Craftwork Namsan and The Table Brewing Company

(Jongno, Seoul, SK)

After the lantern festival and our stroll through a maze of alleyways, we stumbled on to Craftworks Taphouse and Bistro for a couple of more pints.  They were out of two of their beers and we didn’t really love the vibe, but sometimes that just comes with a trendy area. We were also hoping to snack, and the food looked good, but the prices were a bit much for the announced “45-60 minute wait”.

We started with Hallasan Golden Ale.  It was surprisingly flavorful for a blonde:  Hallasan was light and crisp, but it also had some subtle unfiltered qualities like a medium bodied Hefe or a lighter Saison.  Not the best I’ve ever had, but I recommend giving it a try.

Geumgang Mountain Dark Ale faltered in every beer drinker’s category.  Thin, flavorless, bitter in the wrong spots, no head, no lacing… Not a fan.

We decided to head out after two.  We’re not sure if they’re trying to be known as bearworks rather than beerworks- we had a good time trying to figure that out, but all in all, I was rather unimpressed.  I give Craftworks Taphouse and Bistro a 5.5 out of 10.

A few weeks back we went to a ceremonial SK lantern festival and checked out the local brew scene after.  The Table Brewing company is smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood full of alleys that dip in and out of the main drag, food trucks perched next to restaurants and a general festival feel to the everyday.  Flights weren’t available, so we split a few pints and some grub and enjoyed the downstairs vibe.

We started off with The Table IPA:  Light and crisp, fruity and citrusy.  It’s been my experience that Korean craft beer is about superior drinkability and less about overpowering flavors.  This is no different.

The second brew was a real bell-ringer (Insert sly, Grinch-like smile.)  Bosingak Dunkel lost some points for being paper thin with a watery mouthfeel, but came through big time in the roasted malt and barley department.  Not a traditional dunkel, but another solid addition to The Table.

Next up was Nugget Ale.  Wasn’t really nutty, which is what I was expecting, but this dark amber/light brown was everything I’ve been looking for in the malt and caramel department;  Not overly sweet and not ruined by a hop profile that doesn’t match. Well done.

Let’s Stout- NO.  Sorry.

The food’s not good compared to what you can get in the area, but they’re pumping out some decent brew.  All in all, I give The Table Brewing Company a 7.49 out of 10.

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