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Craft Beer Times | Craft beer and highballs thrive in South Korea’s evolving drinking culture

Craft beer and highballs thrive in South Korea’s evolving drinking culture

Craft beer and highballs thrive in South Korea’s evolving drinking culture

The Rise of Craft Beer


In recent years, South Korea has experienced a significant rise in popularity when it comes to craft beer. This trend, which can be seen not only in major cities but also throughout the country, has given rise to a vibrant and thriving beer scene. The increasing interest in craft beer is not only limited to locals but also appeals to an increasing number of international beer enthusiasts who flock to South Korea to experience the diverse and innovative range of flavors on offer.

The Craft Beer Revolution

South Korea’s beer industry has historically been dominated by large conglomerates producing mass-market lagers. However, the craft beer revolution has challenged this traditional model and has paved the way for smaller, independent breweries to establish themselves in the market. This shift in consumer preferences can be attributed to a growing desire for uniqueness and quality, as well as a desire to support local businesses.

Quality and Innovation

One of the driving forces behind the growth of the craft beer scene in South Korea is the focus on quality and innovation. Craft breweries are known for their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and carefully crafted brewing techniques. This dedication to excellence has resulted in a wide range of bold and unique flavors that appeal to beer enthusiasts of all kinds.

Local Ingredients, Global Influence

South Korean craft breweries not only prioritize quality but also draw inspiration from a variety of international beer styles. However, what sets them apart is their use of local ingredients, incorporating flavors and ingredients traditionally found in Korean cuisine. From traditional rice and medicinal herbs to innovative additions like kimchi or green tea, these breweries have managed to create a truly distinct and exciting beer experience.

The Highball Scene

Highball Popularity

Alongside the craft beer boom, South Korea has witnessed an equally impressive rise in popularity of highball cocktails. The term “highball” refers to a mixed drink consisting of a spirit (often whisky) and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer, such as soda water or ginger ale. Highballs have gained immense popularity due to their refreshing nature and the ability to showcase the flavors of different spirits.

Creative Twists and Korean Influence

Similar to the craft beer scene, the highball scene in South Korea is marked by creativity and an infusion of local flavors. Mixologists have been experimenting with unique ingredients and combinations, resulting in exciting twists on classic highball recipes. Popular additions include Korean fruit juices, traditional teas, and even herbs commonly used in Korean cuisine, creating a delightful fusion between east and west.

Highballs on the Rise

The rise of dedicated highball bars and specialized menus is evidence of the growing demand and appreciation for highballs in South Korea. These establishments not only offer a wide variety of spirits and mixers but also provide customers with an immersive experience, including expertly crafted cocktails paired with delicious Korean snacks. The combination of creative mixology and authentic Korean hospitality has cemented the highball scene as a must-try for locals and tourists alike.

In Conclusion

The craft beer and highball scene in South Korea is experiencing significant growth, driven by a desire for quality, uniqueness, and an infusion of local flavors. Both industries have managed to carve out their own niche, offering consumers an array of products that showcase the creativity, innovation, and dedication of South Korean brewers and mixologists. As the popularity continues to grow, it is exciting to see how these industries will evolve and shape the future of South Korea’s vibrant drinks culture.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

1 thought on “Craft beer and highballs thrive in South Korea’s evolving drinking culture”

  1. South Korea’s vibrant nightlife scene offers an exciting fusion of modern and traditional drinking cultures. From craft beers to highballs, there are endless options to satisfy any palate. Exploring the local breweries and spirits is a fascinating experience, as you witness the evolution and thriving of South Korea’s drinking culture. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or a spirits connoisseur, there are great choices waiting to be discovered. So, grab a drink and immerse yourself in the lively and unique atmosphere of South Korea’s nightlife. Cheers!

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