Apr 20, 2011

Jirisan Moonbear IPA to be Unveiled at Craftworks

Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro has listened closely to their patrons and are providing an Indian Pale Ale to go along with their outdoor patio and new menu items this spring. April 14 marks the unveiling celebration of the latest flavor of homemade brews. However, taste and alcohol content aren’t the only things that make this beer unique. It also helps bears. Dan Vroon, manager, says, “The India Pale Ale represents the epitome of beers in the estimation of most beer aficionados. In fact it seems the only way a brewery can garner true respect in the eyes of beer experts is to pull off a decent IPA.” Bold and hoppy, this IPA will clock in at over 6 percent alcohol and promises to live up to the quality expected at the instantly popular taphouse. “Brewing the IPA is a bit technical, but we operated with the volunteer efforts of two expat master homebrewers, who worked closely with the team at KAPA Brewing to make the final product. Basically, it involved adding a lot more hops than the Koreans had ever considered. After the initial brewing process, which took a full day, the beer was allowed to ferment for two weeks, after which we dryhopped it — essentially adding a giant “teabag” of hops to the beer as it matures to infuse it with more flavor.
The beer is currently in the dry-hopping and conditioning process, and should be perfect for the IPA Release Party on April 14.” Craftworks has proudly represented the country where their exclusively concocted beers are designed and brewed by naming each after one of Korea’s many mountains; from the recognizable tower on a glass of Namsan Pilsner to the communist-inspired logo on the Geumgang Mountain Dark Ale. It’s seems that as much thought goes into the name as does the beer. “When we were researching an appropriate mountain to name the new IPA, our manager, Hannah, suggested Jirisan,” said Vroon. “I learned that two moon bears, Korean’s mythical ancestors, were recently born in the wild on Jirisan. From there I discovered the atrocity that is bear bile farming and became determined to help.” Sixteen Korean Moon bears currently survive in the wild. More than one thousand are kept in farms waiting for their bile to be harvested for traditional oriental medicine. The conditions are cruel and unregulated. Without someone stepping up, the animals most important to Korean ancestral culture will be in line for extinction. With Jirisan ‘Moon Bear’ India Pale Ale, creators hope to raise awareness — as well as funds — to aid in the eradication of bear bile harvesting. Although famous for beer, Craftworks has also made a name for itself by providing excellent food without cutting corners. Trained chefs have put together recipes that include the highest quality ingredients. The garden salad comes with a choice of homemade dressings that includes a tangy strawberry vinfeta cheese and olives. Not many things go better with homemade beer than a gorgeous thick cut steak and potatoes; the Craftworks variety is a ½ pound Australian hormone-free grainfed sirloin.

Vegetarians are happy that there is an actual choice of entrees available for them. Alicia’s Famous Moussaka is a must-try; a few of the sandwiches can have a slab of panfried tofu included as a substitute for meat. One particular favorite is the Taco Salad; customers have a choice between beef, chicken or crumbled tofu cooked in special taco seasoning. The already superb weekend brunch won’t be kept a secret for long now that customers can enjoy new dishes such as Shrimp Benedict along with Champaign cocktails on the open-air veranda.
Craftworks also has a following of non-beer drinkers. The Bistro boasts one of the largest collections of single-malt scotch in Seoul and an eclectic wine menu. Children enjoy the lunch items and parents are happy to be able bring their family to a non-smoking environment. April 14th at 7 p.m. will be the first chance to try out the new IPA. It’s a private party in that there is an entrance fee of 10,000 won that will include a beer. Tickets can be purchased at the bar two weeks prior to the event. Proceeds will be donated to Bear Necessity Korea, who will be on hand to answer questions. Detailed information can be found at craftworkstaphouse.com or on the Craftworks Facebook page. For more information on Moon Bear bile farming or to find out how you can help, please go to www.bearnecessitykorea.com

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