Starting Hombrew in Korea

Ever since I’ve been in Korea I’ve talked about homebrewing my own beer. This need has been exacerbated by the very terrible lagers like Cass, Hite and OB that I’ve been putting up with for four months, as you have seen in previous posts.

I’ve been wanting to brew a batch of IPAs or pale ales, but I never actually got started because, to be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’ve bought a few pieces of equipment, joined the Hombrew Korea forums, but I don’t know where to start.

I haven’t done it sooner because most of my fix for good beer since I’ve been here have been bottles of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Green Flash Imperial IPA and Alesmith Speedway Stout brought from America by me and a friend. That, and the decent Alley Kate Full Moon Pale Ale which is sprinkled around Seoul have been keeping me from complaining too much.

Enough is enough.

That’s why next Thursday I’m going to Booze Bros. Homebrewing Class and Beer Tasting in Gangnam in southeastern Seoul (Check the link for info on cost, location and time):

Are you tired of the beer in Korea? I know I was when I started home-brewing more than a year ago. Since then, I’ve made a variety of stouts (espresso, chocolate, etc), ales (IPAs and pale ales), and even a mushroom beer! Variety is indeed the spice of life.

“Wait, wait, wait.”, you maybe saying. “Homebrewing in Korea?” Yes! Not only is it possible, but there’s a slow-growing explosion in the number of homebrewers here and the ingredients and tools available. However, Korea’s homebrewing scene is extremely new.

That’s why we’ve started this class with Daniel Gray’s O’ngo Cooking Studio in Gangnam. Not only will we teach you how to brew your own fine concoctions, we’ll be giving you the tips and tricks you need to brew successfully in Korea, where improvisation is the name of the game. The class will be held at the O’ngo cooking studio near Gangnam-Gu Office station, exit 2 on June 24th, at 7:30 PM…for 55,000 won.

Why should I brew, you ask? If you haven’t noticed, I like beer a lot.  Back in San Diego I spent most my free evenings at beer bars like Hamilton’s Tavern, Small Bar and the Blind Lady Alehouse. I even wrote an article on San Diego Beer Week and the beer scene in San Diego for my last article at the Daily Aztec.

I even took an empty bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale with me to China and have a picture of it in front of Chairman Mao.

But what really made me want to Homebrew was seeing  Anat Baron‘s documentary, “Beer Wars,” which highlighted the problems with the American beer culture up until the craft/home brew movement in the early 1990s.

That’s exactly the situation Korea is in. There are a handful of brewpubs like Castle Praha and Platinum around Seoul, but their beer styles are limited as is their clientèle.  That could be changing. It’s ripe enough for its own post sometime later. I want my taste buds to be assaulting with hops. I want beer with as much kick as a bottle of soju and flavor beyond bitter yellow water.  So, let’s see how it all goes…

One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.