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DevilCraft: Dying for a crafty pint? Head down to Kanda

by Robbie Swinnerton

The craft beer revolution in Japan is picking up pace. The main event of this summer has been the opening of DevilCraft, an excellent brewpub-to-be that is already serving some of the finest, hoppiest, maltiest, tastiest microbrews around.

DevilCraft was set up by a trio of like-minded expat homebrewers who wanted to take their hobby and passion to the next level. They are still waiting for their official brewers’ license to be issued, but that hasn’t stopped them moving into a five-story building close to Kanda Station, which they have refurbished into a very handsome pub. It boasts 13 taps dispensing draft brews from as far afield as the U.S. West Coast (Stone and Ballast Point) and as close to home as Chiba (Harvest Moon) and Yokohama.

But what’s really piqued our interest is what’s coming out of its top-floor kitchen. Co-owner Jason Koehler is producing a range of satisfying hand-made Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas. This is a style of pie virtually unknown hitherto here in Tokyo, and it goes brilliantly with all those brews.

You get to choose from half a dozen different kinds, ranging from the spicy Devil Daddy to the heavy-hitting Devil Works, an olive and tomato-rich vegetarian version and even Koehler’s Abe Froman (an in-joke for movie buffs of a certain generation) featuring plenty of sausage. Prices range from ¥1,000 (small) to ¥2,500 (large).

There’s a good selection of other appetizers and even ordinary flat pizzas for those who prefer to stick with the style they know. And, just to prove the owners are not all hard-line beer geeks, you can even order wine. Good people. And a great addition to our drinking haunts.

DevilCraft, 4-2-3 Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; (03) 6265-1779. Open Mon.-Sat. 5-11:30 p.m., closed Sun. Nearest stations: Kanda (Yamanote, Keihin-Tohoku, Chuo Rapid and Ginza lines), Shin-Nihombashi (Sobu Line). www.devilcraft.jp.