Craft Beer Directory: Korea

Updated Oct. 31st, 2017

Just added some craft importers and distributors to the bottom of the page. Check it out!

We’re just beginning to build our Korean craft beer directory. If you own or support a Korean craft beer business that you want included, please contact us on Facebook.

Itaewon, Seoul

Kyungridan, Seoul

Gangnam, Seoul

Hongdae, Seoul

Garosu-gil, Seoul

Busan


Craft Breweries and Brew Pubs

Pub with Original Recipes

Pubs, Taphouses, and Restaurants

Homebrewing

Importers and Distributors


Craft Beer Breweries

7Brau 

(Gayang Station Exit 1, 서울시 강서구 가양동 52-7 강서한강자이타워 B동 917호)

{ Web }

An early Korean craft beer company, 7Brau can be found in select CVs and grocery stores, pubs and restaurants, their own craft beer pubs, and they also contract brew some other craft beers.

The Booth Brewpub 

(Pangyo) { Web }

This small brew pub in Gaepo, south of Seoul, was The Booth’s first brewery. Now they have a production brewery in Eureka, California. Nevertheless, you can make the commute out here to find some great beers.

Galmegi Brewery

(Gwangan Beach, Busan)

{ Web }

Busan’s first craft beer brewery is still one of Korea’s best. Galmegi now has five franchise locations in Busan, but this remains one of the best in one of Korea’s best craft beer neighborhoods: Gwangalli Beach.

Galmegi Brewery is a brewpub with ample seating, a full tap menu, and great food.

Gorilla Brewing Company

(Gwangalli Beach area, Busan)

Gorilla is a great brewpub with a rewarding selection of interesting craft beers. Their beers can sometimes be found in Seoul, but you certainly want to drop in if you’re ever in Busan.

Hand & Malt 

(Gyeongi-do Namyang-ju (north of Seoul))

{ Web }

Hand & Malt has probably been the consenus Best Korean Brewery since it started. They brew fantastic beers including my personal favorites of Extra Special Ale and Slow IPA. Hand & Malt beers can be found in many locations in Korea in both kegs and cans.

The brewery itself is quite isolated and doesn’t really function as a taproom. However, from time-to-time there are events and you can always reach out to them and ask about doing a tour.

Hop Mori 

(Garosu-gil, Sinsa-dong, Seoul)

Hop Mori is a small brewpub in the heart of Gangnam’s fashionable Garosugil area. They have an exciting rotation of housemade beers, good food, and regular events. Hop Mori is especially masterful at making fruit-additioned IPAs, although some of their decedant stouts have been masterful as well.

Kapa Brewery / KaBrew

(Gapyeong (North of Seoul))

The granddaddy of Korea’s craft brewing scene, KaBrew was once the primary contract brewery for all of Korea’s beer companies: Craftworks, Magpie, Maloneys, etc. Now that breweries have sprung up all around Korea, KaBrew has designed their own line and brand of brews which can be found around Korea and at most Korean beer fests. Try their Coconut Porter.

{ Web }

Korea Craft Brewery

(97 Wonnamsandan-ro, Wonnam-myeon, Eumseong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do)

{ Web }

Originally started as a contract brewery producing Japan’s Hitachino beer, Korea Craft Brewery has their own beer brand named ARK, which can be found in select grocery stores as well as pubs and restaurants.

CraftBeerAsia did a tour when it first opened up back in 2015. Read about it here.

Magpie Brewery

(Jeju Island; Jejusi Tapdongro 2gil 3 [Samdo Edong]; 제주시 탑동로2길 3, 1층 [삼도이동])

{ Web }

After years of contracting out the recipes, Magpie built it’s own brewery in 2016. Magpie has always been on the shortlist of Best Korean Craft Beer and now with its own facility, their quality and consistency is higher than ever.

Platinum 

{ Web }

Platinum was another early pioneer in Korea’s craft beer scene, back when running a brewery was almost impossible. They packed up and moved to China, shipping all of their beer back to the RoK. Now with a more favorable environment for small breweries, Platinum are back to brewing in their home country. They have a flagship pub in Hongdae, but their beers are arguably the most wide-spread of all Korean craft beers.

The Table

(Ilsan; 123 Pung-Dong, Goyangsi, Gyeonghi-do)

{ Facebook | Web | Rate Beer | #thetablebrewing | #thetablebrewingcompany}

Like any of Korea’s contract breweries, The Table have at once made some of Korea’s best known beers but have transitioned into making their own beer. Their beers can usually be found at Korean beer fests or you can stop by their brewpub in Ilsan.

The brewpub is open from 4pm-4am. Tours can be arranged, for free, on weekday afternoons.


Pubs (featuring original recipes)

Korean craft beer began with a culture of contract brewing, as government regulations made owning a brewery near impossible for a long time. Although I lot of the early craft beer companies eventually opened up their own breweries, there’s still quite a few pubs with their own brand of beers but without a brewery itself. Here are a list of the best beer pubs that wither have a brewery at a different location or contract with breweries to make their own beer.

Band of Brewers

(Gangnam; Seolleung Station 1,2, Gangnam / 강남구 대치동 896-27)

{ Facebook }

Limited food; local and imported beer. Notable for own recipes from The Table and imported beer from Mikkeller.

The Booth – Itaewon

(Itaewon Station, Exit 1; Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 116-2 Moghul 2F, Seoul, Korea; 서울시 용산구 이태원동 116-2번지 모글 2층)

{ Web }

This The Booth location is one of the first craft beer pubs in Itaewon. It’s located in the backstreet resturant alley behind the Hamilton Hotel, just upstairs past Mongul India restaurant.

The Booth – Kyungridan

(Itaewon/Kyungridan; Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 705, Seoul, Korea; 서울시 용산구 이태원동 705번지 1층)

{ Web }

One of the first craft beer locations that helped give birth to Korea’s first and best craft beer neighborhood, the Baker’s Table alley in Kyungridan nearby Noksapyeong station exit 2.

The Booth – Gangnam

(Gangnam Station Exit 5; Seocho-gu, Seocho-dong 1330, Seoul; 서울시 서초구 서초동 1330번지 2층)

{ Web }

The first location to open up in Gangnam is located near Funky Taphouse.

The Booth – Gangnam 2nd

(Gangnam Station exit 11; Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 817-3 1-2F, Seoul; 서울시 강남구 역삼동 817-3 1-2층)

My personal favorite The Booth location. There’s 2 floors and always lots of seating.

The Booth – Bangbae

(Dongjak/Gubanpo Stations, Seocho-gu, Bangbae-dong 762-2, Seoul; 서울시 서초구 방배동 762-2번지 1층)

{ Web }

The Booth – Samsung

(Gangnam; Near COEX mall; Samsung station exit 5; Gangnam-gu, Samsung-dong 153-21 3-4F, Seoul; 서울시 강남구 삼성동 153-21번지 3-4층)

{ Web }

The classiest The Booth location, with a romantic outdoor seating area and 3 floors.

CraftBros Bottle Shop and Taphouse

(Seorae-maeul [French village], near Express Bus Terminal; 106-7, Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul)

{ Web }

Amazing bottle selection; beers on tap including their own recipes and imports; corking fee of 2,000KRW if you want to drink a bottle in house; Korean food menu available.

Craft One

(Hongdae, 서울 마포구 연희로 35)

{ Facebook }

Craftworks

(Kyungridan; 651 Itaewon 2-dong Myungsan Bldg. 1st Floor Seoul 140-861, Korea, 용산구 녹사평대로238 명산빌딩1층서울특별시)

{ Web }

Arguably the grandfather of Korean craft beer taphouses, Craftworks was probably the single most influential craft beer pub in Korea’s beer boom. Still serving great food in an ideal location near the Baker’s Table alley, Craftworks is still a solid location for a pint of good beer, a whiskey, or bunch.

Craftworks Pangyo 

(Bundang; Bundang-gu, Baekhyundong 591-9 Songnam, Gyeongi-do, 분당구 백현동 591-9, 성남시 경기도)

{ Web }

Craftworks expanded early, but due to a vareity of concerns it eventually contracted to its original location in Namsan/Kyungridan. This Pangyo location, south of Seoul, is a semi-hold out of that contraction. Though not officially “Craftworks” anymore, it still holds the name and offers the beer. Chalk it up to East Asian business idiosyncraties. Nevertheless, this location often throws interesting holiday buffets!

The Four Seasons

(Itaewon Station Exit 4, in the alley across from Taco Bell, nearby The Wolfhound; 이태원동 130-4, Seoul, Korea)

{ Facebook }

One of my favorite Korean-run craft beer bars, this semi-basement pub is small and cozy, and offers one of the most interesting and ever-changing beer selections in Korea.

Funky Taphouse

(Gangnam Station Exits 5,6; 1327-23, Seocho dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea, Seoul, Korea)

{ Facebook }

Own contract brews and other local/imported beers on tap; Korean food menu available.

Made in Pong Dang

(Kyungridan; 녹사평대로 222-1, Seoul)

{ Web }

Several local and imported craft beer on tap, own recipes; imported bottle selection. Great selection for beer geeks looking for variety as they sometimes experiment with barrel-aging, sours, etc.

Magpie 

(Kyungridan; Noksapyoungro 54gil 7, Yongsangu Itaewon2dong 704; 녹사평대로 54길 7 [용산구 이태원2동 704])

{ Web }

The original flag planted in the Kyungridan Baker’s Table alley that is now the epicenter of the Korean craft beer scene, Magpie is a founding father of Seoul’s craft beer boom. There’s twin locations here. First is the original Magpie Brew Shop that’s seen from the street, which was originally a homebrew space. It’s small and neat. Across the way is the Magpie Basement, which has more seating and great pizza.

Journey of the Magpie – Groove Korea

Magpie Hongdae

(Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 362-15, 마포구 서교동 362-15)

{ Web }

Magpie’s second location is in the hip neighborhood of Hongdae. It serves a wide selection of Magpie beer and Magpie’s delicious pizza.

Maloney’s Pub & Grill

(Kyungridan; 225-67 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-Gu)

{ Facebook }

Perhaps the first pub offering craft beer in Kyungridan, also the brewing company that makes Southie Irish Red Ale, Combat Zone IPA, and the Garden Lager at The Table brewery; full pub menu with great burgers; other local and imported beers on tap; American-Irish style pub; great craft beer events.

Pong Dang

{ Facebook }

(Garosu-gil, Sinsa Station Exit 8; 압구정로2길 49, Seoul, Korea)

Nice rotating selection of craft beer on tap; own recipes; lots of great, unique events and tap-takeovers; limited food menu; same company that owns Made in Pong Dang.

Pyrus Taproom and Bistro

(Itaewon Station Exit 4; 용산구 이태원동 34-14 (이태원로 136-1), Seoul, Korea)

{ Facebook }

Formerly Lovibond; own recipes and other imports; food menu available

Spring’s Taphouse – Itaewon

(Itaewon Station Exit 4) { Web }

Imported craft beer on tap from Mission Springs Brewery in BC, Canada; gourmet pizza.

Across the street from the Hamilton Hotel, across intersection from Taco Bell

Spring’s Taphouse (Cheongdam)

(ApGuJeong Rodeo Exit 2; Cheongdam Station Exit 13; 청담동123-53 2층, Seoul, Korea)

{ Facebook }

Imported craft beer on tap from Mission Springs Brewery in BC, Canada; gourmet pizza.


Pubs, Bottles Shops, and Notable Gastropubs

More coming soon…

The First Alleyway

(Gwangju)

{ Facebook / Web / Email }

One of my favorite places in all of South Korea, and a must-visit location in Gwangju. Great Canadian pub food, especially the pizza and poutine! Great events. Board games and geek-friendly culture. And a good selection of rotating craft beers.


Homebrewing

Seoul Homebrew

(Seoul Forest)

{ WebFacebook / Email }

The original Korean homebrew store. You can visit them near Seoul Forest subway station to shop in person, or order from their website. The store is 100% English friendly.

Craft Brewer

(Gwangan, Busan)

{ Web / Facebook }

A great homebrew shop in Busan was the seed from which grew Wild Wave Brewing. Although their online line requires some comfortable with the Korean language, you should have no trouble in person. Also, they have a decent bottle shop on-site.

Seoul Brew Club

(Online Group)

Facebook }

Started by Hop Mori’s Troy Zitzelsberger long ago, the SBC is a Facebook page that has over 2,000 members. It’s a great resource for catching up on the latest news or if you have any beer questions. There’s a more specific homebrewer version that spun off called Seoul Brew Club – Brewers Group.


Importers and Distributors to Korea

The beer has to get here somehow. Here are some of the importers and distributors bringing the world’s craftiest crafts to Korea. More to come as we learn about them. If we’re missing some, let us know:

Global Craft Korea: http://www.globalcraft.kr/

Smooth International: https://www.facebook.com/smoothinter/

Brewmasters International: http://www.brewmasters.co.kr/

The Booth Cold Chain: Link

ATL Korea: https://www.facebook.com/AtlKorea/

____________________________________________________________________________________________

If anyone wants to add a location or information about their business, please email rob.shelley@craftbeerasia.com or www.facebook.com/craftbeerasia.

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