Sunday, 16 July 2017

Beer Ma Base

It's taken me a while to get here, but I finally did it. A few people had told me that this place was a lot more fun that the Beer Ma bar in Kita Senju. Depending on your point of view though, there are a few disadvantages, the most significant of which is the fact that it's in a pretty inconvenient location compared to the other one. But this is all relative I guess. And what it lacks in convience it makes up for in fun. At least in my opinion. But then again, I am partial to a walk in fridge. Here's what you need to know.

- Unusual layout with a huge walk in fridge on the ground floor and the cash register, glass shop and drinking space upstairs. This is where you should head first, rather than walking straight into the fridge. The system is that you leave your bag upstairs, take a token and a basket and then head downstairs. I have to admit, I'm not sure what the token part is for, I just copied the guy in front of me, but I suppose it is a bit like your passport to enter the fridge. You then head back upstairs to pay.
- Big, big bottle selection. This is the warehouse for Beer Ma and their Rakuten webshop page Sake no Taniguchi. Not sure if they also supply bars but there is a serious amount of stock here. The selection feels bigger than at Beer Ma and features beers from all the big beer making countries (and quite a few of the small ones...), with plenty of US and Belgian stuff. Beers are sold to take away or for on site consumption, like at the other branch. Unlike Beer Ma, there aren't any taps. It's all about the bottles here.
- The bar feels pretty relaxed and much more pleasant than the other place. There are even seats here! Definitely somewhere where you'd want to spend a bit more time. In the other bar, I always got the impression that they didn't want you to stay particularly long, but here the atmosphere is pretty laid back. The place is no smoking and they have wifi. There's no cover charge, but understandably there is a corkage fee of ¥200 per small bottle and ¥200 per glass for the larger bottles. But remember you are basically drinking for beer shop prices so the fee isn't so bad. Take cash with you, as they don't accept cards, which is a bit of a shame as I reckon many people probably end up wanting to spend more than they have on them.

In conclusion, it's a similar set up to Beer Ma, but in spite of being much less like a bar, ends up being a lot more comfortable than the bar. The location means that it isn't the easiest place to get to. I walked from Kita Senju and it took about 20 minutes. It's geographically closer to other stations just over the river from it, but the fact that you have to go a fair bit out of your way to cross the river means that you might be better off just going from Kita Senju after all. Or Senjuohashi, which is quite a bit closer, but isn't on the most convenient of lines for me. If you're after taps, then clearly Beer Ma is better for you, but if you want bottles and a more enjoyable drinking experience, but are not bothered about walking a bit further, then Beer Ma Base is the place for you!

Japanese breweries recently seen on tap:
No taps, bottles only

Opening Hours:
Daily, 12:00-19:00 (but it might be worth checking before you go)

千住緑町 1-22-10, Adachi-ku, Tokyo


Facebook (joint facebook with Beer Ma)
Website (online shop)

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