Caligari Brewing, Gyeongbokgung

Caligari Brewing, Gyeongbokgung

The lantern street running from the Gyeongbokgung palace is full of traditional restaurants, water holes and people. Right in the middle, we find Caligari Brewing‘s two-part venue with craft beer and pizza. This time we went down to the basement, into the cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, entrance
Caligari Brewing, basement entrance on the left
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, interior
Industrially decorated basement venue.

Close to several tourist attractions and the central Seoul, this street is probably high up on many must-see lists for Seoul. The crowd is diverse, ranging from hipsters and tourists to locals and business men. Caligari Brewing has a big neon sign, blending in with the lanterns and lights around.

Caligari is one of the breweries we often see on menus around Seoul, but in their own pub we can of course get their full line-up. And pizza! The pizza menu is quite big and looks yummy, but already coming from dinner we will have to leave that for another time. Now we are here for the beer!

Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, menu
The first 5 beers on the menu.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, menu
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, beers
Sabzak Session IPA, Dr. Feel Good Pale Ale and Peace Maker IPA.

We have lots of Caligari beers on tap, as well as a few guest taps and some bottles and other drinks. Unfortunately their saison is sold out, but we get to brave through almost all the rest. We start of with Dr. Feel Good, a little thin, but otherwise refreshing pale ale. It’s decently bready and malty, and yes, the mouthfeel is good.

Next up are the IPAs. The Peace Maker is an international IPA, but tastes more like a sweet west-coast. Nevertheless a solid IPA fresh from the tap. The Sabzak is a session IPA which you can also find in bottles in some stores. It’s quite good on tap! Tender and smooth, medium body and a light color. Malty body, almost no sweetness, but with a good touch of citrusy hop flavor. One of the best pours of tonight.

Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, beer and food
Traditional anju as well!
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, cheers!

Since we were here on one of the Korean holidays, the owner gave us some traditional anju (side dish) made from egg and spam. It came with a dipping sauce and was a nice, salty snack. We got a pour of the Misha Asian Wheat, which is a collaborative brew with Chef Mikhal. It’s definitely on the sweet side of wheats, but otherwise a well made beer. A nice stepping stone before moving on to the dark side of the menu.

Bring on the stouts. Our first one is the Girl Stout, and the coffee flavor of this stout is really prominent! It’s up there with Sabzak as one of tonights favorites. The Open Port (개항장) is an imperial stout, slightly sweet and almost milky. The body is hoppy with hints of coffee, but a mild aftertaste. Our last beer for tonight is Our Beer From Sinpo, a fresh and tasty Kölsch. There is not much coffee flavor, but that may be compared to the stouts. Overall a tasty beer with a surprisingly rich body!

Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, pizza menu
Pizza menu with original styles.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, interior
Lots of accent lighting.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, interior
View from the stairs.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is dark and industrial with accent lights and neon signs. The classic combination of small speakers, high volume and hard surfaces makes conversation a little challenging, but the venue is otherwise laid back. Friendly staff, good beer, a large pizza menu and a disco ball, what more can you ask for this centrally?

Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, Girl Stout
Girl Stout.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, stouts
Girl Stout and Open Port Imperial Stout.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, Kölsch and Stout
Our Beer From Sinpo Kölsch and Open Port Imperial Stout.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, interior
Disco balls are always a plus.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, interior
Food for you Instagram too.
Caligari Brewing Gyeongbokgung, entrance
We visited their basement bar, but they also have seating on the ground floor.