Lighting  Up  B  at  K5  with  Smile  Neon  and  Masaya  Nakayama  


Lighting Up B at K5 with Smile Neon and Masaya Nakayama

In February 2020, we opened the doors of B at K5, a subterranean haunt in a 1920’s-era cellar fueled by Brooklyn beer, tacos and creative chaos in Tokyo’s historic Nihonbashi neighborhood.

With fresh-pressed tortillas, the latest IPAs, an incredible team, the occasional mosh pit and Tokyo’s finest selectors on the decks, we almost had it all. But B is a powerhouse – an electric transmitter emitting contagious frequencies of collaborative energy across Japan – and we needed a bat signal.

To get the job done right we teamed up with Hidenobu Takahashi of Smile Neon, one of Japan’s last remaining traditional neon benders with over twenty years of experience. We were ready to bring Brooklyn Brewery to life through a high-voltage blend of glass, fire, volatile gases and of course, beer in Nihonbashi.

The design, illustrated by our friend Masaya Nakayama back in New York, updates our iconic logo with a blend of Japanese old-school Katakana script and Kanji reading “Brooklyn Brewery Tokyo.” The design was then painstakingly traced by Hide in Yokohama before he began to shape the glass.

Hide carefully bends each piece of glass by hand, adjusting the heat and intensity of an open flame butane torch to capture the nuances of the design. His work requires as much mental as physical exertion — he only has a single chance to get each piece right, requiring total concentration.

Of course, there’s more to collaboration than just a tangible piece. It’s more fun than that: there’s a connection, creating wavelengths of inspiration for others that roll forward in time. We hung proper with Hide – popping hydraulics in his custom lowrider through the Yokohama streets, sharing beers and 40ozs over throwback jams from Naughty by Nature and the Wu-Tang Clan, observing the craft in his ivy-covered brick workshop, and laughing over burgers in Yokohama’s vintage 50’s-style American diners.

We’re proud to unveil our new beacon on the walls of B at K5. The Japanese script at the top and bottom banners of the Brooklyn logo is old-style Katakana, reading “Brooklyn Brewery” backwards. The two red pieces on the sides read “Tokyo” in Japanese Kanji.

The walls of B at K5 Tokyo will never be the same, and neither will we. Come see it for yourself and check out an early preview in the video below. Thank you Hide – you are Brooklyn family for life!