Travel Blog 47: Beers Lover Paradise at Great Korean Beer Festival at Seoul, Korea

in beers •  last year  (edited)

If one needs an indication of how much love can a person have in beer, this festival a perfect match. Every beer has its own unique taste even though all beers typically share the basic ingredients like water, hops, yeast, and malt. However, as for beers lover, he or she can totally tell the difference between craft beers and industrial beers with just a sip. As much as I like beers, I can't tell you that how much more I perfect craft beers than any other conventional beers that everyone can find in a supermarket. It's distinctive flavor, appearances, and aromas are one of the greatest pleasures of all time. No wonder that craft beers reflected in a tremendous increase of acceptance and popularity throughout the world.

Many of us believe that craft beer is like an art where it can be created with endless possibilities through one's imagination and creativity. So, in order to explore the difference between a conventional beer and a craft beer, everyone just gotta try and taste it for yourself.

If you haven't already know that Korea plays a significant role in the beer culture, whether it's soju, wine or beers, alcohol has been a staple for many Koreans. Thus, don't be surprised that this beer festival has been one of a must-visit event in Korea.

So, what's GKBF? Great Korean Beer Festival is the largest craft beer festival that occurs every year in Seoul. It's the biggest outdoor drinking festival that features a plethora of events with live music, performances, pairing with different Korean food. During this 10-days event, there are as many as 30 local and international craft brewers participated and more than 100 types of craft beers are being offered. Ranging from normal craft beers to assorted I.P.A's, you'll definitely able to find the ideal beverage.

To celebrate the warm summer here in Seoul, the GKBF was held at the heart of Seoul at Coex KPOP SMTown, located directly at the outdoor space at Samseong Station. Just in case you have no idea what's so special about SMTown, it is the largest and highly influenced entertainment company in Korea that transformed this area into a popular venue for K-pop lover to hang out and for the museum featuring an ultra-high definition resolution panel surrounding the building.

Here during the festival, not only you'll get to enjoy the beers but also to immerse yourself in the modern city that doesn't seem to slow down in the day or night. The admission for this festival is free but you are required to purchase a cash voucher for every transaction being made here.

For every booklet for the cash coupon, it's priced at 20,000 KRW with 4 coupons worth 5,000 KRW each. Although I don't quite like the idea of purchasing cash coupon for every transaction made as the beers price are priced differently and in odd prices that caused us to make a loss if we don't spend exactly the amount we paid. But, I guess it's a good strategy to regulate the transaction and to avoid payment confusion during the peak time.

If you're wondering where is the crowd for this event, I can recall it clearly that it was the first day where the event of set up on a Thursday morning. Thus, the crowd is not being built-up yet. As we were longing for more beers here in Seoul, we returned on a Saturday afternoon where the crowd is totally unbearable to the extent that it's pretty hard to walk or even to queue for a beer. However, we managed to grab a few beers here from a different brewery.

I am no professional drinker, but I can totally tell the difference between a craft beer and a Heineken. The flavor is more well-defined, aromas are intensified and most of the beers have a more peculiar color. We love this particular brewery as we came to know that this is a local microbrewery that is producing craft beers using locally sourced ingredients.

As for my favorite, I especially love their slow Indian Pale Ale. Although this has the lowest alcohol percentage at 4.6% of their craft beer range, but it has a very pronounced hop profile with a deep golden sunset shade. Every sip brings a unique flavor with different layers and a hint of tropical floral aftertaste and a citrusy aroma. If it wasn't because of the alcohol, I would have thought that this is a brewed bitter floral tea.

Besides the beers, I actually went for their freshly brewed hopped cider. I couldn't resist ordering a cider whenever is see one on the menu. Although it doesn't stand out that much from the beers, the cider a strong apple sweetness and flavor to contrast with the hop flavor. The bittersweet aromatic hopped combined with the apple delivers a smooth and dry mouthfeel. Those tiny cups of alcohol finished in no time. The best part of participating in Korean Beer Festival is that everyone gets to enjoy the perfect nice weather, a wide variety of beer and able to go on and one pairing it with the signature Korean Fried Chicken which is hearty, fatty, and savory.

Honestly, there are so many breweries to choose from here to the extent that we had to return here a few times to try them out. So, don't be afraid to approach any of the attendance for recommendations and options to choose from even though you don't speak Korean. Most of the brewery had western part-timer working to explain and recommend the ideal beers for you by conversing in English.

Also, I absolutely adore their interesting decorations at their booth where they decorated it based on their themes like this Goose. I walked towards it unintentionally because of the goose decorations and ended up a few cups of beers on my hand. Fyi, we reused our cups to avoid plastic waste. So, don't be surprised to see the next photo is still the same cups from previous photos.

In a nutshell, we really did had a great time here strolling and exploring the festival for different beers. Although it has nothing similar to Oktoberfest, we definitely had a blast here enjoying warm sun in the cold weather while sipping on our cold beers. Please be sure to check out their Beer Festival that happens annually in Seoul and it's time to plan ahead for your travel to Korea!


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wow how amazing korea looks now, i was there when the streets were still dirty and south korea was fighting north (bombings still going on), so glad seoul looks so amazing now. yay beer fest and looks delish!

Awww, it's such a pity. You definitely need to pay it a visit again, I am sure you'll love it.

Nice photos, it looks amazing, I hope to go to Korea someday!

Thanks! Finger crossed :) Hopefully, you'll make it one day.

You got a 48.00% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @explorernations!