The Traditional & the Modern: Ulsan’s Boksoondoga Brewery

Ulsan typically conjurers up images of a blue-collar city defined more by its warehouses and factories than anything else. And yet something pleasantly unexpected also calls Ulsan its home: Boksoondoga Brewery. Julie Jackson has published a delightful write-up on the successful family business that aspires to stay close to its roots. From the Korea Herald article:

“My grandmother used to make makgeolli at home and she kept these giant traditional Korean clay pots in a room in her house where she would ferment all the rice wine,” said Min-kyu, during an interview with The Korea Herald at the Boksoondoga brewery in Ulsan in October.

“When my family made this makgeolli at home, they didn’t make it as a product or a business, but just made it for our family and to share it with other people in their villages,” he continued.

“The recipe for the makgeolli was then passed down to my mother, who made it at our home. Then one day, about seven years ago, my brother and I toyed with the idea of what if we could make an actual product out of this.”

…“One of our biggest focuses is not just about us being a business, but about us giving back to our community and keeping everything as local as possible. Even when we built this building (the Boksoondoga winery), we didn’t use professional construction workers. This was all built by local residents.”

Using traditional Korean yeast, called nuruk, Boksoondoga makgeolli is still made by hand and fermented using Korean traditional clay pots. The family shuns metal industrial tanks for fear of affecting the homemade flavor of the wine.

Read the whole Korea Herald article here.

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