Sunday, August 23, 2015

Craft Beers at Namsan Chemistry Pop-Up

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I brought several of my friends and acquaintances together Friday evening at Namsan Chemistry for a few hours of drinking - thirty-two craft beers to choose from (none bottomless, but a lot of beer nonetheless) - and I learned what a "pop-up" is, as our conversation broached the topic when I remarked that the place seemed still to be unfinished. It looks like this:

I've borrowed this image from A Fat Girl's Food Guide, and if you click on this image, then again, you'll get an image large enough for you to see what I meant by its unfinished look. Anyway, that's when I got explained to me what a "pop-up" business is. I got the jist of it, but later checked with Dan Thompson's Pop-Up Business For Dummies, which says that "to truly qualify as a pop up, a project should":
Use an empty or under-used space.
Be time-limited, with clear start and end dates.
Not aim for permanence.
Be designed for demountability and ease of removal.
Have the potential to transfer to a different site.
Be in some way exclusive, distinct or special.
This describes exactly what Namsan Chemistry is like, and also accounts for its appeal - some of us had to sit on stacked-up crates for chairs! Drinking there is a gritty experience - not in the sense of dirty, but in the sense of down to earth.

The place was also conducive to conversation. We talked about a number of issues, but especially about North Korea's recent threats and actions, and at least three of the fellows present were qualified to speak as experts - one a recently appointed ambassador to Korea, another a long-time resident of Seoul, and a third from a major think-tank here in Seoul. The three had never met, so they had a lot to talk about. I listened and learned . . . and drank.

Anyway, if this brief report has piqued your interest, here are Fat Girl's excellent directions:
Namsan Chemistry is located at 225-5 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the left hand stairs. Follow the road around and walk straight through Gyeongridan until you start walking up the hill. Namsan Chemistry is about half way up on the left hand side opposite Meatballism. For more information you can call them on 02-797-2279.
Never before have I received such clear directions from a woman! Her way is clear! Nobody has any excuse for not going! But hurry, the chemical experience lasts only till October 31st!

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