Sunday, August 7, 2016

Craft beer and pizza at The Booth

Many pizza slices have been served to numerous party people on many a late nights. Most people who have ever stayed out till the morning hours in Hongdae’s clubs and drinking places, are already very familiar with The Booth and its pizza-providing sister company Monster Pizza.

We had the great joy of visiting The Booth in one of the alleys in Noksapyeong. The pizzas are provided by Monster Pizza and taste good as ever. Still, the real gem of The Booth Noksapyeong is their craft beer. Their input in the crafting process both in Denmark and South Korea, their meticulous shipping-regulations for how the craft beer is supposed to be brought all the way to Noksapyeong, and finally the enthusiasm of the owner and the staff all contribute to create an amazing pizza joint.

Some of their beers are brewed in collaboration with their Danish partner Mikkeller in Denmark. The other part is brewed in South Korea in the Pangyo area. The people behind The Booth have come up with some of the craft beer recipes in collaboration with their partners to create flavors that go well with their pizzas. The transport-rules are very minute. At no point in the transportation-process does the beer reach above refrigerator-temperatures. The Booth calls this “The Cold Chain”.  Even the beer batches that are shipped all the way from Denmark to Seoul still adhere to these rules. This is all to ensure that the customer at The Booth will get the best beer possible. The manager tastes every keg of beer to see if there is the smallest of flavor discrepancies and would toss the whole keg if any such taste flaw is detected.

The pizzas come in about three different flavors and both sauces and grated cheese can be found at every table, so that you can fill up to your heart’s content. My personal favorite is the basic peperoni pizza, since I have gotten pretty tired of all the Korean-style take-out pizzas with sometimes close to 20 toppings on one. The Booth keeps the ingredient quantity down and instead focuses on the quality of every dish and drink they serve.

The beer selection varies from week to week and sometimes even daily. The beers on tap are also different from store to store in the six spots that The Booth exists in. It is up to the store manager to decide what beers suit the location, the clientele, the weather etc. They are kind enough to update the tap list daily online, so you can check which store serves which beer on a particular day and head straight there!
The Booth was initially founded by three people. Two of them later came to marry each other. Out of these three, interestingly one was a Korean medicine practitioner and one was a write for The Economist. They identified both a lack of craft beers in Korea and a premonition that a craft beer trend would start sooner or later.

The ambiance is very laid back with two different rooms to eat in. The walls are decorated with graffiti, and the keen eye might find bicycle equipment and clothes hung to one part of the wall. The Booth actually runs a bicycle club that anyone from any skill level can join.

Locations: Noksapyeong, Gangnam x2, Konkuk University, Samseong station, Itaewon station

Opening Hours:
Monday: 12:00pm ~ 1:00am
Tuesday: 12:00pm ~ 1:00am
Wednesday: 12:00pm ~ 1:00am
Thursday: 12:00pm ~ 1:00am
Friday: 12:00pm ~ 2:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm~ 2:00am
Sunday: 12:00pm ~ 12:00am

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