Seoul Drinks: The Hand and Malt 더 핸드앤몰트 - Gwanghwamun
So, beer really isn't my thing. But it's Bryan's thing and apparently when you get married, there's this thing called "compromise". Just kidding. Seriously though, he loves looking for new beers and breweries to try, and luckily so does one of my colleagues so now she always tells me about new or fun beer places to check out with Bryan. She told me about The Hand and Malt, and then Bryan also happened to find it online, so we dragged our butts over to Gwanghwamun to find it. Annnd... it took awhile to find. There's a bunch of little streets that look more like alleyways, and some of them are dead ends, and I felt like rats in a maze. When we got there though, it was pretty gorgeous.
The actual brewery is in Gyeonggi-do, but they have a couple of bars/taprooms in Seoul. This one in particular is in a hanok (한옥), or traditional Korean-style home, and the photos my co-worker showed me looked gorgeous. I also thought it was a lot bigger! It's pretty intimate, but gorgeous for warmer weather. This is totally one of those places where if you want a seat, and especially a seat outside, you'll have to get there when it opens and basically just stay there all day long. We ended up staying there a lot longer than we expected, and it was totally worth it.
This past spring, they made a Perilla Leaf Saison (깻잎 한잔 세종), which was a collaboration with other local Korean breweries. It was crisp, fresh and actually had a perilla leaf aroma! It wasn’t overpowering at all, but subtle and popped once in awhile. I love perilla leaf so I just kept ordering these, while Bryan had the Belgian Dubbel, Mocha Stout and some more Dubbels. With a snack of truffle french fries, it was a pretty successful mid-afternoon outing. The only criticism I have is that I wish the food menu had had more bar snack types of dishes, in addition to the full meals they offer.
Not gonna lie, I totally forgot about that Perilla Leaf Saison until I started writing this. Maybe we'll have to go back this weekend... and bring the pup!