Takjoo Journals has compiled a list of public breweries and alcohol museums in South Korea and put the information in a Google Map. If you prefer to access the map directly, please follow this link. Green flags represent breweries, and red flags represent alcohol museums. By clicking on a flag, you will find the following:
- The location’s address in Korean and English.
- The location’s official site if available.
- Links to English sites and blogs discussing the location if available. The english.visitkorea.or.kr and oneweirdglobe.com sites provide a wealth of information and descriptions of what each location offers.
- Links to Korean blogs. These are a great source of pictures so you know what to expect on your visit.
Before you plan your trip, you should be aware of these caveats:
- Not all locations are specifically related to makgeolli.
- Some locations don’t have English-speaking staff and/or materials written in English.
- Some locations require you to make an appointment.
- The information provided may NOT be up to date. Please have a Korean friend or family member call to check all the necessary information before your visit.
Kooksoondang Brewery (국순당)
Address: 975 Gangbyeon-ro, Dunnae-myeon, Hoengseon, Gangwon-do / 강원도 횡선 둔내면 강변로 975
Hours: 9 am – 3 pm / Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays
English: If you make reservations 20 days before your visit, you can take a guided English tour of their facilities.
Information: Kooksoondang is possibly the largest brewery in South Korea. You’ve seen their makgeollis—Daebak, Wookooksaeng, iCing Grapefruit, Yetnal, etc.—as well as their other brews—Baekseju, Yedam, etc.—in nearly every convenience store, corner store, and supermarket in the country. The tour, which ends with a free tasting of 10 of their offerings, lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Check out this link and this link to get more information.
Sinpyeong Brewery (신평양조장)
Address: 813 Sinpyeong-ro, Sinpyeong-myeon, Dangjin, Chungcheongnam-do / 충남 당진시 신평면 신평로 813
Phone: 041.363.9063 / 041.362.6080
Hours: 10 am – 4 pm (weekdays) / 10 am – 3 pm (weekends)
Information: Sinpyeong Brewery (pronounced shin-pyuhng), established in 1933, is a makgeolli brewery most well-known for Baekryeon Makgeolli. The brewery offers a number of different visitor experience options. The 10-minute tour of the grounds is free. If you get the urge to do something more hands-on, you can combine your tour with a class on making makgeolli, nuruk, or soju. The prices range from ₩25,000 to ₩40,000. And fair warning: these tour-classes last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours, and all lecturing is in Korean.
Daegang Brewery (대강양조장)
Address: 113-7 Jangrim-ri, Daegang-myeon, Danyang-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do / 395-813 충북 단양군 대강면 장림리 113-7번지
Information: Daegang Brewery, established in 1918, is the maker of Sobaeksan Makgeolli. Sobaeksan was purportedly the makgeolli of choice for former Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. Takjoo Journals couldn’t find any information on their tour but, from a Korean blogger’s post, it is clear that they do have a tasting room that also serves as a lecture hall and small museum.
Sewang Brewery (세왕주조)
Address: 572-16 Yongmong-ri, Deoksan-myeon, Jincheon, Chungcheongbuk-do / 충청북도 진천군 덕산면 용몽리 572-16
Phone: 043.536.3567 / 080.536.3567
English: A few informational plaques have English content.
Information: This brewery is so traditional, they don’t even have a website. Fortunately for us, Robert Koehler has provided a detailed account of his visit on his blog, The Marmot’s Hole. Sewang Brewery (formerly known as Deoksan Brewery) has been around since 1929, long enough to earn itself the distinction of becoming Registered Cultural Property No. 58. While they make a handful of different brews, they’re best known for their Deoksan Makgeolli. If you check out some Korean blogs (like this one and this one), you’ll notice visitors can take a look around the brewery, visit a small museum, and possibly try some of their sool.
Taein Brewery (태인주조장)
Address: 392-1 Taeheung-ri, Taein-myeon, Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do / 전라북도 정읍시 태인면 태흥리 392-1
Phone: 063.534.4018 / 010.3616.4018 / 010.3658.4019
Hours: 10 am – 4 pm
Admission: See below
Information: Taein Brewery is operated by master brewer Song Myeong-seop, whose eponymous makgeolli is found at joomak around the country. Unlike many modern makgeolli brewers, Song Myeong-seop eschews the use of aspartame and any other additives. There are four different hands-on programs visitors can sign up for, inlcuding a nuruk class and an alcohol brewing class. Each class is ₩350,000 and is 8-hours long, and it is necessary to sign up for classes two weeks in advance. It’s unclear if a simple tour is available, but you can probably drop by and try a bit of makgeolli and maybe even meet the man himself if you call ahead.
Hansan Sogokju (한산 소곡주)
Address: 14 Jihyeon-ri, Hansan-myeon, Seocheon, Chungcheongnam-do / 충청남도 서천군 한산면 지현리 14
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
Information: Sogokju is a regional Korean brew whose recipe has been handed down over many generations—indeed, if you believe the locals it’s as old as the Baekje period. Sogokju is made with glutinous rice, water, and a small amount of nuruk (hence the name, sogokju, or “small nuruk liquor”). Depending on the brewer, your sogokju might also come flavored with chrysanthemums, ginger, and even peppers. In addition to tastings, visitors can peruse the brewery museum for free.
Gyeongju Kyodong Beopju (경주 교동법주)
Address: 19-21 Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 경북 경주시 교촌안길 19-21
Phone: 054.772.2051 / 054.772.5994
Hours: 9:30 am – 7 pm
English: A few informational plaques have English content. Yosukgung has English menus.
Information: This Korean drink has been made by the Gyeongju Choi family since the Goryeo Dynasty. Strict brewing practices (after all, beopju literally means “law liquor”) have earned Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju the status of a designated cultural property. Visitors are welcome to look around the brewery as well as the Choi’s ancestral home, but it is unclear if admission fees apply or if there are actual tours. The Choi family also runs Yosukgung, the Korean traditional restaurant nearby. This link to the restaurant provides more information in English.
Jeju Saemju (제주샘주)
Address: 283 Aewon-ro, Aewol-eup, Jeju-do / 제주 제주시 애월읍 애원로 283
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission: See below
Information: Jeju Saemju has two claims to fame. The first is Gosorisul, which, unlike other soju, has the distinction of being made with millet. The name comes from the Jeju-dialect word for sojutgori, the clay vessel used in traditional soju distillation. Jeju Saemju’s second offering, Omegisul, is a type of cheongju made with nuruk, water, and millet. After fermenting for about a week, the yellowish liquor at the top is strained off from the sediment, and you have Omegisul! It appears that Jeju Saemju does offer a tour and tastings, but information about admission and business hours is unavailable. Additionally, Jeju Saemju offers three different hands-on programs. The Omegi Ddeok Experience is ₩15,000. The Shuindari Experience and the Cocktail Program are each ₩25,000 but it seems that you need to make reservations for two. It appears that all the classes include a tour, and the whole process takes one hour. The English site does not offer any information on the programs.
Baedari Korean Traditional Wine Museum (배다리술박물관)
Address: 120-24 Suyeogi-gil, Deokyang-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do / 경기도 고양시 덕양구 수역이길 120-24
Hours: 10 am – 6 pm (weekdays) / 10 am – 7 pm (weekends) / Closed on Mondays and major holidays
Information: Baedari Korean Traditional Wine Museum actually belongs in both sections of this post as it is also a working brewery. And similar to Daegang’s Sobaeksan, Baedari Makgeolli has the distinction of being former Korean President Park Chung-hee’s favorite makgeolli. According to an admittedly old post from One Weird Globe, museum admission is free but there is very little information in English. A perhaps greater disappointment: the end of the tour does not feature a tasting. However, you are welcome to purchase a bottle or two in the museum’s restaurant.
Sansawon Sool Gallery (전통술박물관 산사원)
Address: 25 Hwadong-ro 432beon-gil, Hwahyeon-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do / 경기도 포천시 화현면 화동로432번길 25
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm / Closed on major holidays
Information: Like Baedari, Sansawon is one-part museum and one-part brewery. The brewery goes by the name of Baesangmyun, and if you’ve ever been in a Korean supermarket or even a Korean convenience store, chances are good you’ve encountered one of their products. They are the makers of Sansachun, a hawthorn-fruit desert wine, Daepo, a mild alcohol made with dandelions, and personal favorite Neurin Maul Makgeolli. While their museum may be one of the most comprehensive in Korea, the exhibits suffer from an unfortunate lack of English information. But who wants to read when the tasting room is a smorgasbord of booze! When Takjoo Journals dropped by, visitors were free to grab bottles and pour for themselves. Before you get too tipsy, make sure to walk around the grounds outside to see where the nuruk is made and makgeolli is left to ferment. Sansawon also offers several classes: the Gayangju class is two hours and ₩30,000; the Sesiju (plum wine) class is two hours and ₩30,000; the healthy wine brewing class is two hours and ₩35,000; the fruit wine class is two hours and ₩45,000; and a four-class comprehensive homebrewing course can be reserved for ₩160,000. You will need an interpreter to join these classes.
Jeonju Traditional Wine Museum (전주 전통술박물관)
Address: 74 Hanji-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do / 전라북도 전주시 완산구 한지길 74
Phone: 063.287.6305 / 063.287.6320
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm / Closed on Mondays
Information: Located in the heart of Jeonju’s touristy Hanok Maeul (한옥 마을), this small museum is a nice way to take a short break from wandering the winding cobblestone streets. However, a lack of information in English and no tasting room makes for an ultimately disappointing experience. It appears that you can participate in a number of hands-on classes if you make reservations three days in advance. Depending on which class you are interested in, they range in cost from ₩5,000 to ₩200,000, and in time from 20 minutes to 3 hours. The site does not have any information in English, so get your Korean friend, go to the home page, click “상설프로그램”, click “체험프로그램”, and you will see two options on the left under “체험프로그램”: “전통술박물관” lists the museum programs which are relatively inexpensive and less time consuming compared to the education center programs listed under “전통술교육관”.
Andong Soju & Traditional Food Museum (안동소주 전통음식 박물관)
Address: 280 Gangnam-dong, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do / 경북 안동시 수상동 280번지
Phone: 054.858.0760 / 054.858.4541 / 054.852.6800
Hours: 9 am – 5:30 pm / Closed on Sundays and major holidays
Information: Don’t let the name fool you: this museum’s largest space is more devoted to traditional Andong cuisine than Andong’s eponymous firewater. The review on One Weird Globe indicates that information in English is nonexistent, which is odd considering the website’s English page is one of the most comprehensive we’ve come across. The site even offers an English-language virtual tour of the museum. But if you only take the virtual tour, you won’t be able to try the 45% ABV Andong Soju in the free tasting room.
Liquorium (세계술문화박물관 리쿼리움)
Address: 12 Tapjeongangil, Jungangtap-myeon, Chungju*, Chungcheongbuk-do / 충청북도 충주시 중앙탑면 탑정안길 12
*Be careful not to confuse Chungju with Cheongju!
Hours: 10 am – 6 pm / Closed on Thursdays
English: Exhibits have English descriptions.
Information: Save the best name for last—How could you top a place called Liquorium?! And, as its name might suggest, the Liquorium’s three floors are dedicated to booze culture and production the world over, not just Korean sool. It’s not clear if the entrance fee includes any tastings but there is a cafe where you can purchase various bottles featured in the museum. Check out the post at One Weird Globe to see some pics and get directions.
Been to any of these places? Find any mistakes, or missing or outdated information? Have any other suggestions for the map? Takjoo Journals would love to hear about it in the comments section!