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Osaka has been going through a minor boom in craft beer bars over the past few years. This is undoubtedly good news for drinkers who want more than what’s on offer from the big four brewers of Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory.

Craft Beer Base, a hole-in-the-wall pub, opened last year and is a short hike west of Umeda. Downstairs, it’s a tachinomiya (standing bar), while upstairs has seating. On a recent midweek visit, what the pub lacked for in atmosphere — it was more library than pub in this regard — it made up for in beer selection (both bottled and draft; imported and domestic). It’s fair to say the staff are just a little otaku (obsessive) about beer, so it’s worthwhile indulging them with questions before you order.

We started with Too Sticky to Roll, a strong coppery Indian Red Ale from Burnside Brewing Co. in Oregon, U.S. At ¥1,300 a pint, it was an expensive experiment.

However, as well as what’s on tap, which changes every few weeks, there is also a “bottle shop” located within the bar that has an impressive range. We bought two bottles from Baird Brewery, Shizuoka Prefecture, with the Session Ale more to my palette.

The food menu at Craft Beer Base is limited, but complements the beers. We ordered a cheese platter with a nice mix of soft and hard cheeses as well as a fried chicken dish.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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