Beer Restaurant Oden

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Type: Bar

Shimotori 1-chome-8-9, Ginza Building 1F
Kumamoto-ken Kumamoto-shi, 860-0807

096-325-9230 | map

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Added by soulgrowl on 12-02-2006

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Reviews by soulgrowl:
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4.13/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Usually when you see the words "beer restaurant" on a sign in Japan, it means they have Guinness Draft, Corona, Heineken, and maybe some kind of Japanese kuronama in addition to the usual rice lager or happoshu. But not Oden! This is a gem of a bar, easy to find on the main street heading east from the Kumamoto castle streetcar stop. The place is decorated like a German beer hall, with lots of wood and breweriana and no flourescent lighting (except in the coolers).

They have six taps. If memory serves, they are Hoegaarden wit, Belle-vue Kriek, Löwenbräu, Asahi Super Dry, Asahi Black, and Bass. Not bad, and I really love Hoegaarden on draft, so that was a nice surprise. Then in the cooler they have about 60 bottled beers, ranging from the lousy/mundane (OB, MGD, Budweiser, Coors, San Miguel, Singha, Tsingtao, Victoria Bitter, Corona, Labatt's, Tecate, Heineken, Beck's, Moretti, Kronenbourg, Henry Weinhard's PR, Tuborg, Carlsburg) to the decent/tasty (Bitburger, Cave Creek Chili Beer, Jever, Hofbräu, Pilsner Urquell, Budvar, Amiraalt, Diebels Alt, St. Louis Peche and Framboise) to the great/phenomenal (Weihenstephaner Hefe, Warsteiner, Köstritzer Schwarz, EKU 28, Asahi Stout, Chimay Blue, Orval, Rochefort 8, Westmalle Dubbel and Tripel, Leffe Brune and Blonde, St. Sebastian Dark, Duvel, Brigand, Verboden Vrucht, Kwak, and Anchor Liberty Ale). So the emphasis is clearly on Germany and Belgium, and Oden does not disappoint in these departments. Nor does it disappoint in storage, serving, or service; every beer is served with the right glass (including brewery glasses for almost every beer, including the trappists) and at the right temperature. And they let you pour yourself.

Where it does disappoint, unfortunately, is in the prices. Twelve hundred yen for a stubby of Orval? Um... that's well over twice what I pay at my local beer store. Granted, this is Japan, and there's going to be markup at any bar, but still, that's hard to justify. My advice: go with a friend and split some of the more expensive beers, because Oden is a greally great place to visit and a pleasant place to linger. The old-world vibe (including polka music, at a mercifully low volume) is really enjoyable, and the food - mostly sausages and other German specialties - looked very tasty, though I didn't try it myself. Too much ramen and karashi renkon!

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Beer Restaurant Oden in Kumamoto-ken Kumamoto-shi, Japan
Place rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 1 ratings