The traditional Korean roof tiles are called kiwa, and Kiwa Taproom is fittingly enough located in Bukchon, a historical area near the main palace, full of hanoks (traditional Korean houses) and attractions. Don’t be fooled by the traditional location, Kiwa has lots of modern craft beer on tap, both Korean and imported, to be enjoyed in the remodeled hanok venue or to take out!
Fittingly enough, Kiwa taproom is a remodeled hanok, and in the Bukchon area there are plenty of traditional buildings with the iconic kiwa roof tiles. This area is close to several tourist attractions, and is a perfect pit-stop while exploring the traditional area, as Kiwa is located in a tiny side street mere seconds off the busy main street of Bukchon. With an extensive beer and food menu, you can stay for a quick refreshing drink or a whole meal.
The beer menu is a healthy mix of Korean and imported beer, with a wide variety of styles including lagers, wits, stouts, ales and sours, and there’s even a craft cider from The Hand and Apple (normally Malt), who have a taproom on the other side of the palace. We visited during one of the hotter summer days so far, looking for cold and refreshing beers, so note the understandable seasonal discount on the Russian Imperial Stout from Brooklyn! In nearly 40°C, a heavy stout can be too much, we’ll have to come back during the freezing Seoul winter for that one.
During our stay we picked up a few Korean brews to cool us down. First up was the Andong Hopster IPA, which was chill, bitter and hoppy, relatively tender but with rich flavor. The Seersucker IPA is just as good as when we had it at Euljimaekog, hoppy and citrusy with a light body and perfect for the summer heat.
The hard apple cider from Hand and Apple is also great for cooling down in the Korean summer months, it’s a classic cider, sweet and balanced with very prominent apple flavor.