If North Korea is unappealing or inaccessible, then jump south to Seoul for an emerging beer city. It isn’t necessarily as Beer Bucket List-worthy as other destinations, yet it’s good enough to be of interest to travelers. Magpie Brewing (244-1 Noksapyeong-daero, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) was my favorite—a sma little taproom with some top-quality brews, especially their Porter. They also have a few other locations around the city. Turn le out of Magpie and you’re right by The Booth Gyeonglidan (7 Noksapyeong-daero 54-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul), a brightly graffiti-decorated pizzeria taproom for The Booth Brewery, another company with a few locations in town, including one nearby at Itaewon Station, which has a larger tap list than Gyeonglidan’s. Craft works (238 Noksapyeong-daero, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) is a few minutes from Magpie and the original South Korean craft brewer. In the north is Amazing Brewing (4, Seongsuil-ro 4-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul), the new star in the city, which has an impressive 50-plus taps of their own beers and imports in a cool, wooden-roofed, industrial space, with the brewery to one side.
South Korea’s Growing Beer Scene Photo Gallery
Search for Makgeolii in Seoul
If you’re in Seoul and interested in local drinks, look for makgeolii. This is an old style of rice wine, the oldest kind of Korean alcohol, and is gaining new attention. It’s a milky, gently carbonated drink that’s naturally fermented. It’s a Little sweet and a Little tangy and smooth, like a lightly alcoholic drinking yogurt. There’s a lot of variety and additional ingredients are sometimes added. The new focus on this drink is putting it with food.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia
THERE’S GOOD BEER (ALMOST) EVERYWHERE
Unless they’ve got their own entry in this my blog, I don’t think many places in Southeast Asia are truly Beer Bucket List-worthy. There are a lot of great places to drink excellent domestic and imported beers, which stand out for being important or interesting locally, but, when compared to the best of the best around the world, they don’t yet compete. But that’s a little unfair on these emerging, exciting craft beer locations, so here’s some useful stuff to know about the region in general.