The advantage of meeting up with friends in Japan is that they can guide us to the best places for food and drink, none more so than food and drink journalist Robb Satterwhite, also the founder of Animal Cafes, Bento.com (restaurant guide), Craft Beer Bars Japan, and Where in Tokyo.
Although we’re usually keen to seek out bars specialising in Japanese beers, when Robb told us about Antenna America we agreed it was a must-visit, given his and Pete’s shared love of beer. Specialising in American craft beers, the shop and bar is run by beer importer Nagano Trading and offers a huge range of beers, including bottles and tap. And the prices are crazy reasonable, all sold at retail prices, whether you buy to drink there or to take away.
Like many bars and restaurants in Japan, it’s located in an office building, up on the 5th floor in this case. Easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. There’s an outdoor terrace for when the weather is good, and a few tables and stools in the main bar. A menu of snacks is available, plus a range of merchandise including T-shirts, pens, pins plus merchandise from some of the breweries they sell.
I think it’s fair to say that the American craft beer movement over the last few decades has hugely influenced and inspired brewers in Japan (and the UK for that matter), and certainly there’s a huge love for American craft beer in Tokyo (and elsewhere in Japan).
I usually advocate seeking out local food and drink, including locally-made beers. Indeed, for dinner the previous night we enjoyed some local brews alongside delicious cooking at Charcoal Grill Green Bashamichi, another of Robb’s recommendations.
But with a whole month in Japan, we were really pleased to be able to enjoy some unfamiliar American beers in this fabulous little shop and bar. And the good news is that there are several other great bars and taprooms in the vicinity; definitely worth planning in a bit of a beer crawl for our next visit!
Antenna America, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Yoshidamachi 5-4, #6 Yoshida Bldg, 5F