Ice cold beer is the best way to cool your warm body in the tropical islands of Okinawa that are warm all year round! If you are going to have a pint, you may as well have an outstanding one that has been carefully selected for you. Here five locations you can encounter great beer at that are easy to stop by in while seeing the sights.
1. COLOSSEO 262
This is the place for craft beer in Naha!
It serves eight types of carefully selected craft beer (500 JPY - 2,280 JPY (incl. tax)) from breweries around the country. It is frequented by beer lovers as a place where they can enjoy super fresh beer delivered in barrels directly from breweries.
It offers a Tasting Set 120ml (600 JPY for two (incl. tax) and up / 300 JPY for one (incl. tax) with the option to add) to help customers find their favorite beer.
It is also highly rated for its food with popular menu items made with ingredients from around the country such as the Okinawa Tuna and Avocado Tartar (650 JPY (incl. tax)) using tuna and avocado from Okinawa and Japanese White Shrimp and Mushrooms Ajillo made using Japanese white shrimp procured directly from Toyama.
The setup is in the style of a bar with counter seating so it is convenient for customers to drop in on their own. Why not sit at the counter and ask the staff and locals about recommended spots in Okinawa?
2. Taste of Okinawa
Taste of Okinawa has a selection of more than ten different craft beers at any given time so customers can enjoy outstanding beer carefully selected from within Okinawa and other regions. Be sure to check out the Ryukyu glass mugs in which the beer is served.
It also serves creative cuisine made with plenty of fresh Okinawa ingredients under the philosophy that "to truly enjoy beer, it should be served with equally high quality food." A particular recommendation is a course that includes food and bottomless servings of three different types of beer. It is sheer bliss to have bottomless beer and meticulously planned and lovingly prepared food.
When you look inside the restaurant, you'll notice some long tables. They are communal tables where strangers sit together, set up so that locals and people from all over the world can interact and get to know each other. Please sit at one of them when you visit.
3. BEER PARADISE
This is a restaurant in a great location in Naha in an area with many hotels. It is open late from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am Mondays through Thursdays and from 9:00 pm to 4:00 am on Fridays and Saturday and serves alcohol and snacks, so it is recommended as the second stop when you are bar hopping.
It has select beers from around the world, with the Belgium beer being a particular recommendation. Many are sweet and accessible like juice and can be enjoyed even by those who do not like the bitterness of hop. There are some beverages not on the menu, so why not use that as an opportunity to start up a conversation with the staff.
4. Orion Beer Hall AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom
This is a beer hall where you can enjoy Orion Beer made by a long-established Okinawan brewery.
It is in a large shopping mall, which makes it convenient to stop by in after shopping for souvenirs and other items. It is in the suburbs, so you'll need to get there in a rental car or a bus from Naha Airport.
The hall is a large, open space full of people day and night. A wide range of famous Orion Beer products, including draft beer, happoshu and non-alcoholic beer, is available. The best way to enjoy it is with the All You Can Drink Plan (2,490 JPY/person (excl. tax)). You can have as much as you want of approximately 40 different types of drinks including five types of beer and the Okinawan spirit, awamori, within a period of 90 minutes. Bear in mind that this plan is available for parties of two or more.
5. Craft Beer House Baku
This is a bar near Naha Kokusai Dori that attracts craft beer lovers from within and outside of Okinawa. It has a wide selection of craft beer, not only from Japan but also from abroad, with a staggering 21 different types available at any given time! The sight of 21 beer taps that take up a whole wall is extraordinary.
The beer menu changes from time to time based on the discerning tastes of the owner, so there are some beers that are only procured once - which means that if you see a beer you're interested in there, you must give it a try.
The recommended beer is, of course, the craft beer from Okinawa. The Miyakojima Shekwasha Weizen (850 JPY and up) flavored with the juice of the Okinawa produce, shekwasha (citrus depressa), is acidic and refreshing, and the Okinawa IPA (800 JPY) has a unique aroma and bitter taste that goes well with meat dishes.
Beer can be quite different in its sweetness, acidity, and bitterness depending on where and how it was produced, and how it is poured. Many places have bottomless plans and beer tasting, so you may be able to find that one special beer that suites your taste. Beer can also be a lubricator to socialize with the locals. Please try out the bars mentioned here.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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