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A craft beer born from Tokyo’s center of subculture, Shimokitazawa

By Toby M, grape Japan

Summer 2021 is already turning out to be a scorcher here in Japan. Of the few things that can offer respite from the turgid heat, none is more satisfying than an ice-cold beer. And of all the ice-cold beers on offer in Japan, there’s a new collaboration IPA that might just be the most satisfying.


While the taste profile of this beer is a big part of what makes it hit the spot with such pinpoint accuracy, the spirit (no pun intended) in which it is produced is also key. The beer in question is made by CRAFTROCK BREWING, a beer pub in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. CRAFTROCK BREWING, which by the way, had a spacious live music space, aims to connect craft beer and music culture in Tokyo. This is why the brewpub has recently collaborated with a restaurant local to Tokyo’s most popping music neighborhood, Shimokitazawa, to produce a very special craft brew. And what better marriage is there than a cool beer and great tunes on a summer evening?

The Maboneng IPA


The store that partnered with CRAFTROCK and gave this beer its name is called Maboneng, owned by Hauten Co., Ltd. Maboneng is a popular bar and restaurant in Shimokitazawa that serves craft beers and Japanese pub-style dishes. The store name is a South African word meaning “place of light”, and this influence is keenly felt in the collaboration beer.

The Maboneng IPA is made with two types of South African hops "African Queen" and "Southern Passion". The hops have aromas of kumquat, lychee, and jackfruit. The flavor of this IPA meanwhile exudes sweet summer oranges and the malty aftertaste is of grapefruit. This beer is a gorgeous balance of umami and bitterness. It nicely combines tropical and citrus flavors for a drink that is perfect for summer.

Where to drink the Maboneng IPA?

The Maboneng IPA is available to drink in CRAFTROCK BREWING’s brewpub in Nihonbashi, or on their online store. Check out the details of the beer, and how to buy it below:

Maboneng IPA Information

Product Name:

ABV: 6.0%

Price 3,600 yen (price includes two 1 liter cans)

Online Store

At the time of writing, the advanced pre-order period has ended but it may return to the store at an unspecified future date.

CRAFTROCK BREWING Brew Pub Information

Address: 3-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo COREDO Muromachi Terrace 1F

Opening Hours: 11: 00-20: 00 (may differ due to State of Emergency)


Cheers to a summer of beers, drinking responsibly, while following local COVID-19 antivirus measures.

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-- Yokohama café’s summer latte impressively recreates Hawaii’s beautiful beach colors

© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The word craft is getting out of hand. There is now craft coffee, craft tea, craft cola, craft onigiri, craft sand....come on corporate Japan. Stop copying words and be creatively crafty in finding your own crafty slogans.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Would like to try it but the price is expensive when compared to other craft beers costing much less. ¥1,800/litre compared with ¥700/litre for craft beers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fruit-flavoured hop juice at 1,800 yen a litre? No thanks. And Shimokita's place as a centre of subculture was destroyed by the rebuilding of the station and the corporate gentrification that surrounded it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is it made with Tokyo city water?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Craft, AI, IoT.. Three most favourite buzzwords in Japan thesedays. You want to sell anything? Slap a "craft" or "AI" sticker over it and you're done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So it was made in partnership with a Shimokita Izakaya, but "where to drink it" doesn't list that Izakaya. Not good enough for them to sell, even as a takeaway if they are not serving alcohol inside??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the UK I can find scan of craft beer for well under 200 yen-Japan is expensive!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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