#6 Cheoeum-Cheoreom Soju (처음처럼 소주)

Produced by the Lotte Chilsung company, Cheoeum-cheoreom actually means “like the first time” in Korean which is ironic as pretty much anything you do after about the 2nd bottle will almost certainly be forgotten the next day. It’s actually made with alkali water which gives it a more distinctive taste than the other mainstream Sojus available, and has given lend to the advertising slogan ‘Happy Water’. As common on a Korean BBQ table as a red face, Cheoeun-cheoreom is an integral part of many a meal with some preferring to ‘take it down’ on it’s own and others masking its taste in a glass of beer (somek).

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#5 Pocheon Chapsal DongDongJu ( 포천 찹쌀 동동주)

Brewed in Pocheon, a small city located in the mountains of the North East of Gyeonggi-do this Dongdongju is probably not going to become famous over night despite it’s exuberant export to Seoul’s local supermarkets. It is marketed as a ‘sweet rice wine’ and it’s good to know that the Marketing team had tasted their product before coming up with a tagline as “sweet” was definitely the first word that crossed my mind, with bland and watery being close seconds! Continue reading #5 Pocheon Chapsal DongDongJu ( 포천 찹쌀 동동주)

#4 Cass Fresh (카스 프레시)

If the staple food of a Korean company dinner is kimchi then the staple beer is almost certainly Cass Fresh. As ubiquitous as chips on a British plate few BBQ tables are short of a blue label or two. Promoted by such famous faces as Lee Hyori, BlackPink and Big Bang it is probably one of Korea’s most iconic beers. It even managed to capture the attention of Scotland’s very own ‘foul-mouthed’ chef Gordon Ramsay (no joke) who, in 2018, seemed to be on a continual loop of television stations pretending to enjoy one of Oriental Brewery’s finest.  Continue reading #4 Cass Fresh (카스 프레시)

#3 Halla-San Soju (한라산 소주)

First those pesky Jeju-ites pulled us close with their Samdasoo mineral water and then they won us over forever by using arguably Korea’s finest water in their own brand of Soju. Named after South Korea’s tallest peak, Halla-san Soju is the pinnacle of Korea’s Soju range and is possibly the only one that can rival Sake for ease of drinking and taste: let’s be honest few of us actually enjoy Korea’s number one liquor. Continue reading #3 Halla-San Soju (한라산 소주)

#2 Busan Seangtak Makgeolli (생탁 막걸리)

Busan, Korea’s second largest city, is probably more well-known for it’s raw fish, baseball team and bustling film industry but it also provides a wide array of alcoholic beverages to quench the thirst after a long day on Haeundae Beach! It’s ‘generic’ makgeolli, Seang Tak, certainly beats it’s Seoul rival but then again most things would. Perfect after a long day ‘hiking’ the trails around Beomeosa Temple it certainly hits the spot, especially when accompanied with some pa-jeon (파전)!

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#1 Yeosu Night Ale (여수)

Named after the “famous” Yeosu night sky this is Korea’s latest attempt at a Dark Ale and by far one of their best so far. It’s got a reasonably good flavour although I’m not convinced you’ll be still sipping on your 5th can of the night any time soon. Like most of the darker craft ales made in Korea however,  it’s not that heavy to drink and lacks the fuller body associated with UK-style ales. That being said it’s a good beer and if it ever falls in price then it’s definitely one to have in the back of the fridge.

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