Chuseok 2015 in Kyungridan

Every autumn, Seoulites fill the highways to the tune of millions of cars per day, racing to their ancestral hometowns to engage in what is best described to foreigners as Korean Thanksgiving. For years, being a foreigner during Chuseok was a mixed blessing. We would get time off work, but much of the city would be closed down and travelling anywhere was a gong show. The latter problem still exists, but the former problems is rapidly vanishing. In the foreign oasis of Kyungridan/HBC, this past Chuseok weekend was actually one of the most fun beer weekends of the year.

This past Saturday, Phillies in HBC hosted the Maloney Brewing Company’s new beer launch: Combat Zone 2.0. The Combat Zone, as most already know, is the second beer designed by Boston-inspired brewing company Maloneys and brewed by the Hand & Malt.

CombatZone 2.0

The Combat Zone IPA was first launched last year, giving beer geeks their first truly sock-you-in-the-face, Korea-brewed IPA. In fact, an early idea for Maloney’s tagline was “Get Fisted.”

This time around, Beerfather Bill Miller decided to play with his hops, toning down the bittering of the Columbus hops in favor of flavor and aroma. The result is still a mouthful, with 7.5% abv and enough hop punch to keep you on your toes, but with a more session-drinking friendliness.

Hand & Malt's Bryan Kunkel and Maloney Brewing Company's Bill Miller enjoying some Combat Zone outside Phillies.
Hand & Malt’s Bryan Kunkel and Maloney Brewing Company’s Bill Miller enjoying some Combat Zone outside Phillies.

Phillies also proved themselves to be great hosts, offering homemade pulled pork sandwiches on the menu and free t-shirts to Combat Zone drinkers.

Eric1
Talented local homebrewer Eric Drabenstot showing off his free Phillies/Combat Zone t-shirt while pouring some of his smooth and tart blueberry sour ale.

On Sunday, The Bottle Shop in Kyungridan hosted a BBQ for customers. Nicky, the owner and operator of The Bottle Shop, spent the evening grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, and samgyeopsal. Some awesome beer loving-expats brought some rare beers from San Diego as well as a platter of cheese and snacks. Others passed around their homebrews or bottles of beer they had saved for a special occasion. All-in-all it was a real blast, with much thanks going to Nicky and has ever supportive Bottle Shop.

Nicky
Nicky grilling some hot dogs on a busy Chuseok Sunday for us hungry beer drinkers.
Cooler
Nicky offered 5,000won beer specials while letting the homebrew flow freely.
BBQ3
Nice spread of meat and snacks; enough to feed the 35+ beer drinkers who showed up.

BBQ1

 

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