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Craft Beer Guide: Seoul

I know what you’ve been thinking. This blog is called UntappedTravels…. Beer+Travel.. soooo where are the beer posts?! I know, I know- We’ve been having too much fun drinking the beer, now it’s time to write down our beersperiences. Finally. 😄 🍻 건배 – Cheers!

We spent 5 days in Seoul during Korea’s ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday which is called Chuseok.  We stayed in an Airbnb in the most-hip part of Seoul: Hongdae.  Hongdae is the University area and has a younger crowd, hip shops, interesting fashion and SO MUCH CRAFT BEER!

I’ll be honest, I chose our Airbnb before doing much research about the area.  A day before we took the KTX to Seoul, I did some pinning on google maps, and to my surprise, the Hongdae is home to some really good craft breweries.  We got lucky!

Breweries in the Hongdae Area ⤵

 We went the bolded breweries:

  1. Craft Hans
  2. Craft One
  3. Platinum Beer Pub (We tried going here but it looked like it was under construction so we went to July 16 next door.)
  4. July 16
  5. Cocky Pub Hongdae
  6. Magpie Hongdae
  7. CRAFTBROS
  8. Queen’s Head
  9. Whale Brewing Company

Beer to Go

Right along the Gyeongui Line Forest Park in Hongdae, there are a few bottle shops. We found out we could buy a bottle and drink it on the street! We also stumbled upon this $4 Double IPA that turned out to be our favorite beer throughout our entire beer tour of Seoul.

Craft Hans

Craft Hans was the first brewery we visited the day we arrived. It was right down the road from our Airbnb! Craft Hans not only features some tasty taps, but a wonderful view of the Gyeongui Line Forest Park pictured below.

Craft Hans is a 4 story building with open balconies. We sat on the third floor and enjoyed an afternoon flight, and its safe to say that satisfaction was obtained.

The average price for a beer was ₩6,000, so around $5.50; Jeff had the IPA which was on the lighter side, but it’s hard to find a strong IPA in Korea anyways.  We loved this place and came back another time since we were staying so close to it.

Magpie Hongdae

It was about a 10 minute walk to get to Magpie from Craft Hans. I enjoyed the American IPA while Jeff sipped on the Gose.

 

Retro Game Bar (Not a brewery but a good pit stop)

When you’re on your way to the next brewery (Queen’s Head) you can stop at this fun bar where they have a bunch of old school games and decent drink prices!  They have retro Nintendo machines, PS4, Xbox One, Wii and a ton of other games to choose from, including board games and they’re all available for FREE! Address here.

Queen’s Head

We stopped at a couple other bars on our way to Queen’s head so we were super hungry by the time we got there. They served the MOST delicious mozz sticks we’ve had in Korea. The cheese was actually melted and stringy, which is a huge accomplishment for cheese sticks here! If you’re looking for some good beer (served in a rad growler) and pub style food, this is the place to go.

 

Breweries in the Gangnam Area ⤵

On day 2, we went across the river into the Gangnam area to go to a few breweries.

  1. Devil’s Door
  2. Pong Dang Craft Brew Co.
  3. Garuso Brewing
  4. Mikeller Seoul

Devil’s Door

Devil’s Door was by far one of our favorite venues, and is definitely the largest brewery we’ve been to in Korea.

This place was impressive, but a little pricey, as the smallest glass of beer was $7.50.  I enjoyed a sampler because I love variety while Jeff had the stout.

If you’re looking for a place to drink tasty beers and eat delicious chef-made food, Devil’s Door is the place to go. Although it’s quite pricey, every review we’ve read of the place says the food is phenomenal. We had just eaten breakfast (SUNDAY-FUNDAY WOO) so we weren’t too hungry, but I had to try the garlic parmesan fries. YUM.

Pong Dang Craft Beer Co.

Our second brewery of the day – A little place on the second floor called Pong Dang Craft Beer Co. They had a simple selection of beers and we had the place all to our selves on a Sunday afternoon!

They had some retro games available too!

Cute, affordable, and on the way to the next two breweries: Garuso + Mikkller.

Garuso Brewing Co.

Just up the street from Pong Dang, this little brewery is in an alley with a cute outside seating area. They had a simple beer menu with some food options, and I remember really enjoying the hoppy weizen!

 

Mikkeller Seoul

Jeff was especially excited for this brewery since he has been a fan of Mikkeller beers for a long time. We were surprised to find out that they had a taproom in Seoul, since they are known to be a gypsy brewery.

As you can see in the photo above, they had 30 taps of delicious beer! I love Mikkeller’s unique design, which made the place strangely cozy. We really enjoyed our time at this brewery, and the IPA I had was delicious!

Breweries in the Itaewon Area ⤵

  1. Pyrus Taproom & Bistro
  2. Craftworks
  3. The Booth
  4. Magpie Itaewon
  5. The Bottle Shop

Pyrus Taproom & Bistro

After going to breweries near the Gangnam area, we trekked back across the river to Itaewon.  Itaewon is the expat hangout area of Seoul. It’s adjacent to the Air Force base in Seoul, so naturally it attracts many foreigners.

We started our Itaewon beer tour at Pyrus Taproom and Bistro because the pictures we saw of the mac and cheese had won us over.

 

 Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro

After stuffing ourselves with lots of cheese it was time to hit up another brewery in the area.  Craftworks had 6 of their own beers on the menu along with others to choose from.  I wanted to try all of their beers so I got the flight. I really enjoyed the Big Bear IPA.

 The Booth Itaewon

The Booth was our last brewery of the night, located next to the Magpie Itaewon location (we had already gone to the one in Hongdae). The street that The Booth is on has some neat bars and taprooms along it, making for a good place to start drinking if you’re in the area.

The Bottle Shop

After going to 7 breweries in one day we ended the night at the famous Bottle Shop in Seoul. We had read that this was the best place to buy bottles for a great selection and great prices.  The best part of this place is that you can buy a bottle of beer and they have a little patio where you can drink. This joint fills up pretty fast though, so you need to lurk around for awhile to get a table.

Address Here

This place was amazing, and had the cheapest beer prices we’ve found in Korea. And we found some toppling goliath!

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