Susukino Brewing, Sapporo

It was while rolling around in Susukino that we came across Susukino Brewing, in Sapporo’s “red light” district. Sapporo is the best city in the world, and we do our best to screen all the top beer bars in Sapporo. So, out of sheer dedication to your, our dear readers, we stepped in to give it a try and pass our notes onto you.

Susukino Brewing is about six blocks south of Susukino station, on the same block (but just to the east) as the infamous Rad Brothers bar.

Maybe I am a bad person for saying this, but I still see drinking beer (even in this modern day) as a masculine pastime. Of course both sexes can (and do, certainly) enjoy a good beer. But when I think of beer, I expect a beer bar in Sapporo to be a bit rugged, sometimes rowdy, occasionally maybe even rude. In the right doses, all that can be a good thing.


(Couldn’t you just hear the “but…” coming?)

Susukino Brewing is trying to be a “date bar” that features beer (some of which comes in pink cans). I’m sure that is perfect for a certain crowd, but we don’t think that is what most men want from a craft beer bar. It doesn’t seem like a good idea at all, as if some girl in marketing came up with the idea… but marketing girls aren’t really the demographics that drinks most of the craft beer, are they?

To say more, the name “Susukino Brewing” seems to suggest a brewery, which it does not seem to be. It is a small shop; and if they actually brew beer here, they do a good job of hiding it.

The beer menu is limited to four flavors; a white ale, a saison (which they had run out of), a weizen, and…

I had their IPA. And a glass of water, no ice. (When I can’t get it luke warm, straight out of the house in the backyard,) I always take my water that way. Hydration, it’s a good idea.

They have a limited menu of food. As I was a hungry beast on that particular night I had both the fish and chips and the sausages.

We present pictures of both for your evaluation.

I am tempted to say that the fish and chips look better in the photo than they were to eat in real life. The fish was essentially four, delicately proportioned “Chicken McNugget”-sized bites. And the fries… I can’t be entirely sure what they were even made of, but they were certainly not cut from fresh potatoes. I think they were mashed, and then pressed through a tube (Is that even possible? Who would do that?), and then deep fried. None of that sounds good to me, but the taste was not as bad as I am making it out to be.

The fries do look weird though, don’t they? Suspect. Definitely not standard issue.

I am glad I ordered the sausage though, as the kids-size fish plate would not have been adequate for dinner.

The sausages were boiled, and then pan fried, right in front of me in the tiny kitchen behind the bar. This time, I can report the photo is accurate, and the sausages mostly as all sausage should be – pretty satisfying. The sausage (and the impact of the first half of my beer) began to put me in a better mood.

Somewhere at the back of the menu you’ll find a collection of deserts, some of them come in fancy, martini-esque glasses, with bits of cornflakes at the bottom to give them some crunch. Ou, la-la.

If you’re looking for “a girl’s beer bar” (and who would do that?), I think Sun and Moon Beer Bar in Sapporo (which I don’t recommend either) is much better than this place… to be frank (because I have been so shy thus far), any place is better than this place. I think this might be “the worst craft beer bar” I have ever been too.

While this whole experience was perfectly pleasant (with generally generic jazz playing overhead), it is not at all what I wanted and I left disappointed (and a little resentful, to be honest). On the night I was there, there were two or three couples on quiet dates around me (and a lone woman in the corner drinking by herself). And they seemed to like the atmosphere just fine. Maybe you’d like it, but I don’t recommend you even try.

If a bar with “brewing” in it’s name is supposed to be about beer, Susukino Brewing in Sapporo can claim some success in that department. The beer was fine. But…

Are their better beer bars in Sapporo? If you’ve bothered to read this far, I will say emphatically – yes there are. (Unless you prefer to take your beer in bar designed for Valentine’s day, in which case this place is a gold mine.). I would send you to The Beer Cellar Sapporo (which is inappropriately named, but a better place for clean, no-nonsense beer experience), or nearby to Phred’s (much more flavorful) Beer Inn Mugishutei, or uptown somewhat to Beer Kotan.

If you want a place to eat, drink, and maybe take a date for a beer, Craft Beer Volta is not far away and is 100% better in every way; that includes the beer, the atmosphere – and certainly the food. Much better for almost everyone (even marketing girls).

Susukino Brewing offers a tasty IPA and a decent sausage but is not a place I would bring my friends (or a date for that matter, I think I could do better in that regard as well).

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