(Jongno, Seoul, SK)
Apologies! This review is a long time in the making. Since visiting this brewery with an identity crisis- could be Craft Roo, Craft Root, or Kraft Lu- we’ve gone on vacation, moved to another country (coming soon), and migrated the site to a new host. Needless to say, it’s been a mess, but I digress.
My sister in law and her husband were the first (and only) friends or family to visit while we were in Korea, so we showed them as much of Seoul as we could, which obviously had to end with a brewery. We wound through the hidden alleys of Jongno’s Hanoks in the dark until we finally found it.
(Careful, you might miss it…)
We sat in the cozy, dimly lit pub, and we split some fried chicken to soak up the following brews. It was quite the day and everyone was tired, but the conversation was as warm as the room. We had our brews and departed.
First up was Gaetbae pilsner. Not much too it, but what can you expect from a pils. I haven’t had too many that gave me pause to think about having another. Still, this one seemed a little worse than those.
Second, on the list was Abai weizen; not the best of the bunch, but a solid, full-body, wheat beer nonetheless.
During my time in Korea, I noticed that the burgeoning craft beer scene had some common peaks and pits. As a 2018 IBC award winner, Sokcho IPA, was no different. As a whole, Koreans have missed the mark when it comes to darker and lighter beers on either side of the spectrum, but their IPAs come full-bodied and complex. Just like the sweet balance or warm and cold weather the beach town enjoys, Sokcho is a delicate dance between bitter and sweet, citrus and earthy. Well done.
Another IBC award winner, Dongmeong Port pale ale was a great example of a style that seems to be lost in the shuffle these days. This pale ale is robust without being overpowering and a true pale ale without becoming an IPA or falling into a pilsner pit.
Next up was Snow IPA, I don’t normally like sessions as they tend to not just be less bang for your buck, but less flavor as well. Snow was a nice, sweet, sipping ale that would make for a great afternoon of going through 15-20.
Remember those common trends I mentioned before? Daepo Port Stout was watery and other than maybe a little coffee- flavorless.
Other than a couple of missteps I really enjoyed this flight and all in all, I give Craft Roo an 8.2 out of 10.