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Craft Beer Market Koenji

Review excerpt: Craft Beer Market Koenji feels less like a pub than a lounge that also serves great beer. The first thing you see on arrival is not the impressive array of taps — set into a wall of brilliant white tiles at the back of the premises — but the chef, working the charcoal grill in his open kitchen.

This is a statement of intent and, by and large, it’s successful and surprisingly sophisticated. The options from the grill range from herb-fed Sangenbuta pork dressed with dried tomato and tarragon to Kagoshima Kojun chicken with a sauce of red wine and fiery yuzukoshō (citron and green chili paste). There’s lamb chuck cooked on the bone, simply served with grain mustard. And the Australian steak comes with a beer-miso sauce and fries. At just ¥980 per dish (¥1,980 for an assortment of three), these are still pub prices.

[More on craft beer in Japan.]