It might sound unlikely, but Gangwon’s east coast has been a surfing destination for some time. The 38th Parallel is an already-established hotspot where surfers experience the anomaly of riding the waves while being guarded by the military. The near-by village of Ingu also has a burgeoning surf scene.
It was only a matter of time until surfers, hoping to catch a less crowded wave, would look to surrounding beaches, and it seems Hajodae Beach ( 하조대 해변) has caught their attention. This 1.5 km stretch of white sand has a laid-back vibe, with surf hire shops giving lessons, and craft beer — thanks to the arrival of Singlefin Aleworks.
The bar offers a selection of craft beers, by the bottle and on tap, from Korean companies such as Craftworks Brewery, as well as from international best-sellers like Brew Dog and Indica. The kitchen serves the kind of soul food that’s made for eating after a day spent in the sea, and it tastes even better with a pint.
Live music events have been held here in the past and are set to continue, which makes the camping ground next door a good place to spend the night rather than taking the last bus. For the colder months, there are pensions to be found further down the street.
The battleship-grey rear of the building may not be eye-catching when walking from the beach. Look for the pine-tree forest, and it’s on the other side. When you arrive at the front entrance, the cabins stacked to form an archway are difficult to miss — as is the bright red Vespa that’s usually parked outside.
Singlefin Aleworks is located at the north end of Hajodae Beach. It can be reached by a 40-minute bus-ride from Gangeung and is 10 minutes from Yangyang. By car, take the exit for Hajodae Beach from Highway 7.