Soola Soongokju

Sool #70 – Soola Soongokju (Winter)

KOREAN NAME: 술아 순곡주 (겨울) REVIEW: From an outsider’s perspective, Soolawon does everything possible to set their brews apart from other premium sool producers. Yes, they make makgeolli and cheongju and they also attend the big events but that’s about where the comparisons stop. Soolawon, from website to product, takes great care to craft a refined, stylish,…

Duru Samseon Takju

Sool #69 – Duru Samseon Takju

KOREAN NAME: 두루 삼선 탁주 REVIEW: I first came across Duru Brewery at the 15th Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo. One sip of their sool and I knew I had found my new brewery of the con. Based in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do, Duru Brewery is in good company; two Takjoo Journals favorites—Midam Brewery and Ye-sul Brewery—also…

Miinju

Sool #67 – Miinju

KOREAN NAME: 미인주 REVIEW: Miinju is the cheongju—or yakju, if you prefer—from Miin Takju. But that is really where the connection stops as Miinju is far above its takju counterpart. In many ways, it checks all the boxes for a smooth drinking cheongju. It’s boozy but not intense; flavorful but not weird or overbearing; and a pleasant…

Sato

Thai Sato

THAI NAME: Thai Sato REVIEW: While I was stuck taking care of the Takjoo Hound, Mrs. Takjoo and her mom traipsed off to Thailand for a week. But, even though I didn’t get to eat my weight in phat kaphrao or drink out of a coconut the size of my head, they were kind enough to bring me back…

100% Handmade Makgeolli

Sool #66 – Soola Makgeolli (aka 100% Handmade)

KOREAN NAME: 술아 막걸리 REVIEW: Like a makgeolli noob, I shook the hell out of my bottle of Soolawon’s 100% Handmade in order to integrate the sediment into the rest of the brew. Makgeolli Volcano, my flashback to a middle school science project, was a sticky reminder that most makgeolli is carbonated. Despite the clean-up job, it was…

Songhwaju

Sool #65 – Midam Songhwaju

KOREAN NAME: 송화주 약주 REVIEW: From reading my review of Midam Yeonyeob Seoktanju, it’s clear that I am an unapologetic fan of Midam’s sool. After all, there’s a lot to appreciate. She runs a family owned and operated brewery dedicated to making small batches of high-end brews that are all variations on the juk, or porridge, recipe…

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,…

Pungjeong Sagye

Sool #59 – Pungjeong Sagye Chun

KOREAN NAME: 풍정 사계 춘 REVIEW: Pungjeong Sagye Chun (PSC) cheongju is one of the unexpectedly delightful finds that I came across at COEX’s Wines & Spirits Expo 2016. Hwayang’s booth was not ostentatious, nor did they make an overt effort to attract visitors. Even after stopping and asking for a sample, the rep at the booth simply let PSC do…

RASKB Modern Makgeolli Industry Lecture

Continuing on with our look at the state of the makgeolli industry, there are few more outspoken and knowledgeable sources than Becca Baldwin and Julia Mellor. So, imagine my chagrin when I missed their makgeolli lecture given to the Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch. Fortunately for me—and you!—RASKB uploaded the whole 54-minute video of the lecture…

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…