Osaka is known as “the kitchen of Japan” and it doesn’t take visitor long to realise that this nickname is warranted. The people of Osaka love to eat and drink, and the options available to engage in both in are plentiful. The Osaka craft beer (Ji Bīru) scene really kicked off in 2012 and is very impressive, with many bars and pubs that serve an extensive range of craft beer and some pretty decent food too. There are a lot of small breweries around the country making some great stuff, and there are also a lot of craft beers from the USA that are hard to find outside of the USA on offer – most of the craft beer bars in Osaka have a range that’s around 60% Japan, 35% USA, 5% other.

When I first visited Japan in May 2014 I didn’t really being to explore the craft beer scene in the country until I reached Tokyo (you can read my post “Discovering Tokyo’s Craft Beer Bars” here). Having the unexpected opportunity to be back in Osaka so soon after my first visit, I wasn’t about to make the same mistake and did my research. Armed with a list of “must try” venues, I was determined to visit them all before the week was out.

 

Yellow Ape Craft

This very small bar with 30 taps was one of my  favourites. On the first night I visited, Yellow Ape were having their 2nd anniversary celebrations and there was food being grilled out the front and a fun, casual atmosphere both inside and out. There were quite a few interesting beers on tap, including the newly tapped 2014 “Black Tokyo” BrewDog’s individual contribution to the 3 way collaboration between BrewDog, Nøgne Ø and Mikkeller. It was intense at 16.5% ABV but tasted brilliant.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

There was a ¥300 cover charge if you wanted to sit upstairs (something that’s unfortunately common in Osaka bars, but decreasingly so) but you did get a choice of a number of actually decent snacks which made up for it.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Yellow Ape Craft
2 Chome-4-9 Imabashi
Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Garage 39

Garage 39 was another one of my favourites. Housed in a former garage, it’s a decent sized venue (perhaps the largest of the craft beer bars I visited in Osaka) and, along with having 15 taps they also had very good food and excellent service.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Garage 39
2 Chome-5-15 Awajimachi
Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

World Beer & Cafe QBrick

World Beer & Cafe QBrick is one of the granddaddies of the Osaka craft beer scene. The space isn’t as “cool” as some of the newer ones however there is a decent selection of beers on offer across the 16 taps, there’s a very good bottle selection that, as the name of the venue suggests, spans the globe. I’ll choose to ignore the fact that their Australian bottle selection contains VB rather than any of the brilliant Australian craft beers.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

QBrick also has a ¥300 cover charge which, unlike Yellow Ape, is charged regardless and only give you a small bowl of nuts in return. Worth visiting, but not as good as some of the newer players in town.

Osaka craft beer bars map

World Beer & Cafe QBrick
4 Chome-6-12 Hiranomachi
Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Dig Beer Bar

Another one of the better options for craft beer in Osaka is Dig Beer Bar. It’s another small space and offers a very good selection of beers from Japan and the USA. With 16 taps and a decent bottle selection, you’re likely to find something you haven’t tried before at Dig. The fact that the food is good, the atmosphere is friendly and there’s no cover charge doesn’t hurt either.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Dig Beer Bar
1 Chome-12-31 Kyōmachibori
Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Beer Belly Edobori

Beer Belly Edobori is one of 3 Beer Belly craft beer bars owned by the seemingly everywhere Minoh Beer. It’s not as big as the Tenma flagship however still has a decent range of Minoh beers across its 14 taps, which includes 4 hand pumps. If you’re looking for non-Minoh beers this isn’t the place for you however if you want to sample some Minoh beers that you won’t find elsewhere this is the place to be.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Beer Belly Edobori
2 Chome-1-21 Edobori
Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

Also

Beer Belly Tenma
7-4 Ikedachō
Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

Beer Belly Higobashi
1 Chome-1-30 Tosabori
Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Craft Beer Works Kamikaze

Craft Beer Works Kamikaze is a smallish venue that has a good range of mostly Japanese beers plus a few American ones across its 23 taps. There’s a lot here that you can find elsewhere but there are also a few beers that are hard to find which makes visiting well worthwhile. The food is decent too and there’s no cover charge.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Craft Beer Works Kamikaze
1 Chome-22-12 Kitahorie
Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Craft Beer Base

Craft Beer Base has an upstairs and downstairs section, 23 taps and a very impressive bottle selection – better than any of the other craft beer bars I visited on this trip. If you want to drink any of the bottled beers on premises you have to pay double, but with the way beer is priced in Japan, all this does is brings them up to standard bottle price so it’s not as unreasonable as it sounds.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

The upstairs area was quiet when we visited, but it was a Sunday night. Downstairs was still busy.

Osaka craft beer bars map

We wanted to purchase a few beers to go and were ushered to the coolroom which had an extensive selection of beers mostly from Japan and the USA – many of which I’d never heard of before. Impressive stuff!

Osaka craft beer bars map

Craft Beer Base
1 Chome-2-11 Ōyodominami
Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Lezzet Craft Beer & Food Experience Bar

Lezzet, being near Tennoji station, is on its own location wise compared to many of the other craft beer bars in Osaka. It’s got an interesting, old fashioned vibe about it and 14 taps (with another 14 lines ready to go when/if it becomes more popular). There was a ¥300 cover charge which gave you a small bowl of snacks. While the space itself was very well done and unique, the higher than average prices of the beer, the cover charge and a tap list that, while impressive, isn’t really any different than the others was a disappointment.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Osaka craft beer bars map

Lezzet Craft Beer & Food Experience Bar
2 Chome-3-21 Matsuzakichō
Abeno-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Beer Stand Molto!

Beer Stand Molto! is tiny and, as the name suggests, standing room only. There might only be 5 taps however the 30 bottles on offer are impressive, and included beers that I hadn’t seen elsewhere in Japan. The food menu is a kind of Japanese/Italian fusion which isn’t too bad either.

Osaka craft beer bars map

This place is hard to find – we spent a good 25 minutes looking for it so here are some directions to help. Assuming you have the address loaded up on your map so you know generally were you’re heading, as you exit Umeda station towards the location you’ll spot this Books Kinokuniya store.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Stepping outside and turning to face right, this is the view.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Walk forward about 10 meters and to your left you’ll see this. Walk through it.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Turn right when you reach the end and you’ll see this view. Beer Stand Molto! is about halfway down on the left, where the yellow sign is.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Nearby on the 31F floor of the Umeda Grand Building is Craft Beer House Molto which has 24 taps, a more extensive menu and a view over Osaka from the long main bar. I didn’t visit but by all accounts it’s worth checking out.

Beer Stand Molto!
1 Chome-1-3 Shibata
Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

Also

Craft Beer House Molto
Umeda Grand Building, 31F
8-47 Kakudachō
Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu

 

Craft Beer Bar Marciero

I didn’t get a chance to visit Marciero as it was closed on the night I went there. What I do know is that the place is tiny, holding only 10 people and has 8 taps which are supposed to be rotated heavily and contain interesting stuff that’s not found elsewhere. Mostly Japanese beers with occasional American ones.

Osaka craft beer bars map

Craft Beer Bar Marciero
8-10 Dōyamachō
Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu