It may be located in the center of Tokyo but people always seem to be passing through Kanda on their way to someplace else: north to Akihabara, east to Asakusa, south to Tokyo Station or west to the Imperial Palace. This liminal neighborhood can feel like a no man's land of offices, banal apartments and elevated train tracks, but it is not without its charms. Off the street, many Tokyoites find refuge in its pachinko parlors, cramped izakaya taverns and, unexpectedly, craft beer bars.

My journey to Kanda starts in the south Tokyo brewery of one of those bars.

As the doors open, I'm hit with the acrid, bready smell of fermentation. The lights switch on to reveal gleaming tanks and stacks of empty kegs. There's a low bubbling sound emanating from the back of the room.