|7Brau Pub’s beer sampler (front) features IPA, Mild Ale, Pilsner, Fake Lager, Kristal Weizen and Stout. The Gangnam outpost’s take on the classic Scotch egg (back) pairs well with the caramel notes of the Fake Lager.|
(Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
7Brau Pub’s second branch, which opened near Sinnonhyeon Station, takes its brews very seriously.
Not only are there eight unfiltered craft beers on tap, including the brewery’s new Imperial IPA, even the grub is infused with the heady stuff.
“We focused on using our beer in our food,” said 7Brau director Kim Kyo-ju.
7Brau beer goes into most everything.
According to deputy executive chef Dan Kang, over 75 percent of the menu, from the beer-battered onion rings down to the burgers, the pulled pork and steak, incorporates the craft beer company’s brews.
The New York steak gets a deep, rich edge from 7Brau’s stout, while those thick, sweet onion rings get jazzed up with a pilsner-infused batter ― the result, Kang revealed, of much experimentation in trying to find the right beer for the right dish.
Perhaps it is because 7Brau beers are incorporated into the cuisine, or perhaps it is because the menu is heavy on barbecue ― a tried-and-true beer companion ― whatever the case or cause, this is a spot where one can expect to tuck into rib-sticking fare that works well with all those brews.
Take the Imperial IPA, for instance.
Weighing in with the relatively high alcohol content of 7 percent, the amber-hued brew starts off bitter and then turns mellow before ending with creamy notes of vanilla. When paired with the stout-infused steak, the ale tastes soft and sweet.
Mild Ale, with its aromas of tropical fruit, lays smooth and round on the tongue when paired with 7Brau’s Australian Wagyu burger, while the caramel notes of 7Brau’s Fake Lager goes well with the pub’s Scotch egg.
One can only imagine how nicely all these beers will go with the pulled pork and BBQ brisket sandwiches on the menu, especially since all that meat spends hours soaking up all those woodsy aromas in a smoker.
Then, of course, there is the beer itself, from the potent yet honeyed Imperial IPA to the slightly bitter and coffee-like stout.
Now, one can easily find 7Brau’s IPA in a can and enjoy the company’s brews straight from the tap in various spots, but those in the industry still remember when 7Brau managed to get a previously hard-to-come-by standard beer production license.
The year was 2011 and that permit was the craft beer company’s golden ticket to the beer big leagues.
It meant 7Brau could distribute its beers to more than one establishment, giving the company a tiny foothold in a market primarily dominated by two seasoned, 80-something-year-old beer goliaths ― Oriental Brewery and Hite Jinro.
The company started off by selling its canned IPA in select stores the following year. Then, last September, the first 7Brau Pub opened in Seoul’s Yeouido.
Several brews specially developed for the pub were unveiled, giving patrons the opportunity to try a diverse range of unfiltered craft beers.
Then, the second 7Brau Pub opened in Yeoksam-dong on Christmas Eve, signaling the expansion of the pub brand.
“We opened in this area because it promises to be the busiest in Korea,” said Kim, 39. “It is a good place to spread the word about our beer.”
Chef Kang put his two cents in about the second outpost, saying that the menu is more expansive, especially with the focus on barbecue.
With the new outlet came a new brew. In January, 7Brau launched its Imperial IPA.
Kim revealed that even now another new beer is in the works, ready to join a steadily growing lineup of unfiltered craft beer, served straight from the tap.
|Patrons can pick and choose from eight unfiltered 7Brau craft beers on tap, including the new Imperial IPA.|
(Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Sandwiches cost 10,000-12,000 won, fries and appetizers cost 7,000- 22,000 won, beer costs 6,000-12,000 won
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)