(Busan, South Korea)
Galmegi, or the seagull in Korean, fits right in with a beach town like Busan. We spent the afternoon day drinking in the sun, made a few pit stops along the way, and strolled into Galmegi for phase 3 (or 4?). I ordered a flight, The Editor ordered a pint and we split a delicious, Korean twist on an American classic: kimchi fries.
Galmegi is all over Busan and rumor is that they have a location in the works for Seoul as well and for good reason. Though I think South Korea still has a long way to go when it comes to producing the quality IPAs and stouts that the US is pumping out, Galmegi is far and away the best brewery we have been to in Korea.
We started off with Yuja Gose. I’m not overly fond of goses in general, but this one was a nice break from the mundane. The salty and tart first sip was delicately balanced by the sweet yuja. A yuja is like a Korean pomelo. More often than not, I feel that berries, apples, and many other fruits don’t hold up to the brewing process. Yuja Gose perfectly captures the essence of this fruit.
Next up was Campfire Amber. It’s been a long time since I’ve smiled after a sip of an amber ale. They can get ruined quite easily and all too often brewers are just pouring in malt and hoping it turns out alright. A slight dryness was immediately followed by a delightful sweetness while toffee and caramel dance around this Campfire and I, for one, was very impressed.
Following up the first two stellar beers was Galmegi IPA. This one tasted an aweful lot like an IPA-by-numbers that was made to fill a spot in the lineup. Bitter with no sweetness and American hops with no substance.
I’m also beginning to think my next quest should be a stout in Korea that I actually enjoy. Espresso Vanilla Stout was all espresso and no vanilla. Lacked balance and any mouthfeel on the way down.
Saving the best for last was the Red Devil RyPa. An amazing balance of bitter hops (75 IBUs), dry rye, and a sweet (7.0 ABV) malt backbone. They say it’s a summer seasonal just for the world cup, but I hope this becomes a mainstay and becomes widely accessible in my North Seoul neck of the woods. Well done.
There weren’t really any ‘tweeners’ on this flight. I loved or I hated, but it’s definitely worth the trip to one of their locations if you’re in Busan. All in all, I give Galmegi Brewing Company an 8.45 out of 10.