A damn good thrashing (click photo for video)

A damn good thrashing (click photo for video)

Sunday I finally made it to Thrash Zone when it wasn’t closed!

Damn difficult place to find is Thrash Zone – hidden five minutes walk from Yokohama station North West exit on the second floor of this building:

There's a bar in here??

There's a bar in here??

Not a single indication on the building that Thrash exists, even though there’s plenty of space for a small sign:

Ample space for a sign

Ample space for a sign

When the bar is open, there is a blackboard outside though. Beware – Thrash is closed on Sundays (as I found out after making a special trip there one Sunday – doh!), and one Saturday I went there it was unexpectedly closed with no explanation (turns out Katsuki-san was ill). In fact I had so little luck getting into Thrash that for a long time I wondered whether the bar even existed – instead being advertised as a cunning way to lure gaijins into the girlie bar “Parsley” next door. I noticed on Sunday that Parsley was closed – could it be that Thrash and Parsley are actually alter-egos of the same bar?

Inside Thrash is tiny. For the anticipated rush of beer lovers for the 3rd Anniversary Bash on Sunday it was standing only, but I think there are stools along the bar at other times. Here’s a shot of the inside, five minutes before the bar officially opened:

Inside Thrash Zone, Yokohama

Inside Thrash Zone, Yokohama

Star of the menu for the event was a beer Katsuki-san, the owner (wearing the hat in the photo above), had made a beer at a small Japanese brewery: Simcoe Bloody Simcoe. Three versions of the beer were available – the original on CO2, dry hopped with extra simcoe on hand pump, and dry hopped with amarillo on hand pump. Best of the bunch for me was the amarillo dry hopped version, followed by the  CO2 original – the simcoe dry hopped was just a little too bitter.

Simcoe Bloody Simcoe - Normal, Crossover, SBS - Amarillo dry hopped

Simcoe Bloody Simcoe - Normal, Crossover, SBS - Amarillo dry hopped

Also on tap was Crossover – the beer that Katsuki-san made last year. The first glass poured was filled with yeast…

I've never seen so much yeast in a beer

I've never seen so much yeast in a beer

…but after a few pints out it cleared and was actually pretty good.

When it’s not the special event, Thrash can have around 10 beers on tap – taps which pop out the side of fridges!

Me thinks Katsuki-san installed these taps himself

Me thinks Katsuki-san installed these taps himself

In amongst all the Simcoe Bloody Simcoe drinking, I managed to persuade Katsuki-san to pour me a pint of Double Bastard 2006 – extremely hard to get in Japan. I’d heard good things about it and was glad to try it, but didn’t think it anything special actually. Simcoe Bloody Simcoe was much better… but it was also lethal. I was wrecked by the time I got home at 8:30pm, and by 9pm I was asleep in bed. Woke up at 2:30am and couldn’t sleep again for another 2-3 hours. Promised myself I’d never drink again, etc etc.

I was glad I finally made it down to Thrash though – excellent people there, good beers, and you have to admire Katsuki-san for making his own beers, and heavily heavily hopped ones at that. 200g of Simcoe dryhopping per keg I think he said – awesome – and 105 IBUs. Some bars complain about the price of import beers in Japan – I wish instead of complaining they’d take the risk and make some decently hopped beers themselves from time to time. Not only would it draw hop lovers like the crowd at Thrash but it would support the Japanese breweries and show the breweries that heavily hopped beers sell.

Thrash Zone’s website is here – it includes a map and a list of the current beers on draft and bottle. Although it’s a Thrash Metal bar, thankfully the music was kept so low that I barely noticed it (I hate metal). Definitely my favourite bar in Yokohama so far.

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