Hongdae is one of the hip modern areas with urban arts and indie music culture, local shops, clubs and of course craft beer bars in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
While there seem to be new beer places opening up every month in Hongdae, so are these places that have been around for a while and worth a visit for every beer lover.
Located on the second floor, Breworx has a great outdoor patio area so you can watch the hip Hongdae kids go about their business. The bar is light and airy with simple decor. It’s easy to find from street level, just lookup.
The breworx craft beer bar is home to many beers, on tap and bottled. There are local craft beers, as well as a few international brands you may recognise.
Some of the standout craft beers they stock include the 5.8% Mangoyah beer from Satellite brewing company https://www.facebook.com/
I personally tried the Nahae Prickly pear ale at 4.8%. It’s brewed by Perfect Life https://untappd.com/w/perfect-
For a small craft beer bar in Hongdae, they did stock an excellent range of craft beers. They had quite a few IPA’s and Pale Ales, both on tap, and in bottles. But they also stocked a handful of Weizen beers. These are reasonably popular with Korean locals too. It was great to see a nice mix of craft beers for sale.
Of all of the bars I visited on this trip to Hongdae, Breworx stocked the most extensive range of craft beers, and indeed the largest range of locally brewed craft beers.
I was able to purchase a bottle of Korean craft beer by The Jeju Beer company to take away. I’m sure they are happy to offer all bottled beers take away if you want.
Breworx also boasts an extensive menu. I had the Bulgogi pizza slice. For around $5usd, it was decent enough. A slice of pizza is a great way to soak up the beer, that’s for sure! They did also stock many Korean pub food favourites such as dried pollock, squid etc.
The next craft beer spot in Hongdae on my walking pub crawl was Steve Chips. Judging the bar by its name, I didn’t have high hopes; I’ll be honest. But the bar was great. I arrived early in the evening, so I was the only person there. This gave me a chance to chat with the staff. They recommended I visit the next two craft beer spots.
I tried the Steve IPA at 6.8% it was delicious!
The staff suggested I try the sampler tray. It has a Weiss gold, pale ale, dark ale and gold ale for 14,000Won. Because I still had two more craft beer places to try in Hongdae, I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish four beers, so I had to pass. But It would be a great way to sample 4 different types of craft beer while you are drinking at Steve Chips.
Steve Chips also stocked hard liquor and imported beers. Their selection for craft beers wasn’t as vast as Brewox Bar as they seem to cater to a broader range of people.
The menu was decent. They, of course, had chips on the menu, as their name suggests. They had plenty of fried food such as fish and chips and fried chicken to help wash down your craft beer sample tray with.
Steve chips were very foreign-friendly. However, early in the evening, the staff didn’t speak great English. They were helpful and attempted to learn using apps, so it was still a great spot to drink.
This craft beer place was recommended by the staff at Steve Chips. I’ll be honest. It was more of an English pub than a proper craft beer spot.
Oscar bar near Hapjeong station in Hongdae has a small range of craft beers. They mostly stock their own brand of beers but do have Full Moon IPA and Indica IPA on tap.
It’s a shame they don’t stock more craft beers. The craft beers they have in stock are all imported. It would be great to see Korean microbreweries represented; for this reason, I didn’t try any of their beers.
They cater to the local and foreigner crowd and get busy late at night. The bar has a very relaxed vibe with old records lining the walls and a fun old school feeling about it.
Oscar has a small food menu which reflects a very foreign palate. You can grab English pub favourites here such as Butter marsala chicken and chilli cheese fries.
In addition, they also serve cocktails, which is something the other craft beer places don’t do. This is great if you are out with a mixed crowd who don’t necessarily want to drink beers. The wine selection isn’t too bad either, but it should be noted they only serve wine by the bottle.
Oscar is a great bar to settle into for the night if you have a big group. It’s a popular spot on weekends, so get there early.
This is a large and famous craft beer spot on the main road in Hapjeong. You can’t miss it, but don’t confuse it for Brewox, which is nearer the station. As far as craft beers in Hongdae go, these guys are the most popular bar. Even though I visited early in the evening on a weeknight, it was pretty full.
Mostly students hang out here for the happy hour specials. Happy hour specials include a selection of beers for 2500Won between 5 pm and 7 pm.
The Bronx bar is a chain bar in South Korea, so you will find a few different locations around Seoul.
Bronx bar has house-brewed craft beers covering Double IPA at 7.4% and a golden ale at 4.9%. They also stock other local favourites such as Goose IPA 5.9% and Jeju Ale 5.3%.
They have a good range of food, including pizzas by the slice or whole, salads and snacks.