Korean craft beer was first introduced in the early 1990s. At that time, the Korean beer market consisted of conglomerates operated by large-scale breweries, and their beers had a monotonous and consistent taste, so there was no concept of craft beer. However, in the United States, craft beer has been slowly gaining popularity since the 1980s, and after seeing this, craft beer began to be introduced in Korea as well. At first, I followed the beer style influenced by the US and Europe, but gradually started making craft beer that reflected the taste of Korea.
With the increase in home alcohol due to Corona 19, more people are trying to drink properly even if they drink a glass at home. With the $10 promotion for 3-4 cans at each convenience store, the choice of consumers looking for a special beer is increasing, and the popularity of craft beer continues.
Available at convenience stores right now! Here are Korea’s representative craft beer brands and products recommended for those who want to experience the taste of a cold beer after work, delicious beer that goes well with food, and the unique taste of Korea while traveling.
Jeju Beer is a current representative company in the Korean craft beer industry. Jeju Beer played an important role in branding based on the popular region of Jeju and viewing beer as gastronomy and lifestyle rather than alcohol. Jeju Beer captures the spirit of the scenic Jeju Island, infusing its brews with the island’s natural beauty and unique ingredients. The brewery takes pride in using local resources, such as Jeju’s pure spring water and native citrus fruits, to create beers that encapsulate the essence of the region.
Since its establishment in 2015, it has presented a manufacturing innovation model to the domestic beer industry through a strategy to enlarge production facilities to popularize craft beer. They have co-worked with Brooklyn Brewery, the No. 1 craft beer company in New York, for producing high-quality beer production. In May 2022, six years after its founding, Jeju Beer successfully completed its first IPO in the Korean craft beer industry.
Reccommeded beers you can buy at a convenient store made by Jeju Beer
- Jeju Wheat Ale: is made with water from Jeju Island and Jeju tangerine peel, it is characterized by a refreshing finish with a subtle citrus scent.
- Jeju Fellong Ale: is a pale ale style with the flavor of Jeju. Jeju Fellong Ale is characterized by a strong bitter taste and rich hop aroma.
- Jeju Geomeong Ale: ‘Geomeong’ is a Jeju dialect meaning ‘black’ and is a style of dark beer made with Jeju black barley and chocolate wheat.
- Our Ale: is made in collaboration with Hyundai Card, called ‘a beer that makes ‘OUR’ moment(HOUR) new.’ Inspired by the legend of ‘Seolmundae Grandma’ who created Jeju, he created beer and design.
Seven Bräu was launched in 2011 and is the first small and medium-sized Korean company to obtain a general beer manufacturing license. With a shared vision “Communicating the world through beer” and a dedication to craftsmanship, Seven Bräu set out to make their mark on the burgeoning craft beer market in Korea. Seven Bräu Beer introduced ale beer for the first time as a Korean craft beer and manufactured beer using a domestic place name as a product name, gaining popularity among consumers who were accustomed to lager.
Reccommeded beers you can buy at a convenient store made by Seven Bräu
- Gangseo Mild Ale: is a beer that introduced Seven Bräu and Korean craft beer to the public. Gangseo Mild Ale gained popularity as it was used as a toast at the Blue House in 2017 for businessmen’s meetings with the President. It is a soft-tasting ale, and the label depicts the image of the control tower of Gimpo Airport in Gangseo-gu, Seoul.
- Gompyo Wheat Beer: Thanks to the joint marketing of ‘Gompyo Flour’, Korea’s leading flour brand, Seven Bräu, and convenience store CU, it is an all-time hit product that has sold more than 50 million cans since its launch in May 2020. Currently, the right to manufacture Gompyo Wheat Beer went to Jeju Beer, and Seven Bräu sells a product called “Representative Wheat Beer” with the existing Gompyo Beer recipe.
Kabrew Company, named after ‘Korea Adventurous Brewery’, uses Kumiho, a nine-tailed imaginary fox, as its representative character and products. A master of transformation, it manufactures various and creative flavors and products, and symbolizes free sensibility and the clean nature of Gapyeong. Cheongpyeong, where Kabrew’s beer brewery is located, uses Cheongpyeong Lake, famous for its delicious water, as its water source. This is a clean area where pine trees, cypress trees, and oak trees spread out like a carpet surround the entire area, providing spectacular autumn leaves and snowy scenery depending on the season.
Reccommeded beers you can buy at a convenient store made by Kabrew
- ‘Kumiho’ Series: is various styles of beer with the motif of the brewery’s character, such as ‘Kumiho Peach Ale’, ‘Kumiho Relax Beer’, ‘Kumiho IPA’, and ‘Kumiho Gapyeong’.
- ‘Seoul’ Series: ‘Namsan (Citrus Ale)’, ‘Gyeongbokgung Palace (IPA)’, and ‘Gwanghwamun (Ale)’, which utilize Seoul’s representative landmarks, are also popular Kabrew beers at convenience stores. Each beer style has tried to bring out the unique taste of Korea, and the design of the can is Korean-style, so it is fun to watch.