Crucial locations to get your supply of quality, hand-crafted Korean traditional alcohol
For a long time, the only place you could get quality Korean alcohol was either at a dedicated sool bar like Sanullim 1992, or straight at the source of the brewery itself. A few years ago the Korean government changed the law to allow any alcohol under the classification of 'Traditional Alcohol' to be available for sale online, and this has done wonders for access to some of the harder-to-find artisans.
But now there is an even easier way to get your hands on some quality makgeolli, cheongju, takju or soju. Korean alcohol bottle shops are popping up all over Seoul and other cities around Korea, and they are wonderlands of variety and cutting edge new releases. We took the liberty of selecting the five best for your sool shopping pleasure, so read on and get ready to part with some of your hard-earned cash all in the name of delicious sool!
1. Aejoo Geumho (애주 금호)
Aejoo Geumho is a liquor store focused on Korean sool and natural wine. You can find various kinds of makgeolli, soju, yakju, etc. under the recommendation of a sool sommelier. Aejoo Geumho is located right next to Geumho station, subway line number 3. The true specialty of this store is the tasting room. Whether it is a drinking dinner with friends or a tasting class, have it your way! Aejoo Geumho happens to be our own personal favourite at The Sool Company HQ, so you can also read about why we love it here.
105, Oksu Parkhills B1, Maebong-gil 50, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Geumho Station exit 4)
Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/dw6aQdEbzyKeozWXA
Business hours: 12:00 - 22:00, everyday
2. Soolsool Store (술술 상점)
Soolsool store is doubly dedicated to Korean sool, as you can already see in their name. It is another Korean sool bottle shop stocked with makgeolli, cheongju, yakju, soju, and even some Korean wine. In addition to Korean sool, Soolsool Store also has an assortment of domestic craft beer. Some of the beers are also on tap, so be sure to ask for a free tasting. Also keep an ear out for a makgeolli tasting events coming up in the future.
23-13 Pildong 1(il)-ga, Toegye-ro 30 gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (Chungmuro Station exit 4)
Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/SYMpLbN2dWpKwyWY6
Business Hours: 11:00 - 21:00, closed on Sundays
3. 2 You Bar Jamsil (이유있는 술집)
There is another store to buy your favorite makgeolli in Jamsil. 2 You Bar (pronounced ee-you-itneun sool jip) has perfectly adapted to the current corona measures, featuring a no-contact purchasing system where you have to make a reservation to visit. You will be required to pay using a self-checkout system, as well as picking out the products you would like to buy in advance. 2 You Bar offers 15% off all the written prices according to their official Instagram. Unlike the rest of the bottle shops, 2 You bar has chain stores across the country including two in Seoul, Uijeongbu, Cheonan, Seosan, Iksan, and more than five in Busan.
B01, 52-24 Baekjegobun-ro 7 gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul (Jamsilsaenae Station exit 3)
Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/1GVp8HqeijJykZbw9
Business hours: 09:00 - 22:00, everyday
4. Orange Bottles (오랜지바틀)
If you are looking for some more diversity in one store, visit Orange Bottles. They have three stores, which are Yeongdeungpo, Hannam, and Anyang. The store in Anyang would be a great option for people living in the southern part of Gyeonggi-do. Orange Bottles is more of a conventional wine shop, carrying a wholesome range of wine, whiskey and craft beer in addition to Korean sool. They often have sale events where you can get discounts and various "specialty sets", making it especially worth visiting during the holiday seasons. A smart pickup service is also available, letting clients reserve bottles online and pick them up at their desired store.
1. Acrotower Square, Gukhwadaero 54-gil 10, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (Phone: 0507-1345-0457), Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/A5hfadtM2yca4eXG9
2. 43-1, Dokseodang-ro 39-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Phone: 010-7220-5733), Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/nVTMBu9bsUuRNDzaA
3. 256 Dongan-ro, Bisan-dong, Dongan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do (Phone: 010-5509-1887), Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/uwGAfdzgJWgP9qjJA
Business hours: 13:00 - 21:00, closed on Mondays
5. K Bottleshop (한국술 바틀샵)
Another store located in Hongdae has a curated selection of Korean sool, including makgeolli, cheongju, yakju, distilled, and even craft beer. Because of the location, it is more accessible for those living north of the Han River. Standing out from the bottle shop crowd with its young and trendy interior and display, The K Bottleshop will be a go-to resource for all kinds of Korean alcohol shoppers in Mapo-gu.
1st floor ,Wausan-ro 29 ba-gil 5, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/7PQ4BR21yYxWneay5
Business hours: 10:00 - 11:00 (closed on Mondays)