Crafty Guys – Meet Nagoya’s Craft Beer Sensations, Tall Boys Brewing

ByBert Wishart
Feb 28, 2022

Crafty Guys – Meet Nagoya’s Craft Beer Sensations, Tall Boys Brewing

You all know the Bat Phone, right? The red telephone that Commissioner Gordon used to contact Batman, it flashed red whenever Gotham City needed help. Here at JIS Towers, we have the same thing, but it rings whenever there is a new craft beer bar on the block. Our Beer Phone has been ringing off the hook recently because Tall Boys Brewing is all anybody in Nagoya is talking about.

Tall Boys’ Brewing is the brainchild of three Nagoya faces: Collin, Alex, and Robb, and having started out as the pipe dream of brewing enthusiasts to market and sell their own beer, TBB has become Nagoya’s most exciting brewery and taproom.

As such, JIS donned its beer cape and headed down there to meet head brewer Collin to find out what all the fuss is about.

JIS: So, you’re the head brewer of your own craft beer brewery. Sounds like every man’s dream.

Collin: Well, it’s certainly mine. Since I was a kid, watching my dad home brew beer, I’ve always loved the process, I used to buy books on it. But when I came to Japan, I discovered that it’s not really a thing here; there are small communities here and there, but as it’s kind of a legal grey area, it’s not something you should enter into lightly.

JIS: If that’s the case, how did you become a master brewer?

Collin: Of course, I’d done a lot of home brewing back home in the US, but one day I discovered that the head of Heretic Brewery, a pretty well-known brewery from Fairfield, US, was touring and coming to Nagoya. So, I took along a book he’d written about brewer’s yeast for him to sign, and we got chatting. By the end of the night, I’d managed to get myself an intern position in his brewery.

JIS: So, how does that bring about Tall Boys Brewing?

Collin: Well, even though Nagoya is supposed to be Japan’s fourth biggest city, when it comes to craft beer, Nagoya is really underrepresented. It’s such an underserved market. Yeah, there are a few bars, but there was only one local brewery at that time, so I wanted to change that. I knew that I could do it with my experience at Heretic – where I was brewing more in one day than most Japanese brewers do in a month. So, with my friends Alex and Robb, we created Tall Boys Brewing.

JIS: So, you’ve been brewing and selling at places around Nagoya – especially at Midtown BBQ, which Robb runs – but now you’ve opened up a taproom.

Collin: Yes, it took us some time to find the perfect place, but last month we opened the Tall Boys Brewing Tap Room five minutes walk from Kasadera Station. The space is predominantly for us to brew beer, but we are really proud of our taproom. We’ve got counter seating, sofas, and chairs, and we’ll have some outdoor seating when it gets a bit warmer. It’s a relaxed, chilled space to pop in for a pint or two or even stay all evening.

JIS: Okay, now we’re talking my language, tell me about the beer.

Collin: We have eight beers on draft, mostly our own, though we also have guest beers – mainly Japanese, but some from overseas. We also do some great sandwiches; the bread is made at a local bakery, most of the ingredients are locally sourced, and the brisket from our extremely popular Reuben sandwich comes from Midtown BBQ. Doing things local, Nagoya-centric, is a big part of our ethos because community is extremely important to us. That’s why we chose Kasadera. We want to be a community hub, an anchor point where people can get together, have a couple of beers, and realize that craft beer is more than a hobby; it’s a social thing.

JIS: That’s something I can get behind.

Collin: It’s such a shame that, in the past few years, the prices of craft beer have skyrocketed in Nagoya, and it’s pricing people out. It’s becoming a luxury item, turning people into a craft beer hobbyists; they might have a pint once a month, tick it off, and that’s it. Craft beer isn’t being marketed at people outside the beer community, but there is so much more of a social element involved which can appeal to so many more people. It’s why our beers are 900 yen a pint and up. We want to provide excellent quality at affordable prices that will grow the community, rather than stymie it.

JIS: Surely a great time for growing that community will be when the cherry blossoms come out, right?

Collin: Exactly, and as Atsuta Jingu and Kasadera Kannon are nearby, it’s a perfect time to swing by, pick up a few bottles – and we do growler fills, which very few places do – maybe a sandwich or two, and head to the park and enjoy beautiful beer in beautiful places. Failing that, we’re on Uber Eats, so you can have bottles and food delivered right to your door.

So, with offers of some of the cheapest craft beers you’ll likely find, all locally sourced and made by local guys, what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to Tall Boys Brewing and join the community.

What Beers Are Hot Right Now?

The Bombay Black is a collaboration with Mya Bar, another new craft bar on the block, in-keeping with TBB’s intention of growing the local community. Pouring with solid haze that looks impressive in the glass, the next thing you notice is its pungent, tropical fruit punch aroma and flavor that lingers on the pallet with every sip.



Mid-March will see the return of TBB’s crazily popular Midnight Ride. Extra heavy dry hopping gives this west coast IPA a moderate haze and big passion fruit nose supported by tasty winter citrus. A light body and medium bitterness makes for high drinkability.





The reissue of TBB’s IPL has everything that you want in an IPA, but adds a lager crispness which makes it ideal for sipping during hanami. Hints of mint, fresh cut grass, and tropical fruit. Bitterness balances out the back. Like summer in a glass.



Tall Boys Brewing Details

Where: Nagoya, Minami Ward, Matsuikecho, 2 Chome−28-1  (map)
Open: Thu-Fri 17:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 15:00-23:00; Closed Mon-Wed

For up-to-the-minute details on what the TBB guys are up to, you can follow them on facebook and instagram.

If you want to make takeaway orders, it’s best to contact them through instagram direct messaging.

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

Leave a Reply