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…

Midam Yeonyeob Saeng Takju

Sool #62 – Midam Yeonyeob Saeng Takju

KOREAN NAME: 미담 연엽 생탁주 REVIEW: In terms of the blog, my biggest regret of the past year is that I did not review one Midam brew. There are some breweries making truly wonderful concoctions these days but, in my estimation, when considering the pinnacle of both interesting and delicious brews, you’d be right in thinking Midam…

Jeongleejuga

House #10 – Jeongleejuga

KOREAN NAME: 정이주가 LOCATION:  Jeollanam-do, Gwangju, Dong-gu (전라남도, 광주,  동구) OVERALL: Jeongleejuga is the signature joomak in Gwangju and, as such, a necessary must visit for anyone interested in the sool scene. They maintain a small but nicely balanced stock of inexpensive aspartame makgeolli with pricier all-natural, premium makgeolli. Everything we ordered from the food menu was…

Makgeolli Hakkyo

HOUSE #09 – Makgeolli Hakkyo

KOREAN NAME: 막걸리 학교 LOCATION:  Seoul, Dongjak-gu, Isu Station (서울, 동작구, 이수역) INTRODUCTION: Makgeolli Hakkyo is, without too much exaggeration, an oasis in the makgeolli-barren wasteland that is south of the river. And even better: it is a heavy when stacked up against its more numerous—and probably better known—competition in the north. This makes sense considering Wooki,…

Homebrew #03 – Hwanggeumju 2

The first time I told people I had made Hwanggeumju, a Korean person asked me if I had made the name up. Nope, it’s the real name. Translated it basically means Yellow-Golden Wine; I would probably call it Ambrosia as it is easily the best recipe I’ve ever made. Good thing because it’s probably the most labor…

A Hidden Treasure: Seoul’s Samhae Brewery

It is always a joy when I get to write about a brew or brewery that I really love. Today this happened when the brewery Samhae Soju-ga (삼해소주가) popped up in The Korea Times. From the article: A walk into one of the back alleys of Bukchon Hanok Village lies a small “hanok” (Korean traditional house) with the name…

Jaheehyang Takju

Makgeolli #53 – Jaheehyang Takju

KOREAN NAME: 자희향 탁주 REVIEW: Jaheehyang. It’s one of the ever-growing makgeollis that embraces visual appeal, packaging, and quality brewing with the hopes that its consumers do likewise. But, before I get to the review, I should say that I sampled Jaheehyang not as the brewer intended. That is, I bought this back at the end of August…

Gotaek Chapssal Saengju

Sool #51 – Gotaek Chapssal Saengju

KOREAN NAME: 고택 찹쌀 생주 REVIEW: For my birthday, I took my friends over to Sool Gaeguri (술 개구리) in the Hapjeong/Sangsu area for—you know it—makgeolli. One of the bottles we ordered was a bit different. Only 500 ml but packing a high ABV-punch of 13.5%, we weren’t sure what to expect from Gotaek Chapssal Saengju other…

Fall Makgeolli Events

2015 Fall Makgeolli Events

Autumn is a wonderful season in Korea. The falling mercury signals cooling temperatures, the hues of the leaves change to burnt auburns and golds, and brewers rally together for the finest makgeolli events (ok, possibly the only makgeolli events) in the world. Here’s a list of the big three happening this year:

Ugok-ju Makgeolli

Sool #47 – Ugok-ju

KOREAN NAME: 우곡주 REVIEW: I must have poor beginner’s luck. The first two Bae Hyejeong Doga Brewery (BHD) bottles I tried were execrable, while the last two—Horangi and now Ugok-ju—have been nothing short of delightful. The BHD English website calls Ugok-ju “The absolute premium rice wine”. The fancy glass bottle and simple but classic design of the label…