Kagoshima is a delightful and friendly city in the south of Kyushu that is famous for its iconic active volcano, Sakurajima. It is also well known as a producer of Japanese shochu, and there are numerous stores stocked with beautifully decorated bottles of this traditional spirit. However, for those who prefer a cold glass of craft beer at the end of a long day, the offerings might seem slimmer. So if you’re looking for somewhere in Kagoshima where you can sample high-quality craft beer from both Japan and abroad, here are two great bars to check out!
Tucked away on the third floor of a narrow building near Tenmonkan, DOLPHIN INDUSTRY is a real gem: cozy, welcoming, and most importantly, stocked with excellent beer. Although they only have five taps, there’s always a good selection to choose from and occasionally, they will have a special limited edition beer available that they’ve brewed themselves. The bar also has a large variety of burgers and other bar food on offer, so it’s a great place for a casual dinner, too.
If you do pay this place a visit, make sure you take a seat at the counter so that you can chat with the bar staff. The guys who work here are extremely knowledgeable about beer and are more than happy to chat (in English and Japanese) with patrons about their favorite drinks and breweries, so you’re bound to get some useful recommendations. There’s also a selection of beer-related magazines you can browse to find out more about the craft beer scene in Japan.
Top tip: Can’t make up your mind? Try DOLPHIN INDUSTRY’s sampler set of any three beers for 1,200 yen!
Opening hours: 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM (Mondays to Thursdays, Sundays), 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM (Fridays and Saturdays)
Address: 3F Hamada Building, 14-15 Higashisengoku-cho, Kagoshima (鹿児島市東千石町 14-15 浜田ビル 3F)
Another small and friendly establishment, Beer Reise has a wide selection of domestic and international craft beer available both on tap and in bottles. While the staff doesn’t speak a huge amount of English, they do have a small menu board featuring the daily draft beers in English and are happy to help you find something you’ll like. Bar snacks are also available if you get peckish.
The atmosphere in Beer Reise is casual and cheerful, with beer posters lining the colorful walls and staff members happily chatting with patrons throughout the evening. They also have a helpful selection of sightseeing brochures for tourists, so you can plan some activities for the rest of your trip to Kagoshima whilst enjoying your drinks!
Top tip: Happy Hour is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and you can also get 100 yen off a draft beer of your choice if you present a ticket stub from the local cinema for a film screening on the same day as your visit.
Opening hours: 5:00 PM till late
Address: 1F Hirata Building, 9-10 Sennichi-cho, Kagoshima (鹿児島市千日町 9-10 平田ビル 1F)
Both of these bars are definitely worth a visit if you’re a craft beer fan in Kagoshima. As there are not a huge number of craft beer establishments in the city, they have a strong community feel to them and attract a friendly crowd of both locals and tourists. Be open to chatting with both bar staff and patrons, and make sure you try some of the drinks from local breweries – you might just find a new favorite!