Joongwon Cheongmyeongju

Sool #78 – Joongwon Cheongmyeongju

KOREAN NAME: 중원 청명주 REVIEW: With the in-laws visiting the US again, I had another excuse to have them mule over some sool. I didn’t have time to do much research so I jumped at the first cheongju/yakju that I didn’t recognize. The bottle looked fancy and it came as a set! Then I saw the…

The Rise of Low-ABV Makgeolli

Remember how popular makgeolli-in-a-can got a few years back? And then there was the obsession with infusing makgeolli with anything and everything. I know I get a bit sarcastic when it comes to these new fads but I’m just happy more people can enjoy the wonderful world of sool. So, is the next craze in…

Makgeolli for the Health-Nut in Your Life

At least once a year, we get the ineluctable piece touting makgeolli’s cure-all properties. I blame the gut-biome boom. Some excerpts from the Yonhap News article: A state-run food research center on Tuesday said “makgeolli,” a South Korean traditional grain-based alcoholic drink, is beneficial for people’s intestinal health… Makgeolli also helped increase the amount of beneficial…

Sool #77 – Malgeun Moonheeju

KOREAN NAME: 맑은 문희주 REVIEW: Have I been sool-deprived? There’s no question about it. The summer heat arrived before I could get to all my brewing equipment together and, being in the US, there is a conspicuous lack of makgeolli houses to visit or breweries that will deliver hand-crafted bottles of cheongju to my doorstep. But, what…

Moms for Makgeolli (a Decade Ago)

Statistical analysis has led to some of the most profound insights in human history. It’s also led to a lot of faff that may impress your friends while you’re making idle chitchat over a drink but not amount to much more. This article’s focal study on drinking habits from 2003 to 2009 falls squarely in…

Dongdongju: What’s in a Name?

Makgeolli’s inscrutable cousin Dongdongju is once again in the news with a new article over at the Korea Times. What exactly is this cloudy drink whispered about in hushed tones and ladled in your cup from a rustic bowl? I don’t happen to agree with Bernard Rowan’s take but here are some excerpts from his…

Author Talks Up New Sool Book “The Soju Club”

Usually we find sool news about makgeolli exports, upcoming events, and even scandals. So it’s somewhat unusual to see traditional Korean alcohol from a more high brow angle but that’s exactly what we get with the (admittedly belated) announcement of the Korean translation of “The Soju Club”, a novel by Tim Fitts. Excerpts from Kang…

Lee Sang-heon Yakju

Sool #76 – Lee Sang-heon Yakju

KOREAN NAME: 이상헌 약주 THOUGHTS: Way back at the 2016 14th Wines & Spirits Expo, I had one of those rare festival finds—a new bottle that made me take notice. Leegasoobul had all the hallmarks of a brewery just taking those fledgling steps toward something bigger. It’s hard to quantify what that is exactly but there was…

The Baek Jong-won Makgeolli Feud

Korean celebrity chef made makgeolli-related headlines for the treatment of one of his guests on “Baek Jong-won’s Alley Restaurant”, Baek’s Ramsy-esque reality TV show in which he provides help for struggling restaurateurs. The guest in question was Park Yu-deok, the owner of a struggling joomak in Seoul. Excerpts from Ko Dong-hwan’s Korea Times article: Baek then…

Your Makgeolli Export Update 2018

Looking back on 2017, I realized that jiok must have frozen over because I didn’t read one article on how makgeolli exports were faring. Last we had a report on this topic, it was back in the heady days of July 2016 when the Chosun Ilbo reported that mak was on the rise abroad thanks to…