The Hongdae end of the old railway park, which stretches all the way from Hyochang to Yeonnam, is turned into a book street, with small concrete bookshops, seating and lush vegetation. In this surprisingly quiet location we find Alecrew, a homely craft beer pub and take-out shop.
Alecrew has a good selection of both Korean and imported beer on tap and in bottles and cans, with competitive prices and even a discount for take-out beers. The fridges are dominated by tall cans from Ilsan-based brewery Playground and bottles from Ballast Point (US). The menu is mostly in Korean, but all the beer names and a basic description is also written in English, making it easy to navigate.
We picked up the Gyeongui Line IPA, named after the old railway where the long park is built. Hoppy with sweet citrus overtones, this tender IPA makes a great thirst quencher for the hot weather. The Hunchback Session IPA is also a good choice in this category, more malty and bready flavor, but all the hops and bitterness of an IPA. These were our brews of choice for the sunny afternoon, but there are lots of other styles available like chocolate stouts, barrel ageds, lagers, goldens and blondes.
Both inside and outside, Alecrew is green and cozy, a simple interior with concrete, black steel, rustic wood and green plants. If not for the fence, it would be hard to tell where the pub ends and the park begins. Although the location is quite close to Hongdae, Yeonnam and Sinchon, the park is very quiet and relaxed, making us wish we would stay for dinner. The food menu has a couple of pizzas, with happy hour prices before 6pm, and also a range of cheese platters.