Beer Hall Mustache, Sapporo

Because of it’s location near Odori park, I had seen Beer Hall Mustache many times as I rode by in a taxi. As it was never my destination (until now), I was not quite sure of the name or the address, until we began our work on documenting the best beer bars in Sapporo. And then, and then…

There is an active conversation about “craft beer” in Sapporo, and we do a good job of showcasing many of those places (like Beer Inn Mugishutei and Beer Cellar Sapporo) in our Sapporo beer bar reviews. We always assumed Beer Hall Mustache must be a part of that scene. I couldn’t remember the name, but I knew it was obviously a beer bar. After searching for it a few times, I asked some people but they didn’t have any good suggestions; I had to just wait until I stumbled passed it again… and I did.

We should start by saying: Beer Hall Mustache is a great name. Flying passed it in a car each time, I can be forgiven for any confusion, but once you know; “the mustache place” is not easy to forget.

(I bet a lot of people call is Beer Bar Mustache… which isn’t quite right, but would also be a good name.)

Beer Mustache in Sapporo is located about a half of a block south of the western edge of Odori park (at Nishi 14), maybe five to 10 min walk from the Nishi 11 station.

Is Beer Hall Mustache a craft beer bar? Maybe not. It is an excellent place to drink beer, but “craft beer” means something specific, and we’re not sure “The Mustache” is even trying to compete in that category. In fact, when I hear “beer hall” it sounds European to my ears. As you take a look inside, it does have a classic Euro-style (maybe German?) vibe. Wood floors, simple wooden benches, a very nice wooden bar; a decidedly un-modern. old-school beer bar. As we came in, there was a baseball game on the TV on the wall. As a Westerner, it felt very familiar.

As for the beer; we count eight taps, mostly mainstream Japanese beers including Heartland, Suntory “Premium Malts,” Asahi, Sapporo Classic, Yebisu, and “The Perfect Yebisu.”

As an American, this would be like walking into a neighborhood bar to see Budweiser, Coors (“Cuurz”), Michelobe, Pabst, Miller High Life (which every one knows is the “champagne of beers”) etc. While there are no American beers at Beer Hall Mustache, it has basically that same role… it is a neighbor bar, with a strong beer selection representing the country’s (in this case, Japan’s) finest.

So, it this a “European” bar? I asked the Japanese guy behind the taps if the owner was YOROPA-gin (ヨーロッパ人) and he smiled and pointed to himself. Oh. Okay.

What about the name, “Beer Hall Mustache?” I actually had the “hall” aspect of the name in mind when I asked the question, but he ran his finger across his own mustache. Did he name the bar “mustache” because he has a mustache? (If you’re laughing at me at this point, I deserve it.) Then he made a gesture of throwing back a big gulp of beer, and then, once again, traced a line over his mustache and…

Ooohhhhhh. “Beer Mustache.” It certainly took me a while, but I get it.

I know the phrase “milk mustache,” meaning: a white film of milk over your upper lip as you take a big swig. But I don’t think I had ever heard of the “malt and hops” version of that expression. (In case you’re even slower than I am, and you’re still trying to catch on,) Beer Hall Mustache is about giving yourself a “foam mustache” as you gulp one back. The astute knew all this before they even finished reading the title of this post. But for the (obviously autistic) readers like me that need it all spelled out in excruciating detail… there you have it.

Beer Hall Mustache welcomes the astute, and autistic beer drinkers, both, with open arms. And we thank them for that.

For my part I had one two Sorachi 1984 beers while I was here. Sorachi 1984 isn’t a “craft beer” as I know it, but it’s a great pour I have had many times (on draft and from a can at home).

In addition to beer, Beer Hall Mustache Sapporo has a full alcohol offering and list of cocktails; this would be an ideal place to do the classic beer + whiskey combo. As I typed out that idea, I glanced up to confirm that they have Maker’s in stock. A Sorachi 1984 and a Maker’s rocks sounds fantastic. I have had enough for tonight or I’d order that combo right now.

Rounding out the offering, Sapporo’s Beer Hall Mustache also has a food menu. I have a steak sandwich waiting for me at home, but just for you, I did dip into the menu. When I asked Hachinohe san for a recommendation, he steered me into the beef sausage; good choice. It came with some brown mustard and a small side of sauerkraut (I told you this place “feels” German)… I think that is the first time I have ever enjoyed sauerkraut (and I did, perhaps my tastes have matured in the many years since I tried it last). Both the kraut and the sausage were delicious.

(For another good bar with solid “sausage and beer” potential, check out our review of Beer Kotan near Odori station.)

You can eat here, a full dinner – if that makes sense for the night. And the combination of food and beer, and the style of this place, makes it a proper pub in my eyes. Solid beer drinkers joint. I like it.

On the night we first stopped into Beer Mustache, we arrived at just after 7 PM, and by 8 PM about 12 people were drinking (nearly a full house), all of them Japanese (except for yours truly, your “autistic” guide). There is a stereo tucked into the wall, and a bunch of round, circular objects on display that an older generation might call “Cee Dee’s,” but on this particular night, the music was inaudibly low and a mild roar of various conversations filled the air. A few groups of friends; a big table of guys in white dress shirts, seemingly just off of work; three single guys at the bar. A good crowd.

Something makes me think I had read about this place years ago and never figured out how to get here. And then, I had all that first-hand experience driving by, but never catching the name. Finally, another coincidence last weekend put me right next door; at long last I had the name and location. Like destiny; I was meant to be here. And like divine Providence, here I am. With the blessing of kami-sama, I’ll be back.

When I told Hachinoche san that I would write about his bar for this blog, I showed him the name: Ichibannomachi. I asked him, “世界で一番の街はどこですか.” Without hesitation, he said, Sapporo. もちろんよ。 I like that guy.

From the best city in the world, we send best wishes to our readers, and this loving review of Beer Hall Sapporo – recommended.

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