According to 10 Magazine, in 2014, the latest revision of the Korean brewing laws has led to breweries being able to distribute craft beers to a wider audience. This allows bar and restaurant owners, who don’t brew, to serve artisanal beers to their customers. Bars in Seoul have been the first to take advantage of these changes, and now, Suwon is stepping up.
Alleyway Taphouse in Suwon is offering an assortment of craft and bottled beers. It currently boasts a tap of 12 different beers: domestic and foreign.
Craftworks has been the big name in the Korean craft beer scene. They have taken an active role in the marketing and image of each of their beers. They offer a wide variety of yearly and seasonal brews. Currently, Alleyway Taphouse is carrying their Baekdusan Hefeweizen and the Seoraksan Oatmeal Stout. Two tried and true beers that are more aromatic and flavorful than the average weizen or oatmeal stout.
One of the newest breweries, out of Namyangju, has been Hand & Malt. Not even a year founded, they’ve been experimenting with a new approach by growing some of their own hops from a nearby farm. Before now, I had only heard of their name, but hadn’t sampled their beers. The Rye Pale Ale and Extra Special Ale are two praise-worthy renditions of an English Ale and an American IPA. Both are colorful and served in a stem glass.
Additional beers from the Korean craft beer scene include: the Strong Pale Ale from Platinum Brewing, an American Style Pale for the hop lovers; Alley Kat from Ka Brew is a hoppy Indian Pale Ale. It was one of the first craft beers to dominate the Itaewon bars ; Finally, there is Hite’s own Red Rock lager.
From across the pond, Alleyway Taphouse also offers craft beers from some of the most well established American breweries. Craft-lovers should be familiar with Heretic, Lost Coast, North Coast, and Brothers breweries.
Even if you’re not a craft beer connoisseur, Alleyway offers a full lab of cocktails and mixed drinks.
Additionally, each week, Alleyway Taphouse opens its doors to host multiple events. They plan to host live music, stand-up comedy, or open mic nights. Events will vary, so check out their Facebook page to see what’s going on on that particular night. Keep in mind that they are open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 – 2AM each night.
Alleyway Taphouse is located in Paldal-gu, Jungjo-ro 751-11 on the 4th floor. To get their by subway, take the Line #1 to Suwon Station (수원역) and exit 9. Board a taxi and tell the driver “Joong-dong Sa-go-ri” (중동 사거리. Walk down the alley to your left and look up towards the left side of buildings. It is above the bar “The Big Chill”. To get their by Suwon city bus, search for a bus that stops near the Paldalmun Gate rotary. Alleyway Taphouse is on a popular food and drink street that runs along the side of Paldal Mountain.
Directions on Naver Maps