After hours: Yokohama’s Glass Dance bar is full of fine beers
January 22, 2009
YOKOHAMA, Japan — I have nothing against cheap beer.
It’s been there for me during some of life’s finest moments, some of which I remember with near clarity. That said, going through life drinking only cheap beer is a crime if you can afford otherwise.
The fine beers at Glass Dance are an excellent entry point into Belgium’s many beers. The Belgian confederation of brewers lists 120 breweries, each of which makes several different types of beer.
That figure doesn’t include many more mom-and-pop operations and one-off productions. That’s a lot of brew for a country roughly the size of Maryland.
Glass Dance’s selection includes more familiar ales and lagers, but its main attraction are the Trappist brews, lambics and other styles rarely found outside of Western Europe.
Many of Belgium’s beers tend to be higher in alcohol content and sweeter than American beers from larger breweries.
For example, Malheur — that’s "misfortune" in French — is a chocolaty-tasting malt that packs a punch. If you’ve already had a few other beers, this might be sleep-inducing.
Satan Gold is a lighter but still powerful brew with a golden hue and a fruitier taste.
While few beers at Glass Dance can compete with the "hops monsters" that have become trendy at U.S. microbreweries, a few of the beers on tap can provide respite if the sweeter beers become excessive.
The tap beers include better-known brews like Hoegaarden wheat beer and DeKonnick. Japanese beer is about $7, which is actually quite reasonable for downtown Yokohama.
Glass Dance also offers an extensive, if not overly complicated, food menu.
Most of the salads, pizza, chicken, stews and pasta cost about $10 to $15.
The large order of mussels was tiny and overpriced at about $25 for a couple of dozen, but the delicious broth mixed moderately spicy peppers with hints of sweetness.
A side of thin Belgian frites — they’re not french fries if they’re from Belgium — make for a nice side dish, or at least something to soak up the beer.
Glass Dance Yokohama, Japan
Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight daily
Prices: About $6.50 for a basket of french fries, $10 to $25 for entrees. Beer ranges from $7 to $15. Cocktails are about $6 to $10.
Specialties: Fancy beer
English menu: Yes
Dress: Stylish casual
Clientele: Mostly Japanese, a few foreigners
Location: 9F Yokohama More’s Bldg, 1-3-1 Minami-Saiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama. As you exit Yokohama Station’s west exit, look right and up for the building.
Web site: http://www.diamond-dining.com (Japanese)