Tokyo Metro Ebisu Station (H02). The Museum is just a short walk from the station. The way is clearly marked.
Yebisu Garden Place, 4-20-1 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8522
Museum of Yebisu Beer visiting hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 11:00 - 19:00
Official Website: https://www.sapporobeer.jp/yebisu/english/