A short stroll from Gongdeok station and situated neatly behind a police station, The Table Brewing in Mapo-gu is easily one of the top places to go for authentic Korean craft beer. Their menu features well-executed craft beer classics as well as seasonal and collaborative brews with unique and oriental flavors.
The venue itself is industrial, weathered wood boards and steel beams galore, concrete surfaces and big windows, and serves as a coffee shop as well as a bar. We’re a bit in between waves, catching the last of the late lunchers, family outings and I think I saw a few text books near the back wall, but the sun is out and we’re waiting to get the first outdoor beer of the season! The menu is sorted by style, with titles in English as well and Korean, and sets the tone from the first line – Pine Pilsner and Bosingak Dunkel!
There are plenty of uncommon tastes on the menu like Yuza Ale and Hemp Seed Brown Ale, complemented by more familiar craft beer styles and witty names. We started off with the Jayuro 77 double IPA and the Red Ginseng Pilsner. The dIPA is sharp, bitter, hoppy, bursting with flavor and a malty aftertaste. Excellent! The pilsner holds no surprises and is an easy drink with a ton of ginseng flavor, great for the summer season.
In addition to all the Korean beer, there are some liquors and wines available as well as some drinks and a food menu. There are no common strong-flavored beers like sours and barrel aged beers, but we are not complaining. All the inventing names on the menu makes me wish for a sampler set! In addition to the house beers there are a few guest taps, like the Playground Hop Splash and the Art Monster Coffee Koelsch.
As always, the music is hit and miss, but at least at a tolerable volume. Before we moved on, I opted for the Hemp Seed Brown Ale, which turned out sweet, rich, a little on the dry side, and very much in tune with the general theme of inventive and unusual flavors. With such a nice venue and a whole wall that can be opened during the warmer months, we are already looking forward to trekking back later to enjoy some summer night beers.