Emokgub Taproom 耳目口鼻

A mere stone’s throw away from Yeongdeungpo Station, Emokgub Taproom is conveniently located just off the busier streets. You do have to traverse more classic Korean scenery on your way, but the brick house with a steaming pipe positively stands out from the surrounding buildings.

The streets from Yeongdeungpo station towards Emokgub are covered with colorful signs.

Most of the area looks like this.

Lovely old brick building renovated into a pub.

Find your way through the mess of colorful blinking signs and you will find this lovely old building.

It's a really cool old building where the pub is.

It’s nice how they left the facade “raw”.

A map of korean craft breweries

They mostly serve Korean craft beer on tap. This plate illustrates nicely from which part of the country each brewery is located. On the top they note on red “NO SOJU”.

No flashy signs outside this place, just a hand-drawn sign showing where all the beers are from, as well as emphasizing the absence of soju on the menu. The name of the game is local brews, and this place boasts an impressive selection of Korean beers, with breweries from most big cities. In addition to all the domestic beers on tap, there are a few foreign beers on the bottle menu.

With the outside temperatures reaching as low as -16°C, Emokgub has the patio covered with plastic and even boasts a real oven, providing a comfortably smokey atmosphere and more tolerable temperatures. We did still keep our coats on, as did most guests, but it was warm enough to keep us comfortable for the duration of our visit.

People wearing coats inside the patio.

During the winter months they isolate the patio with plastic tent. Even though everybody was wearing coats it was actually pretty warm inside. It was -16 degrees celsius outside by the time we visited the tap house.

Unique festive atmosphere for a craft beer pub.

The hanging lights create a very festive atmosphere.

Picture of a craft beer pub menu.

They have mostly korean craft beer on tap. Food menu on the right bottom corner. Notice that they have blueberry pizza on the menu. Prices are great!

On the menu are a selection of craft beers from around the country, ranging from familiar hoppy ales to more unusual flavors, like the Pine Pilsner and Coffee Kölsch Ale. You can also get taps 1-4 and 6-8 in sampler sets and get a little bit of each. There is also a more or less experimental food menu with choices like fried chicken, S’more dip and even blueberry pizza if you want to give your tastebuds a shake. Maybe there are some excellent, unexpected pairing options on this menu for the braver guests?

We started off with the Pine Pilsner from The Table and the Hopster IPA from Andong. Both interesting brews, the Pine Pilsner being the fresh and foresty drink you’d expect, although a little on the daft side. Suits the place well with the real firewood smell, but gets a little boring around halfway through the glass.

The Hopster IPA is all I was hoping it to be, and is a classic, hoppy IPA. Fresh, fruity and a little bitter, but not as heavy as you’d expect. For the price it is an excellent choice if you like hoppy ales, and goes well with common bar food like the chili fries we got. The fries were not as crispy as they could have been, but the sour cream and sprinkled herbs make up for it. The meat was very well spiced, but might be a little too much if you don’t like spicy food. Most Koreans would probably not call these spicy at all.

Two glasses of craft beer and a plate of french fries with sauce.

We tried their beef chilly fries. Nice and spicy.

A glass of korean craft beer.

Hopsplash IPA from Playground. Their brewery locates in Ilsan, which is a bit outside of Seoul.

Another domestic from their tap list, the Hopsplash from Playground is one of our favorite Korean IPAs. I would say this is a must for hop enthusiasts, but 10.000 won for a domestic beer seems a little stingy, Ilsan is not really that far away! However, fresh from the tap this beer is a delight.

Logo of emokgub taproom

Their napkins have a lovely illustration of the old building and their logo. The logo consists of hanjas (Chinese characters) “耳目口鼻” which translate to “ear, eye, mouth, nose”.

A dog standing on the brewery counter.

The house dog, Jackson, on the counter. The wooden customized tap handles kind of resemble the shape of the building.

A crowd pleaser at Emokgub, the house dog Jackson struts from table to table to the guest’s delight. There are signs instructing generous visitors not to give Jackson any human food, but it seems there are dog treats available. Nevertheless, Jackson seems to enjoy the attention and gives the place an even more cabin-like charm.

Speaking of charm, the oven is fired up with real wood, a rare sight (and smell) in Korean bars. The slightly smokey air makes for a rustic atmosphere, and warms our Scandinavian hearts. This smokiness might not be reserved for cold weather, there are some grills in the corner, so we hope to trek back here in the summer months to enjoy some barbecue.

As the pictures show, the Christmas tree is still up, supposedly it is normal to keep Christmas decorations until the Lunar new year in February. Though the fact that the little salty pretzels came in a pumpkin basket makes me suspect the festive decorations are year-round. The fairy lights and neon sign string the whole look together, and at least there is no Christmas music playing.

Chopped fire wood.

They heat up the patio with an actual fireplace and wood. Pretty rare sight in Seoul.

A metal tea pot on the stove.

They are making tea on top of the fire place. Notice the kakaofriends character Brian peeking from the Christmas Tree.

A view to the pub counter and the taps.

The space inside the building and near the counter is actually pretty narrow. Seatings only at the counter.

All in all, Emokgub presents the perfect blend between hipstery taproom and a pojangmacha, giving a kind of urban glamping feel. The music plays at a moderate volume, making it easy for guests to converse while keeping a lively atmosphere. Most of the seating is on the patio with only a few more seats by the counter. We saw a few people queuing shortly before getting a table, but it seems to be only moderately crowded.

White light sign with logo above the door.

You can see their logo sign above the building entrance.

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