Updated 20 September 2015
This is just the start of the list which I’ll expand as I revisit import shops etc. Listed by beer or by brewer (if I recommend more than one of their beers). There are many others listed on this site which I haven’t included here if I don’t know which list to put them in…
Highly recommended British beers available in Tokyo shops
1. Traquair House beers – over 800 yen, but well worth it for some of the most impressive beer I have drunk. Available in Nissin and a few other place.
2. Old Speckled Hen – recently also available in much more affordable small cans, and sometimes special offers on multiple purchases of bottles. About 500 yen for pint bottles or 250 yen for cans in Yamaya, or sometimes two bottles for 800 yen and 2 cans for 400 yen
3. London Pride – details same as Old Speckled Hen above – very good value when 2 small cans for 400 yen deal available in Yamaya
4. Spitfire – unfortunately no longer available for 150 yen (!) a small bottle in Seiyu, but can sometimes get 2 large bottles for 800 yen in Yamaya
5. Murphy’s Stout – 500 yen for a pint can in Yamaya, or sometimes less
6. Youngs Double Chocolate Stout – 460 yen for a small bottle in Nissin
7. Samuel Smith’s beers, especially Oatmeal Stout – mainly available in small local specialist import shops and delis plus Nissin, but usually reasonably priced at around 500 yen for a small bottle
Also worth trying
Fuller’s Golden Pride – very reasonable at 350 yen in Yamaya (when available), and very good getting drunk value at 8.5% alcohol! Usually available in Nissin, though not as cheap.
St Andrew’s Ale – many places including Aeon and Yamaya. I wouldn’t bother with the other Belhaven beers – though the stout is 200 yen for a large can in Yamaya at the moment!
Bishop’s Finger, 650 yen for 500ml bottle
Newcastle Brown Ale – small bottles available many places, including the odd smart Family Mart
Some Brew Dog beers (though how you can choose when there are so many and some are so expensive, I’m not sure)
I’d give it a miss
Abbot Ale – I remember this being good, but when I last tried it both on draft and bottled it was bland as hell
Bass Pale Ale – This had been going downhill for years in England, and isn’t improved by it being brewed here in Japan for the domestic market. Even for 200 yen or so in Aeon etc, I’d just choose an actual Japanese beer instead.
St Peter’s Ale – I used to like these but I think my taste buds have been ruined by too many highly hopped recent beers so now I can barely taste them…
See post a few down for good British-style Japanese alternatives.