American Craft Beer in Yokohama

Looking for you favorite craft beer from back home?  Chances are you just might find it at a rather unusual location near Kannai station in Yokohama.  Surprisingly, located on the fifth and sixth floors in a nondescript office building offering Japan’s largest collection quality American craft beer.


American Antenna is a showroom and bottle shop for the Nagano Trading Company, the largest importer of American Craft Beer in Japan.  The signage is very minimal and customers do not randomly find this place by walking by.  It is clearly a destination that beer lovers have researched online and made this a planned destination.


Once inside, there is a wall of refrigerated coolers with many bottle of craft beer available for purchase.  Customers can purchase for consumption at the shop, or take home.  On the other side is a selection of ten different draft beers that rotate frequently.


The ambience is casual.  It is part bottle shop and college frat house interior design.  There is a lot of promotional beer merchandise from the brewers used as décor.  It’s an easy place to relax.  On warm afternoons there is an outdoor balcony  to sit outside and enjoy.


The food menu is American too.  Available are the typical burger, hot dog and fish tacos.  The food is marginal.  The beer is what this place is all about.


The line up of beers is impressive.  After living in San Francisco, it was refreshing to see some familiar favorites from northern California.  My style preference is typically an IPA flavor profile.  I like the aroma of hops and the bitterness that is characterized by a hoppy IPA.


The beer list is exclusively American craft beer.  One the larger and more widely available brands in the US is Sierra Nevada.  In addition to the pale ale, there is usually a seasonal and the Torpedo Extra IPA.


Another pleasant surprise is Lagunitas.  Is located in Sonoma, CA less than an hour north of San Francisco.  The IPA and Little Sumpin Sumpin were familiar sights from back home.


My favorite was also available.  Racer 5 IPA also from Sonoma County, California.  Bear republic brewery is located in in the heart of wine country in Healdsburg, CA.  I remember my first racer 5 IPA.  It was 2005 when I moved to San Francisco.  I was at Hog Island Oysters located in the ferry Building and I ordered my first Racer 5 IPA.  It is a full-bodied IPA and rather hoppy.


This is just a sampling of what you can expect to find at American Antenna.  The approach is all about the beer.  It is a sanctuary for craft beer lovers.  Typically the crowd is mostly American.  However, there is a mix of Japanese customers that are definitely fond of American craft beer too.


There are many foreign bars and establishments in Japan .  Most of which create a environment with English speaking staff and western style décor.  American Antenna allows their fine craft beer inventory to draw in the crowd.  It is all about the beer.  It is a haven for the American beer a must try place for the beer geek in Japan to meet like-minded beer lovers.