MMPK Groove Magazine Article

At the tail end of 2014 we were approached by Groove Korea who had an interest in what we are up to.

Groove Picture

Groove magazine is a major go-to publications for expats living in Korea for news analysis, community, music, sports and food coverage. It was an excellent opportunity for Makgeolli Mamas & Papas to share our passion for Korean traditional liquor and our sense of community with the wider expat population in Korea.

Groove’s writer and photographer Beryl Sinclair joined us on one of our regular meetings which we hold every 3 weeks, and delved into our world of makgeolli talk and enjoyment. She also conducted interviews with members of our community and with some of our esteemed colleagues in the makgeolli industry.

Mak Mania

To read the full article entitled Makgeolli Mania click here

On the same page there is also an hour long pod cast feature by Chance Dorland who spent an evening with the founder of MMPK and some close makgeolli loving friends…

Or you can click below:



ZenKimchi Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide 2015

Hello makgeolli lovers ~

For those of you who live in Seoul we have a special treat for you…

Joe McPherson is the founding editor of ZenKimchi, Korea’s longest running food blog, which has now been in operation for 10 years! He has written  for The Wall Street Journal, Roads & Kingdoms, Plate Magazine, 10 Magazine, The Korea Herald, SEOUL Magazine, Newsweek Korea, JoongAng Ilbo, and others. He has also consulted for CNN’s “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain,” National Geographic, The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” and the PBS documentary “The Kimchi Chronicles.” He has been an expert source for The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Lonely Planet, The Los Angeles Times….

…and now he has just published his very own Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide for 2015.


Ever wondered where to eat on a budget? looking for a specific type of cuisine? want to impress your date and need just the right place to take them? Well this book is for you. The most up to date, well indexed and entertaining food guide for Seoul is now available for your Kindle from Amazon.

You may be wondering why we are promoting this seemingly non-makgeolli related item. Well of course because we are featured in it. Makgeolli Mamas & Papas have contributed their Top 10 makgeolli bars in Seoul for the guide!

Curious as to what they may be? well you know where to look!     Right…..  here


Get out and munch some great food alongside some quality makgeolli!

Makgeolli Shelf Life Extended to 100 Days

Now this could be a step in the right direction.  Fresh makgeolli currently only has a shelf life of around 30 days due to the fermentation process.  Any longer than that and it starts to taste quite sour and bitter….but not in a good way.  According to the Korea Food Research Institute, this could all change as they have found a way to extend the storage life of makgeolli to 100 days.  This could be mean big things for the export market, as previously it hasn’t been worthwhile to ship and stock overseas buyers with the short lifespan.

Korea Times Mak

We’re not experts on what this new way of brewing could mean for the taste or integrity of makgeolli, but it’s still good to hear that there is research being done into improving methods.  In the meantime, a good tip when buying makgeolli at your local supermarket is to check the top of the bottle.  Fresh makgeolli always has the bottled date and the expiry date printed, so you can know what stage of shelf life it is in.   If a bottle has a printed shelf life of a year or more….you can be pretty certain it’s not fresh and has a serious cocktail of chemicals keeping it going.

Check out the article in the Korea Times here.

What do you think about this new extension?  Good idea or bad idea?  Leave us a comment below and tell us your opinion!


‘If Samsung Makes Makgeolli’

Kooksoondang CEO
As strange as it sounds, CEO of Kooksoondang brewery Bae Jung-Ho wants just that. An article recently ran in the Korea Times about the need for more competition within the makgeolli market. Makgeolli still has a bit of an image problem, and it’s predominantly seen as the cheap liquor of Korea. Not many brewers or companies spend money on advertising or for promoting their products, and so competition is not so high. Even something as simple as packaging (makgeolli almost always comes in the same plastic recyclable bottle) doesn’t do much for its image. Lack of competition means a lack of consumer interest, which is not so great for the industry in general. A better image for makgeolli would mean better products and greater market stimulation.

jun ji hyun
Maybe you have noticed the new ‘Daebak 대박’ makgeolli hitting the shelves? This is Kooksoondang’s recent attempt at trying to revive popular interest in Makgeolli. They hired ‘Theives’ actress Jun Ji-Hyun as its spokesperson, which cost the brewery a cool one billion won ($1 mill), equating to 1% of their annual revenue.

Daebak Makgeolli
Recently we were interviewed by KBS about makgeolli, and one of the questions that came up was what advice would we give to brewers for popularizing makgeolli. Mamas & Papas all agreed that advertising and information is key to reaching a wider consumer market, and improving the image not just of makgeolli but makgeolli culture. There is still so much we don’t know about various makgeollis, methods, regions and taste profiles.

But we aren’t deterred by makgeolli’s image problems, we love it just the same 🙂

For the full article check it out here, it’s a really interesting read with some great historical info about Korea’s traditional liquor production.

What do you think about the image of makgeolli? Do you like the packaging? What do you think brewers could do to boost makgeolli popularity? Comment below and tell us what you think!

Snake Makgeolli to Celebrate 2013

It’s the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Snake, and to celebrate premium makgeolli company Baehyechongdo (배헤정도) has come up with their very own ‘Snake Makgeolli’. The company started the series in 2010 with a ‘Tiger Makgeolli’, the following year a ‘Rabbit Makgeolli’ and of course last year’s ‘Dragon Makgeolli’.

The unique features of this makgeolli is they use 100% Gyeonggi (경기) rice, and their unique processes retains the essential amino acids and high levels of dietary fibre. The alcohol content is also 10%, much higher than the usual 6%. Mageolli portal site Jurojuro (주로주로) manager said “We need to spread the culture involve makgeolli to society, to make makgeolli globalized even faster”. He also mentioned that the Chinese Zodiac Makgeolli Series is a limited edition and has a high collection value.


To read the full article in Korean you can check it out here

Have you tried Snake Makgeolli? Or any of the other Zodiac Makgeolli Series? Let us know what you think!

Community Korea – Makgeolli Party

Got party shoes but nowhere to wear them? Community Korea is a group which tries to get expats, visitors and Koreans connecting and meeting new friends and having a good time. They have regular monthly events, and one of those is a makgeolli party. This weekend they will be having a ‘Korea in the 80’s & 90’s’ throwback theme party with all you can drink makgeolli and pajeon. They promise dancing, prizes and an after party, so if you want to let your hair down a little, why not check it out…and drink plenty of makgeolli of course 🙂
Community Korea

When: Saturday April 20th

Time: 7pm – 10pm (After party at Club EDEN)

Where: Sin Nonhyeon Station (visit their Facebook page for details)

Price: 20,000 won (includes entrance, food & makgeolli)

Have you been to a Community Korea Makgeolli Party before? Tell us what you think!

Sports Makgeolli in a Can

Makgeolli has long been the drink for farmers who work long hours in the fields and are in need of a refreshing pick-me-up. Still today, nothing satisfies better than a cool, crisp bowl at the top of a mountain hike. Now there’s a new makgeolli on the shelves that is geared towards the image of makgeolli as a replenishing sports drink.

Called ‘Me 3%’, this new makgeolli comes in two flavors, regular (Me3 Blue) and citrus (Me3 Green), and it has a lower alcohol content to most kinds of makgeolli. It comes in shiny cans and is marketed towards those playing golf or football or other outdoor sports.
Sports Makgeolli

If you’re thinking it’s a bit strange to reach for a can of booze after working out, try not to think of it as a high performance supplement. Makgeolli can be a refreshing reward after physical exertion, and the lower alcohol content might make it more accessible. We haven’t as yet trialed the Me3 range, but you can purchase them at most supermarkets and try it for yourself!

If you are a Korean speaker and would like more information, you can check out the full article and video here.

Have you ever tried Sports Makgeolli? What did you think? Comment below and let us know what you think!

‘Rice Wine’ or ‘Rice Beer’?

The debate wages on. When describing makgeolli for the first time to people who have never tried it before, it can be a real challenge to really get it across. The words we usually use are milky, sour, sweet, thick, carbonated….which to someone who has never tried makgeoli before might think it’s like expired drinking yoghurt. We are working on that!

But the question on many makgeolli lovers lips these days, is do we call it ‘Rice Wine’ or ‘Rice Beer’ in English? Rice wine conjours up images of sake or soju, some sort of clear potent liquor. Whereas Rice Beer seems to be something so foreign, that the words just don’t seem to go together. The argument for rice beer is makgeolli’s low percentage of alcohol, brewing process, and the way it is consumed these days. But is that really what makgeolli is definitionally speaking?

The Makgeolli Diaries sheds some light on the matter with a great post incorporating the history and evolution of makgeolli from day one to present kettle. Check out the article here and make up your own mind.

Weigh in on our own poll to see what you Mamas & Papas think at our facebook page. Rice Wine, Rice Beer….or just Makgeolli?

What do you think? Should makgeolli be called Rice Wine or Rice Beer? Comment away and tell us why!

Update on Makgeolli Brewery in Chicago

In about February last year, news broke about Slow City Brewery’s intention to open America’s first makgeolli brewery. Since then, it has been all quiet on the western front and we haven’t heard much since. However the Illinois Liquor Control Commission posted the brewing company’s application which is on mandatory viewing for 45 days. That means things are stepping up and we could see makgeolli finally being produced on US soil!

Nuruk from Makgeolli Festival 2012
Nuruk from Makgeolli Festival 2012

It’s no easy thing to obtain makgeolli outside of Korea. Due to its fermentation process and short shelf life, it’s not the easiest beverage to export. It’s also notoriously difficult to get the approvals necessary for breweries to open outside of Korea. The active ingredient, nuruk, has to be shipped in from Korea and as it is a wild yeast it becomes hard to regulate. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see some progress being made so that all those makgeolli lovers off the peninsula can get their fix soon!

For more info on the developments and some background on the story you can check it out here.

We will be keeping a close eye on this one 🙂

Makgeolli Expo 2012

We just had the Makgeolli Festival in World Cup Park last Sunday, which was amazing.  Now we have another makgeolli event to get out and experience more than just the typical green bottle!  The 2012 Makgeolli Expo is being held at Coex which will feature over 100 different breweries and kinds of makgeolli, equipment, and yes…..tastings!


Photo Credit: B2Expo

It started on Tuesday 6th November and will finish up this Friday 9th November, so not it’s not a weekend option.  Also the first 2 days will be limiting general admission to just the 3rd level.  However if you’re in the neighborhood and have the time, go check it out!

Where:  Coex

When:   November 6-9th

Time:   10:00 – 17:00

Admission:  10,000won

Website:  VisitKorea