Magpie Brewery, named after the ubiquitous bird found throughout Asia, is one of Gyeongridan’s little hotspots for fine craft beers and surprisingly some pretty decent pizza. One of the only problems? The place is fucking packed! However, last weekend, ST and I beat the rush and headed down there right at 5pm on a Sunday when they opened the doors. Beer and Pizza orgasm followed.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Magpie Brewery is to take the subway to Noksapyeong Station and depart from Exit 2. Walk down the hill with Yongsan Military base on your left. Head down the tunnel and depart from the Financial Management Corp exit and proceed to cross the intersection. Walk for about 100 meters passed Craftworks and Don Charly and you will see The Baker’s Table. Make a right down the alley and Magpie is on your left beside the Seoul Pingpong Club (which is an excellent place to play drunken ping pong).
Service and Atmosphere: Let’s start with the service for a change. We sat down and a server greeted us immediately and took our drink orders. We checked the menu and in a couple of minutes when we received our drinks, she took the pizza order. The pizza was served in about 15 minutes, and was piping hot. . It is a little strange being down in a basement, but at the same time it didn’t feel dingy which is common with a lot of basement HOFs here in Seoul. In fact, it was comforting and relaxing. A nice and easy place to strike up a conversation.
Food and Drink: ST and I kept it simple today ordering a pepperoni pizza, the Magpie Porter and the Magpie Pale Ale.
Pepperoni Pizza (11,000KRW): What a pleasant surprise! I honestly wasn’t expecting much from Magpie other than the beer, but damn, I would go back for one of their pizzas in an instant. The crust was light and fluffy with no burnt edges. A nice, simple classic pizza which went great with our beers.
Magpie Porter (6,000KRW): I love porters, especially in the fall and winter. So when I ordered a porter when it was 20 degrees Celsius outside, I wasn’t thinking clearly. However, sometimes mistakes turn out to be “happy” mistakes. In this case, the porter was a little lighter than your normal porter which made it an easy drink in the spring. There was a strong coffee flavour, with a hint of chocolate.
Magpie Pale Ale (5,000KRW): ST ordered the Pale Ale. He really enjoyed it and said it had a combination of flavours including a hint of citrus. It was light, easy to drink and went well with the pizza. As one of their most popular beers, it is easy to see why this beer is a hit with the locals. Again, like with the porter, it was a diverse beer which makes it great for all seasons.
Value: We ordered one pizza and two beers each. The whole bill came out to approximately 34,000KRW. Honestly, for some great beer and surprisingly good pizza, it was worth the value. I just wish they would open a bigger venue so we can get a table on a Saturday night.
Who Should go to Magpie: If you are looking for a change from Craftworks, and want to try some great craft beer this is the place for you. The pizza is surprisingly decent and the atmosphere is laid back, a perfect setting for relaxing conversations.
Who Should Avoid Magpie: If you are planning to pop by with a large group of people on a Saturday night, you will probably be dining in separate parts of the restaurant. Charge your cellphones.