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Isetan Department Store

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1 Rating

Type: Store

Kokura Kita-ku Kyomachi 3-1-1
Fukuoka-ken Kitakyushu-shi, 802-8508

093-514-1111 | map

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Added by soulgrowl on 12-02-2006

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Ratings: 1 |  Reviews: 1
Reviews by soulgrowl:
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3.45/5  rDev 0%

The Kokura branch Isetan used to have a fairly formidable beer section, but lately they seem to be doing a bit of downsizing. Once upon a time, I could find Hoegaarden Wit, Hoegaarden Grand Cru, Verboden Vrucht, EKU 28, Löwenbräu, Hofbräuhaus, Belle-vue Kriek, Kirin Heartland, and a number of other respectable European imports that have recently vanished from the shelves. What remains is an unimpressive but still decent (for Japan) selection, including Guinness Extra Stout, several Echigo beers, a few selections from Yo-Ho, and various passable Asian macro lagers like Maharaja, Tsingtao, and San Miguel. But Isetan is worth recommending for one reason, which is that it's the only place in town where you can get Kiuchi Brewery beers. They always have the cedar-aged Classic Ale in stock, along with another rotating cedar-aged released (the Hōjun Shitate, Weizen, and most recently, the Gokujō). You can also buy gift boxes of Hitachino Nest beers, which include the Amber, White, and Classic ales along with the Weizen (but these are not available individually).

Service is, as usual in Japan, quite good, although not particularly knowledgeable. All the beers are stored in a refrigerated display, and I've never seen an expired beer for sale or purchased any beers here that turned out to be stale or off. Prices are quite fair, which is surprising considering you usually pay a bit of a markup in department store supermarkets. That said, this should not be your first stop in Kitakyushu for beer, unless you are specifically seeking out Kiuchi products (which are worth seeking out, in my opinion). Make it Hiromatsu first, then DeLi, then Hirashima... then Isetan.

Edit: I stopped by Isetan a couple days ago, and there was no more Hitachino Nest! And not only that, but Hiromatsu has started stocking the entire Kiuchi Line... so there's very little reason to visit Isetan anymore, but the beer case is still worth a glance if you're in the building.

Another edit: Hitachino Nest is back! And not only that, they've got several Hacker-Pschorr beers now, including the Munich Dunkel and Oktoberfest. Not too shabby, so I bumped the quality and selection scores back up to 3.

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Isetan Department Store in Fukuoka-ken Kitakyushu-shi, Japan
Place rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 1 ratings
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