Craft beer is huge in Korea, with new brews being created all the time. However I pretty much figured there was nowhere else for the trend to go until I was invited to Tap Public, to try Korea’s first self pour beer bar. The taphouse boasts 60 different taps offering a staggering 58 kinds of beer and two wines. The beer ranges from craft to generic and local to international. There is a real mix and there should be something for everyone.
The sleek and shiny new bar is located towards the Hangangjin end of Itaewon in a building behind the Hyundai Card Place. Once inside the bar spreads out to a very large space with plenty of inside seating and a gigantic patio. The bar is very well designed, and has a very cool but welcoming feel to it. The patio is absolutely gorgeous and will be amazing in the summer, but it’s also equally lovely in this weather with the roaring fire feature and outdoor heaters.
Once seated we received a wristband each which is used to calculate how much beer you have had. We then went to check out the beers. As you know I’m not a huge beer drinker so was a tad overwhelmed. Thankfully the beers are charged per 10mls, so it is great for novices like myself as you can try as many as you like until you find one you want to stick with. As the beers are so wide in selection the prices varied from 150 won per 10mls – 550 won, though most were around 200 won. To buy your beer you grab a glass then touch your wrist band to the screen of the beer you like, then take as much a you like. The high tech system really appealed to my inner geek and I’m sure it will be very popular with the gents. The owner, Kevin, recommended that I try the Märzen Larger (170 won / 10ml). This is a special Octoberfest beer from the Playground Brewery. I tend to favour lagers so really enjoyed this. Despite its dark hue it had a very palatable almost fruity flavour that was very drinkable. My companion tried the new Yongsan Electro IPA (190 won / 10mls). This has been specially brewed for the beer fest happening this weekend at the Yongsan Electronics Market. I am no fan of IPAs, as they are generally too bitter for my tastes, and this one was no exception. But my companion enjoyed it a lot, and if you like IPA then then this one is certainly worth a try.
Drinking makes me hungry, so we decided to take a look at the menu. The menu is a real mix of items including the usual bistro fare and some wacky more inventive dishes. In the end we settled on the signature TP Burger (12,000). The cheeseburger came served in an incredible house made pretzel bun which was truly amazing. It was also topped with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions so sweet we thought they were onion jam. You know I’m fussy with burgers but this was damn fine and got a very audible Mmm from me when biting into it. Although it was quite a simple burger it had everything I needed, and it was perfect accompaniment to the beers. The burger doesn’t come with anything so we also got a side of the Twisted Potato Wedges (6.000). These were toasted in a garlic and Parmesan coating that we enjoyed very much and served with a blue cheese dip. They were the perfect drinking food and gone in a matter of minutes.
Overall our visit was short and sweet, but I really liked the style of this place. I love the outdoor area and thought the place had an uber cool vibe. I have no doubt that the pour your own beer trend will become very popular, and the variety of different beers is very hard to beat. I know my beer swilling boyfriend will be very into it, so I will definitely be returning to try more of their food.
Tap Public is located at L2 T1 Building, 244 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and keep going until you get to the Cheil Building. Keep going straight over the crossing but take the alleyway in front of you, slightly to the right of he main road. Keep walking straight along this road. You will eventually get to the back of the Hyundai Card building. You will see a sign just outside and a set of stairs, go up and you will get to Tap Public on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-797-4999 or check out their facebook page. There are open everyday from 11:30am -1am.