Brian Romasky, Makgeolli Homebrewer in the U.S.

Takjoo Journals mentioned Brian Romasky’s blog—막걸리 빚는 남자—in the post Makgeolli in the USA, but now Romasky’s labor of love is getting some press in the online publication Food Republic.

Here are a few excerpts from Drew Lazor’s article:

In Korea, there are mainstream macro makgeolli labels, many of which are produced with artificial sweeteners, as well as a burgeoning craft-brewing scene — exemplified by destinations like Wolhyang, an artisanal makgeolli bar in Seoul. But upon returning to the States, Romasky discovered that quality makgeolli was much harder to come by here. So he decided to do what any self-respecting American boozehound with an engineering degree would do: learn how to make the stuff himself…

Studying the processes independently and networking with like-minded makgeolli makers online — he was interviewed on the popular website Makgeolli Mamas & Papas — Romasky set out to master the oft-temperamental makgeolli process, chronicling his experiments on his blog. He produces about four liters at a time, following a step-by-step process that sees him mashing soaked and steamed rice by hand with nuruk and yeast in a hangari, a Korean clay pot specially designed for fermentation…

Romasky has played with the idea of expanding his makgeolli-making into something more than just a hobby, given the sparseness of the American market. But for now, he’ll continue honing his craft in his home brewery, watching as the profile of makgeolli rises Stateside. “I think people are ready for it in metropolitan areas and cultural centers,” he says. “If places can have full sake menus, somewhere can have a makgeolli menu. It’s not that far of a jump.”

 

Read the whole article at Food Republic here.

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