Wines & Spirits Expo 2017

15th Wines & Spirits Expo 2016: Preview

April is a curious month in Seoul. The weather gets warmer but the smog is typically at its peak. The cherry blossoms turn the city a lovely whitish-pink but then a day later a spring shower leaves the branches bare. But there is one thing Seoulites can look forward to without exception: the Seoul International…

100% Handmade Makgeolli

Sool #66 – Soola Makgeolli (aka 100% Handmade)

KOREAN NAME: 술아 막걸리 REVIEW: Like a makgeolli noob, I shook the hell out of my bottle of Soolawon’s 100% Handmade in order to integrate the sediment into the rest of the brew. Makgeolli Volcano, my flashback to a middle school science project, was a sticky reminder that most makgeolli is carbonated. Despite the clean-up job, it was…

8 Fermented Beverages from around the World

Makgeolli: your fav and mine tops this list of eight fermented beverages that have been banned… I mean, that you must try, according to Good Food. The main focus of the article is on all the delicious pairings of things that are both alcoholic and probiotic. Or, as I call them… Alco-probing? Probi-holic? Definitely probi-holic.…

Songhwaju

Sool #65 – Midam Songhwaju

KOREAN NAME: 송화주 약주 REVIEW: From reading my review of Midam Yeonyeob Seoktanju, it’s clear that I am an unapologetic fan of Midam’s sool. After all, there’s a lot to appreciate. She runs a family owned and operated brewery dedicated to making small batches of high-end brews that are all variations on the juk, or porridge, recipe…

Miin Takju

Sool #64 – Miin Takju

KOREAN NAME: 미인 탁주 REVIEW: There’s something about the simplicity and elegance of Miin’s label that grabs my attention every time I see it. It reminds me of one of those illegible chops that you see on Korean documents. But instead of being chunky-square lines, Miin has intersecting webs of swoops and swirls to form its hanja,…

Ode to Hongdae’s “Makgeolli Man”

There are some Seoulites out there who have fond memories of a jovial spirit known only as the Makgeolli Man. Although I don’t frequent Hongdae, I remember, once or twice when I made it out, catching a glimpse of the Makgeolli Man far ahead in the crowd. By the time I pushed my way to the…

Bear Yogurt Makgeolli Maker

Has China changed the landscape of makgeolli brewing forever? Can one machine make yogurt, fruit smoothies, and makgeolli? Is this the future? The dubiously titled site Qoo10 is now advertising a little something called the Bear Yogurt Makgeolli Maker. Although I can’t read Chinese characters, it would seem that for USD $41.00, this rice cooker-looking machine will…

Makgeolli: Good for Man, Good for Stamina

Okay, the title does not accurately portray the “medical” claims made in this report. But, like that ol’ chestnut you hear from a Korean ajumma who is encouraging you to eat something weird, people love to tout the health benefits of makgeolli. From Park Se-young’s Arirang article: Makgeolli is well known for its rich content…

Seattle’s Next Big Thing

Another glowing write up on Seattle’s Girin restaurant and its brewer’s exploration into the world of sool brewing. But, unlike previous fluff pieces, this Thrillist article gives us a peak behind the curtains about the red tape in getting a liquor license to distribute makgeolli. And another kernel of goodness? You can find out something even your…

Mangang-e Bichin Dal

Sool #63 – Mangang-e Bichin Dal

KOREAN NAME: 만강에 비친 달 REVIEW: Mangang-e Bichin Dal (MeBD) might have the most poetic (and long-winded) name in the sool biz. According to the bottle, it translates to The Moon Shining on MANG-GANG, Mangang having something to do with a river. While it might be a mouthful, it somehow fits this brew. MeBD is atypically pale…