I’ve often described how I enjoy drinking beers while out and about — street beers, yo — and since the closure of the Minami-Ikebukuro Park a few years ago, my main outlet in the ‘Bukes has been Ikebukuro West Gate Park. It’s more of a gathering place than a park, but it’s fun in part because of the “characters” it tends to attract. The routine is usually just to grab a few brews at the nearby combini (Sankusu, if you must know), but the other night my hometown friend Julie — in town for a month on a visit — invited me for a degustation in the park. When I met up with her, I was greeted with a Seibu department store bag filled with a few selections from the Ibaraki-brewed Hitachino Nest Beer. It was a great time, and I’m always a proponent of mixing high class (the beers) with low class (the spot) — and the cups we were drinking from were purchased at a nearby 100 yen shop.
The photo above of me was taken by Julie, and the rest, by me, cover our selections, and the park itself. The beers themselves were pretty much all great, except for the “Ginger Ale” brew, which was a bit rough (and 8%) — it’s worth noting that it’s also the only with a silly label, featuring some sort of crazy mascot.