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 Korean grandma  doesn’t know about your favorite bubbly fermentation process. From Naomi Tomky’s Thrillist article:

At Girin, as downstairs diners sip makgeolli out of flat, golden bowls whilst feasting on ssamjang-marinated steaks, they likely have no idea what’s bubbling upstairs. That’s where Burns goes to work, in a tiny closet of a room. There, he soaks and steams the rice and hydrates his nuruk — a yeast and enzyme compound that creates the fermentation — before mixing them together in giant Korean clay vats. For the first two days, Burns will stir it every eight hours, then let it sit for three to five more days. If you put an ear to the vat, you can actually hear the fermentation happening as the mixture transitions to alcohol. According to Burns, studies have found it’s the same frequency as that of rainwater.

…But he hit a bit of a roadblock with the government of Washington State. Since nobody had been licensed to brew makgeolli before, the Liquor Control Board was a bit stymied on how to deal with it. To avoid excess challenges, Burns took advantage of the work sake importers had done and pitched it as a Korean version of sake. The plan worked, and after a long licensing process — nearly two years — makgeolli was finally legal to sell in Seattle.

Read the whole Thrillist article here.


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