Monday, December 06, 2010

More Craft Beer in Seoul

Craftworks Taphouse and Bistro
(Image from Craftworks Website)

Although I've not yet patronized the place, a new craft beer watering hole owned and operated by a certain Mr. Park Chul has opened in Seoul and received a positive write-up, "Kapa's microbrews take palate for ride," penned by Jean Oh as a review published in the Korea Herald (December 3, 2010):
Craftworks Taphouse and Bistro, one of the city's newest pubs to specialize in craft beers, has hit the nail on the head.

How? The newly-minted Itaewon establishment keeps it simple and straightforward. They put out five top-notch microbrews for only 4,000 won to 5,000 won per pint.
Fifteen thousand won or less for three pints? Now, I'm interested. I'll have to talk my expat drinking buddy, the occasional blogger Sperwer, into joining me for a raid on this place. I wonder how the drinks are, other than being inexpensive:
One sip of the establishment’s American-style golden ale confirms the luxury that comes from being able to enjoy a beer crafted from pure spring water in a microbrewery just a few hours away from Seoul.

Strong aromas of caramel -- sweet and sugary -- tease the palate. One huge gulp unloads a flood of full-bodied, fruity flavors, namely banana with a hint of butterscotch, before packing a spiky punch at the end.

This is the kind of beer that you want to drink by the liter, over and over again.
Hmmm . . . banana. Gee, I dunno. Well, Ms. Oh does state that "it's . . . Park’s willingness to experiment with his brews that makes Kapa’s beers so memorable," so let's look further:
For example, Kapa's Geumgang Mountain Dark Ale is a dark brew that is leaner than the well-known Guinness, which is a dry stout with a creamy head and a thick, rich flavor.

With the Geumgang, grainy aromas and chocolate flavors are pared down by a sour bite and bitter aftertaste.

To achieve that balance, Park says he restrains the amount of roasted malt barley used, which makes the dark ale taste lighter.
That sounds more to my taste, bud. No, not Bud (though I admit to enjoying one of those after a workout). But as for Geumgang Mountain Dark Ale, I do hope that this Leninist label is tongue-in-cheek:

I think that it is meant in glorious socialist irony, given these words from the Craftworks description of the drink:
Take a walk on the dark side! Our Geumgang Dark Ale celebrates the forbidden mystique of North Korea's Geumgangsan, the only mountain in the North you'd ever want to visit! A malty, dark ale with a nutty taste, this brew is not for the timid. Bold, brash, and a little dangerous, our dark ale is so good, you'll be ordering it by the Dear Liter!
The "Dear Liter"? I thought it was inexpensive! And by what metric will we order when the 'Dear Leader' is gone and the Young General takes over? Whatever wordplay that comes down to us from Pun-yang City, the ale will surely rank four stars, generally speaking! But how does one get to this nutty joint? Ms. Oh has provided directions:
Craftworks Taphouse and Bistro is located in Itaewon near Noksapyeong Subway Station Line 6, Exit 2.

To get there just walk straight out the subway exit until you reach the underpass. Enter the underpass to cross the street and take the exit to your left. After you get out of the underpass, cross the street and pass NOXA. Craftworks will be to your left, a bit hidden from the main road.
That doesn't sound too complicated. I'm sure that my drinking buddy Sperwer can figure it out and lead me there.

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At 2:44 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

I wonder, what is the Korean word for "dear" anyway? Is there a Korean nuance us English speakers might be missing? Does "dear" translate directly from Korean to English? Does it mean "beloved," "honored," "precious," "close," or something else?

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The word is "chin-ae-ha-neun" [친애하는] and means "beloved" but not "expensive."

That's according to my "Wortschatz," Sun-Ae.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

Take the wing, Gypsy. I've got the coordinates zeroed, I'm locked on and I've got tone.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Check your mail drop for further details.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

Now that we've got the date down, will I need to bring scissors, paste, construction paper and crayons to get the full craft effect?

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You do that, and I'll bring the Kraft cheese -- just in case of a misspelling by the Korean brewmaster.

Or we can simply pursue our craft of fine conversation . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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