The Hand and Malt Taproom, Jongno

The Hand and Malt Taproom, Jongno

Another classic when it comes to Korean craft beer is The Hand and Malt Brewing Company. Their signature Slow IPA is a common find on menus around Seoul, but there are more brews to be had at their own venue in Jongno. Located close to Gyeongbokgung palace and other tourist attractions in the area, but hidden within small side streets, this bar is a great find both for locals and visitors.

Hand and malt brewery logo and blue and red lantern.
Logo and lanterns.
Picture of hand and malt bar interior.
There are tables both at the “yard” and under the roof.

Another remodeled hanok, Hand and Malt has a few different options for seating, including several courtyard tables under a new roof and indoor tables under the original hank roof. These kind of remodeled, traditional houses are a common sight in the Jongno area, repurposed to bars, studios, shops and cafes, and help add to Seoul’s signature blend of new and old architecture.

The beer menu ranges from the classic Slow IPA to wits, stouts and experimental collaborations, with two sampler sets of varying “difficulty”. We shamelessly started off with the beginner set that included the Belgian wit, Mocha stout, Slow IPA and Waterfall pale ale. An easy and enjoyable taster set, topped by their Slow IPA which, to no surprise, tasted even better here than in other bars.

Picture of the menu.
Draft beer menu.

Their other IPA, the 365, is good and dark, a nice, bitter contrast to the Slow, and while the Imperial stout is not as barrel-y as I hoped, it still packed a strong and rich flavor.

By far the most interesting choice on the menu, we got a glass of the Omija wheat ale. Omija is the Korean word for dried magnolia berries, said to contain five flavors, and while it is a common flavor for tea and a few traditional liquors, it stands out on the beer menu. A collaboration between Hand and Malt and Ballast Point, known for experimenting with spices and fruits in their beer, this limited edition specialty beer was surprisingly good. Refreshing, not too wheaty, not too bitter, it even comes with a small, traditional rice/honey cookie. Needless to say, M was very happy with the order.

Three beer glasses and a traditional cookie.
Fantastic and special Omija-ale came with a small traditional rice/honey cookie. The Omija-ale was a special Hand and Malt X Ballast Point special brew.
Picture of a hand holding round glass of mocha stout beer.
Mocha Stout.
The Hand and Malt beer glass.
The color of the beer~
Sampler menu has two options, beginner and advanced.
Sampler menu.
Four small taster glasses in a stand.
Hand and Malt beginner taster set.
Picture of the menu.
Menu of the Month – Oyster dish. Pairs well with H&M Mocha Stout.
Delicious looking oyster dish.
Oyster dish~
Picture of the interior, many clients.
Another picture from inside.
Picture of the bar counter.
The counter is in the back wall. You can order both at the table and at the counter. Pay afterwards at the counter.
At the “yard” we got some extra heat from a fire place.
Tap handles in a row. Being hypnotic mother pearl mosaic wall.
Their tap handles are filled with different types and colors of malts.
Picture of the food, side dish menu. They have for example fries and salads.
Quick peek to the food menu.
Inside looks so warm.
Cold outside, warm and cozy inside.
The Hand and malt red neon sign.
You will recognize the place from Hand and Malt neon sign.
The bar is in a small back alley.
A small alley. You won’t find your way here by accident.
Two guys walking in a narrow alley.
The bar is in a narrow back alley, but very close to the Gyeongbokgung palace.

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