Brew Master Tour (4 hours, from 99,000 won)
We met up at Anguk Station, exit 1 and walked through the Bukchon Hanok Village. On the way to the top for a panoramic view, she pointed out how many of the houses had mugwort planted outside. Apparently, this was done on purpose as the smell of mugwort burning is so strong that if there were a fire in the neighborhood, anyone would immediately be able to smell it.
At the Soju Academy, we got the chance to meet the experts on soju. Surrounded by large jars of makgeolli and the distillation process, the head teacher poured us drink after drink, explaining the history behind and the process by which each drink was made and the differences in alcohol content. While the sips of makgeolli, yakju and artisan soju were great, it was pretty great to be able to meet the head teacher—an elderly man with a sense of humor and taste for alcohol.
After drinks, we headed to a restaurant called Jangja-eui-Nabi, located in a small alley off the main Insadong Street. There we had a hearty traditional Korean lunch that included everything from bossam (boiled pork) to hong-eo (fermented skate fish) as well as doenjjang jiggae and various other well-prepared side dishes. The brew master sat with us as he poured bowls of dongdongju out of the ceramic dish and after he left, Veronica explained the difference in the taste in brews between the two brew masters. (Take the tour and let us know which one you prefer.)
For those looking to spend more time in the Insadong area, Veronica has some great tips for dessert nearby. (They’re some of the same that Time Out Seoul suggests as well!)
Other tours and services available on the Gastro Tour Seoul
Gastro Tour Seoul’s most popular tour that takes you around Insadong and Bukchon for a great eating experience. The focus of this tour is to sample various traditional Korean foods.
This tour includes one of Seoul’s great night-eats—Korean barbecue—and tops it off with makgeolli.
Veronica talks in length about how she’s lived in the Ichon area for more than 40 years. A top-notch local, she takes you to for some of the best eats in her neighborhood—sushi, chicken, tempura, udon and dessert.
This is a full day tour that takes you to Seosan “the Tuscany of Korea.” The tour includes lunch and dinner with an emphasis on seafood.
This class combines a visit to the market as well as a class taught by a Korean chef (who also speaks English). Once the meal is prepared, it’s enjoyed together.