Craft beer bars in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe
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We've divided our beer specialty bars into craft-beer specialists (usually Japanese and US craft breweries) and Belgian and other beer bars.

Osaka

Craft beers - Japanese and imported

Molto!! Fukushima - Beer bar: Fukushima
[ Open 5pm-midnight daily. ]
Open since March 2016, this third branch of the casual Molto chain joins the ranks of craft-beer bars in the Fukushima neighborhood. They offer seven taps of Japanese beers along with an...
[ Open 5pm-midnight daily. ]
Pogo - Beer bar: Fukushima
[ Open 6pm-1am. Closed Sundays. ]
One of a growing number of craft-beer bars in the Fukushima neighborhood, this attractively appointed two-story bar offers eight taps dispensing both Japanese and imported brews. Service is...
[ Open 6pm-1am. Closed Sundays. ]
Beer Belly - Beer bar: Higobashi
[ Open 5pm-midnight (LO; Sat 3-10, Sun 3-8) daily. ]
Minoh Beer is a craft brewery a bit north of Osaka city, and this centrally located taproom serves a line-up of their regular beers (including their excellent W-IPA) plus a few limited-edition...
[ Open 5pm-midnight (LO; Sat 3-10, Sun 3-8) daily. ]
Garage 39 - Beer bar: Honmachi
[ Open 5pm-1am (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
The fifteen taps at this relatively spacious beer bar serve up a mix of Japanese and US craft beers, with US pints selling for Y950. The food is also good.
[ Open 5pm-1am (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
Kamikaze - Beer bar: Kita-Horie
[ Open 5pm-1am. Closed Sundays. ]
The 23 taps at Craft Beer Works Kamikaze serve mostly Japanese craft beers, with a few US imports as well. Food and service are good, but it can get crowded during busy times and seating can be...
[ Open 5pm-1am. Closed Sundays. ]
Yellow Ape Craft - Beer bar: Kitahama
[ Open 5pm-2am. Closed Sundays. ]
Thirty beers, mostly Japanese craft beers, are served on tap here along with bar snacks like pizza. The Y320 table charge includes a small appetizer.
[ Open 5pm-2am. Closed Sundays. ]
Hathor - Beer bar: Kyobashi
[ Open 3pm-midnight daily. ]
Kyobashi may be off the beaten track for Osaka craft-beer bar denizens, but this cozy neighborhood spot is worth checking out if you're anywhere nearby. There's a big tap list, including eight...
[ Open 3pm-midnight daily. ]
TNT Bar - Beer bar: Taisho
[ Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays. ]
This extremely informal, charmingly scruffy bar has one of the most impressive selections of US craft beers by the bottle that we've seen in town, usually with more than 100 to choose from. Most...
[ Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays. ]
Harenohi - Beer bar: Tanimachi 4-chome
[ Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays. ]
Six US craft beers on tap plus nice Utsunomiya-style gyoza are served at this convivial beer bar. From the folks who brought us Q-Brick.
[ Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays. ]
Lingua World Cafe - Beer bar: Tanimachi 9-chome
[ Open 10am-10pm (Sun -6pm). Closed Tuesdays. ]
The menu here promises sandwiches (grilled cheese, roast chicken), poutine (!) and craft beers, and while there are only a couple of taps, Lingua does offer an excellent selection of canned and...
[ Open 10am-10pm (Sun -6pm). Closed Tuesdays. ]
Beer Belly Tenma - Beer bar: Tenma
[ Open 3pm-midnight daily. ]
Fourteen taps, including four hand pumps, all dispense beers from Osaka's Minoh Brewery at this spacious company-run taproom. The food menu is decent, with a wide range of tapas dishes. It's...
[ Open 3pm-midnight daily. ]
Standing Beer Bar 1020 - Beer bar: Tenma
[ Open 4-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Located in a mini-shopping arcade just off a main shopping arcade in busy Tenma, this tiny standing bar has room for around six or seven customers at a time. The six taps represent Japanese craft...
[ Open 4-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
B and G Nicholson - Beer bar: Tenmabashi
[ Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
Oversized Utsunomiya-style gyoza (fried pork dumplings) are one of the draws at this cozy craft-beer bar, from the same management of the nearby Harenohi bar and the legendary (now defunct) Q-Brick. ...
[ Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
Beer Stand Molto! - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open noon-2, 5-11:30pm daily. ]
A lively standing bar, conveniently located in the Hankyu Sanbangai station complex, Molto serves four craft beers on tap along with several dozen by the bottle. They also have around ten wines by...
[ Open noon-2, 5-11:30pm daily. ]
Craft Beer Base - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
This tiny standing beer bar attached to a retail liquor shop has only four taps, but they change fairly often. However the real reason to come here is their amazing selection of 200-300 bottled...
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Marciero - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 5pm-2am. Closed Tuesdays. ]
The eight taps at this tiny bar here dispense a rotating selection of well-chosen craft beers, mostly from Japan, the US and Germany. Imperial pints are priced at Y1080. Open from 3pm weekends.
[ Open 5pm-2am. Closed Tuesdays. ]
Molto - Italian: Umeda
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm daily. ]
Craft Beer House Molto is definitely the highest craft-beer bar in Osaka, offering a fine view of the city from its 31st-floor location. There's a full menu of Italian food (budget around Y4000 at...
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm daily. ]
Craft Beer Base Bud - Beer bar: Umeda 1-chome
[ Open 11:30am-10:30pm daily. ]
A lively, very down-to-earth craft-beer bar, Bud offers an inspired selection from their eight taps - generally four brews from the US and two each from Japan and Europe. All pints are priced at...
[ Open 11:30am-10:30pm daily. ]

Belgian beers

Dolphins Umeda - Belgian rest/beer bar: Chayamachi
[ Open noon-12:30am (LO) daily. ]
This conveniently located cafe is part of the popular chain of Osaka Belgian beer bars, and stocks around 100 beers, mostly from Belgium. Unfortunately the food menu is rather lackluster, and even...
[ Open noon-12:30am (LO) daily. ]
Nakai - Yakitori: Chayamachi
[ Open 5pm-midnight daily. ]
There are plenty of places in town to get some yakitori and beer, but the beers here are Belgian craft beers and the yakitori is made from free-range Tamba birds, an heirloom breed prized for its...
[ Open 5pm-midnight daily. ]
Dolphins (Higobashi) - Belgian rest/beer bar: Higobashi
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
A good selection of Belgian beers and budget-friendly food items can be found in this branch of the popular Osaka beer-bar chain.
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays. ]
Dolphins - Belgian rest/beer bar: Honmachi
[ Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-11pm daily. ]
The Sekaisuji-Honmachi outpost of Dolphins is the "beer bistrot" branch, with a basic food menu and a large selection of Belgian beers.
[ Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-11pm daily. ]
Keller Keller - Belgian rest/beer bar: Namba
[ Open 10am-9:45pm (LO) daily. ]
Conveniently located next to the Namba subway station, Beer's Table Keller Keller carries a couple dozen Belgian beers by the bottle, mostly priced around Y970-1240. There are also a few common...
[ Open 10am-9:45pm (LO) daily. ]
Keller Keller Cave - Belgian rest/beer bar: Shin-Osaka
[ Open 10:30am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
If you're in the mood for a Belgian beer before you catch your train, this small branch of the Keller Keller chain serves a couple dozen Belgian beers by the bottle, mostly in the Y1000-1200 range,...
[ Open 10:30am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
Doll Dress - Beer bar: Tenma
[ Open noon-11:30pm (LO). Closed Thursdays. ]
Perhaps worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood, this oddly decorated, under-the-tracks bar stocks around 200 Belgian beers. As with any small bar with a large stock, it doesn't hurt to check...
[ Open noon-11:30pm (LO). Closed Thursdays. ]
Nakai - Yakitori: Tenmabashi
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight (LO; Sun -11pm) daily. ]
Good yakitori and Belgian beers, from the Dolphins chain of Belgian beer bar-restaurants. Budget around Y3000-3500 for dinner and drinks.
[ Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight (LO; Sun -11pm) daily. ]
Keller Keller Kranz - Belgian rest/beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
One of the more stylish branches of this Osaka Belgian bar chain, Keller Keller Kranz is located in the Fukoku Forest Square dining complex, accessible from the Whity underground shopping arcade. ...
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Flanders Tale - Belgian rest/beer bar: Umeda 2-chome
[ Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Nine Belgian beers on draft and many more by the bottle are served at this sprawling pub-restaurant. The food menu includes Belgian standards like mussels and frites, plus teppan-grilled meats and...
[ Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Barrel - Belgian rest/beer bar: Yodoyabashi
[ Open 11:30am-midnight. Closed Sundays. ]
Good, authentic Belgian cuisine and a nice assortment of Belgian beers, including several on tap.
[ Open 11:30am-midnight. Closed Sundays. ]

Other beers

Drunk Bears - Beer bar: Chayamachi
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO; 2am Fri/Sat) daily. ]
Bears serves more than 100 different beers from around the world, along with bar food like nachos, sausages, calamari, and fried chicken fajitas. The stand-up bar is open till 2am weekends; there's...
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO; 2am Fri/Sat) daily. ]
World Beer Museum - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
With more than 300 seats and several different bar counters and table areas, this sprawling complex is more like a world-beer theme park than a typical bar. The place is run by a beer importer, so...
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily. ]

Retail

Yamaya - Liquor shop: Namba
[ Open 11am-9pm daily. ]
This nationwide chain specializes in imported wines and liquors, and they also carry a miscellaneous assortment of imported foods. They also stock several Belgian beers by the bottle along with...
[ Open 11am-9pm daily. ]
Craft Beer Base - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
This tiny standing beer bar attached to a retail liquor shop has only four taps, but they change fairly often. However the real reason to come here is their amazing selection of 200-300 bottled...
[ Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily. ]
World Beer Museum - Beer bar: Umeda
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
With more than 300 seats and several different bar counters and table areas, this sprawling complex is more like a world-beer theme park than a typical bar. The place is run by a beer importer, so...
[ Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
Craft Beer Base Seed @Hanshin - Liquor shop: Umeda 1-chome
[ Open 10am-8pm daily. ]
Located in the liquor section of Hanshin department store's food hall, this outlet of the Western-Umeda beer shop offers around 100 craft beers and Belgian beers for sale. Prices are slightly higher...
[ Open 10am-8pm daily. ]

Kobe

Craft beers - Japanese and imported

Hop Stand - Yakitori: Sannomiya
[ Open 5pm-midnight (Sun 2-10) daily. ]
Craft beers from Rokko brewery are served with yakitori at this small bar. There are generally five or six craft beers on draft (along with three macros), served in four different sizes and priced...
[ Open 5pm-midnight (Sun 2-10) daily. ]
Starboard - Beer bar: Sannomiya
[ Open 5-11pm. Closed Wednesdays. ]
Formerly the Rokko Beer Diner, this brewery taproom serves beers from Rokko Brewery, Starboard, and a decent selection of guest beers - we noted Boundary Bay and Coronado among the breweries during...
[ Open 5-11pm. Closed Wednesdays. ]
New Munchen Kobe Taishikan - Beer bar: Sannomiya south
[ Open 11am-11pm daily. ]
This charming Kobe landmark serves a full range of Sapporo beers, and a huge, 150-item food menu. The small brewery in the basement produced two craft beers - a somewhat fruity wheat beer and a...
[ Open 11am-11pm daily. ]
Portside - Beer bar: Sannomiya south
[ Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays. ]
Kobe Beer Hall Portside offers a good selection of beers from Rokko, Starboard and other breweries on tap, and several Belgians by the bottle. The food is also decent, with dishes like steamed...
[ Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays. ]

Belgian beers

Beer Cafe Barley - Beer bar: Nishinomiya
[ Open 1pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays. ]
This cozy and pleasant beer specialist has seven seats at the bar and a few tables. In addition to four hand-pumped ales they offer more than 100 bottled beers, including a wide selection of Belgian...
[ Open 1pm-midnight. Closed Tuesdays. ]
Cafe Brugge - Belgian rest/beer bar: Sannomiya
[ Open 11:30am-11pm daily. ]
One of the few places in town where you can find a multiplicity of Belgian beers, in a convenient location right at the foot of Ikuta Road.
[ Open 11:30am-11pm daily. ]

Kyoto

Craft beers - Japanese and imported

Komachi - Beer bar: Heian Shrine
[ Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays. ]
Seven craft beers on tap and good food at this neighborhood craft-beer bar.
[ Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays. ]
Bungalow - Beer bar: Karasuma
[ Open 3pm-1am (LO; Sun 12-10pm). Closed Mondays. ]
One of the better places for craft beer in Kyoto (there isn't much competition), Bunglaow has ten taps devoted to Japanese craft breweries as well as a good menu of French and European bistro fare. ...
[ Open 3pm-1am (LO; Sun 12-10pm). Closed Mondays. ]
Bakujun - Beer bar: Karasuma-Oike
[ Open 5:30pm-2am. Closed Mondays. ]
This quiet bar has good food and craft beers, although the atmosphere is rather subdued. There are eight taps along with a selection of bottled beer (both Japanese and Belgian), with beers ranging...
[ Open 5:30pm-2am. Closed Mondays. ]
Before 9 - Beer bar: Karasuma-Oike
[ Open 5pm-1am daily. ]
This stylish two-story bar, located in a converted machiya townhouse, serves both craft beer and artisanal sake. Kyoto Brewing Co, a local brewer, is well represented on the bar's eight taps, and...
[ Open 5pm-1am daily. ]
Takumiya - Beer bar: Karasuma-Oike
[ Open 4-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Appetizing aromas wafting from the direction of the deep fryer are one of the charms of this lively craft-beer bar, although they occasionally clash with customers' cigarette smoke. Eight taps...
[ Open 4-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Ichi-ya - Beer bar: Kawaramachi
[ Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
Ichiya's spacious dining room is definitely a cut above your average beer bar, with stylish modern decor, comfortable seating and an invigorating musical soundtrack. Launched in August 2016 by...
[ Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily. ]
Len - Bar: Kawaramachi
[ Open 8am-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
Located on the ground floor of a popular hostel, this budget-friendly cafe-bar offers a good selection of drinks, including draft beers from Kyoto Brewing and Baird (Shizuoka), a few types of sake,...
[ Open 8am-11:30pm (LO) daily. ]
AB - Cafe: Kyoto City Hall
[ Open 11am-11pm. Closed Mondays. ]
This very fashionable cafe-bar and boutique serves gourmet coffee, meaty sandwiches, and a rotating selection of Japanese craft beers on draft from five taps. The beer selection leans heavily...
[ Open 11am-11pm. Closed Mondays. ]
Karr - Beer bar: Kyoto City Hall
[ Open 3pm-1am. Closed Thursdays. ]
'Good beer! Good ham! Good music!' reads the sign on the wall, and this is a manifesto we wholeheartedly endorse. Pub Karr is a cozy, friendly little spot, well suited to a group outing if you don't...
[ Open 3pm-1am. Closed Thursdays. ]
Tadg's Gastro Pub - Beer bar: Kyoto City Hall
[ Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily. ]
One of Kyoto's hangouts for craft-beer aficionados, Tadg's offers eight Japanese craft beers on tap along with a good selection of US imports by the bottle. Bar snacks include fish and chips,...
[ Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily. ]

Belgian beers

Le Monument Bleu - Belgian rest/beer bar: Kyoto City
[ Open 6pm-2am. Closed Mondays. ]
Located just one minute from Hankyu Saiin station, this attractively decorated specialty bar is worth seeking out if you're a fan of Belgian beers. The list of brews is impressive, and it's matched...
[ Open 6pm-2am. Closed Mondays. ]
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