2015 Jarasum Makgeolli Festival – Wrap up

Jipyeong with Fifties Girls

As November oh so quickly rolls in, we say goodbye to yet another Makgeolli Festival, and this one was truly something special.  As many may know, the last Thursday of every October is designated as ‘Makgeolli Day’.  NurukEvery year from this day, and following through the whole weekend, you can always expect some kind of celebration in the name of our favorite rice brew.   In previous years we have seen various different festivals in Seoul, but this year marks the first event outside the capital, and sets a precedent for what may be a regular fixture on the ‘must-do’ calendar.

Favorite Fish Man

                                                        Jarasum (Jara Island) has been made famous by the annual Jazz festival, which brings exceptional artists from around the globe for a weekend of good music and outdoor fun.

This past weekend marked the inaugural Jarasum Makgeolli Festival, which set its sights on bringing together not just all the makgeolli from around the nation, but also bringing food pairings from makgeolli bars and local producers.

We were especially privileged to taste the fish from this master (pictured right), who grills some of the best Godingeo (고딩어) ever tasted.  He took festival friendliness to a new level, bringing our hungry Happy Hour guests some fresh grilled fish.  Look out for this guy next time, he knows what he’s doing 🙂

As for MMPK, we had a lot of work to do!

Dan Julz InstructingWe were so excited to have the opportunity to bring all the things that we have learned to a festival, bringing tastings galore.  For anyone who might have attended one of our meetings or tours, they know that we are passionate about supporting the smaller brewers on the market, and this was a chance to bring those hardworking brewers to the fore!  We offered Artisan Tasting Sessions, with a lineup curated to show the best of what is on offer in bars around Seoul.  All brews were aspartame free and had a variety of flavor profiles that appealed to a range of palates.  The best part about the sessions?  Being able to tell the stories behind every brew, and hearing the equally varied feedback on from our eager tasters.   Below is this year’s MMPK Artisan Tasting Lineup:

Artisan Tasting - CheonbihyangArtisan Tasting - Domun Daejak


 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan Tasting - Gotaek Saengju

Artisan Tasting - Jahuihyang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan Tasting - Mangangae Bichindal

Artisan Tasting - Samyangchoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Llwy Julz Brewers TastingBut tasting wasn’t limited to just the Artisans, the expat brewing community also brought their entries for the fourth annual Susubori Academy Expat Makgeolli Brewing Contest.  For the past four years, expats in the makgeolli brewing community have been concocting their own special brews to compete for the title.  Last year Mark Salinas took the number one spot with a brew incorporating water and mugwart brought laboriously from a hike to Bukhansan (Bukhan Mountain).

 

 

Tasting Table

This year included a diverse and creative selection, with infusions and recipe experimentation the likes of which we had yet seen.  During the festival, whomever came to the booth could taste from the ten entrants and vote for their favorite.  The winners are yet to be announced, but we will be sure to update as soon as they come through!

Brewing Class MixingIf that wasn’t all, MMPK also teamed up with Makgeolli Makers & Susubori Academy to offer free Introduction to Brewing Makgeolli Classes.  Twice a day, both on Saturday and Sunday, visitors could get their basic grounding in the world of makgeolli brewing and take home their very own brew.

Saturday Morning Class Montage

 

And then there was the festival itself!

Rock Stage

The main tent in the middle of grounds was continually abuzz with musical performances and food stalls, getting particularly rowdy when it hit after 8pm 🙂  And as the days dawned with crisp air (albeit cold enough for eyebrow-sicles in the very wee hours), with blue skies and mountains as a backdrop, it was hard not to be in a good mood.  Tents lined up surrounding the main tent, giving out samples of their wares as well as exhibitions of Korea’s finest representations of alcohol.

3 makgeolli bottles I Makgeolli U

As each day came to a close, the MMPK tent went into Happy Hour mode.  With endless brews and endless meat on hand, crew and visitors ate and drank the night away under the clear, star filled sky until their toes were numb.

After all the preparation, anticipation and running of the event, there is just one thing that sticks in our minds as the most memorable.  The people of our community are what make these festivals not just possible, but also joyful and just a rollicking good time.   We are nothing if not the people who support us, and that was more than evident this past weekend.  So we would like to give a heartfelt ~ Thank You ~ to our Brewers, Volunteers, and Supporters (yes, you all get capitals 😉 ) because without you, we would would never have been able to have such an awesome event.

Hungover Chat

We can’t wait till next year for the next installment of the Jarasum Makgeolli Festival 🙂

Until then Mamas & Papas 🙂

 

2015 October Makgeolli Festival! [UPDATED]

Jarasum Jazz 2

The 29th October to 1st of November…

Save the date in your calendars and clear you schedule as we have some exciting news for you!

Anyone who has followed our antics for a while will know that the last Thursday of October is designated as ‘Makgeolli Day’ and around that time there are always a number of festivals dedicated to Makgeolli hosted around the country which offer entertaiment, free samples and opportunities to buy all kinds of great stuff from every corner of Korea.  This year will see one of the biggest Makgeolli festivals yet, hosted by the Makgeolli Association on the beautiful Jarasum Island – which also hosts the Jarasum Jazz Festival!

Festivalguideasia pic
Courtesy of Festival Guide Asia

Makgeolli Mamas & Papas will be working together with Makgeolli Makers and Susubori Academy to bring a variety of activities and stalls to the festival, allowing guests to taste, talk, make and learn about makgeolli.  Some things to look forward to will be:

         Expat Makgeolli Tasting Booth – Hosted by MMPK
  • English speakers will be able to have unlimited tastings of a full range of makgeolli, with English guided assistance of MMPK staff.  Visitors can not only taste, but also learn about each brew from experienced makgeolli staff.
          Makgeolli Brewing Experience – Hosted by Susubori Academy & Makgeolli Makers
  • Visitors who would like to learn the basics and fundamentals of brewing makgeolli will be able to take part in an ‘Intro to Brewing Makgeolli’ class, led by expat brewing instructors Makgeolli Makers & Susubori Academy.  The class will be held several times over the weekend.
         Annual Expat Makgeolli Brewing Contest – Tasting
  • Each year, experienced members of the expat makgeolli brewing community compete in the Susubori Academy Expat Brewers Competition.  Visitors at the festival will be able to have tastings of the contestants brews.
Brewing Competion 1
Participants of the 2014 competition.
         Makgeolli Scavenger Hunt
  • Visitors will be able to take part in an Expat Makgeolli Scavenger Hunt, completing a range of challenges for prizes.  Details to be confirmed closer to the date.

As well as our little part of the festival guests can also expect to experience a wide range of makgeolli, traditional liquor and hearty food, from a variety of producers and breweries from all over Korea. Camping will also be available for guests, so you can make the most out of the weekend. If you have a passion for makgeolli, or are looking for a memorable way to spend a beautiful fall weekend in the countryside, then come along!

We will update here on our site and on our Facebook pages as more details become available closer to the date, and we really look forward to meeting you all out there in Jarasum!

Date:      October 29th – 1st November, 2015
Where:   Jarasum Island Camping Ground
Cost      To be confirmed (Will be either free or under 5000won)
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Fest 1

Have you visited Jarasum or been to any of the other Makgeolli Festivals in Korea? Why not share your experiences in the comments here, or on our Facebook Community!

Baesangmyeon Neurin Maeul Brewery Tour – September 6th

Sansawon Poster 3-01

Date: Sunday, September 6th.

Time: 9am – 6.30pm

Place: Pocheon City, Gyeonggido.

What:  Transportation, Lecture, Guided Tour, Lunch, Unlimited Tastings

Reservations: Here.

Enquiries: mmpkorea@gmail.com

You may have heard us waxing lyrical over the last couple of years about a Makgeolli called Neurin Maeul. It’s certainly been a favourite of ours and has proven to be a hit with many of you out there in the community. If you have tried this brew and loved it, or if you would like to taste it in it’s own environment (in the wild, so to speak), then what better way than to spend an easy Sunday at the beginning of Fall at one of the most scenically beautiful, well designed breweries in the country: the Sansawon Brewery and Museum owned by Baesangmyun. (Their site is here.)

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Sansawon is an enchanting place where traditional Korean architecture, and brewing practices are envisioned and realized with precision and a modern aesthetic. This may not be the only place where one can see brewing as it was carried out in years gone by, but it is certainly the only place of it’s size, scale and attention to detail. See the past, present and future of the makgeolli industry unfold before your very eyes.

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In the spring we were privileged to lead the first English language tour of the Sansawon brewery in the sleepy little town of Pocheon to our esteemed guests the Royal Asiatic Society Korea, and now we would like to open this day tour to the public starting in September.

About Baesangmyun

Baesangmyeon Brewery could arguably be called Korea’s first craft makgeolli brewery. With generations of history and tradition, they continue a commitment to creating quality products with attention to detail and a deep understanding of brewing principles. In an industry that has largely been characterized by the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Baesangmyeon has proven that with the right recipe, care and patience, a makgeolli brew can be produced that does not need additives. More than just makgeolli, Baesangmyeon is also exploring lost traditions by producing a range of inspired sojus and alcohols.

The Tour

We will leave Seoul at 9am, arriving at the brewery in Pocheon roughly 10:30am. We will begin with a tour of the museum which showcases a variety of artifacts from traditional brewing methods. We will explore the ways in which the Korean traditional alcohol industry has developed and changed, and learn about the history of Baesangmyeon Brewery. After touring the museum, we will then proceed to the classroom where we will have a presentation on how various traditional alcohols are made.

This will be followed by a guided tasting of a range of Baesangmyeon’s products where we will have the opportunity to contrast and compare different styles, flavors and techniques. We will then take a break for a picnic lunch outside in the beautiful grounds of Sansawon.

After lunch, we will begin our tour of the grounds. We will walk through the Hangari gallery where different alcohols are currently being aged, and learn about the machinery used over the years. After learning about the various aspects of the brewery, we will then have a final tasting of Baesangmyeon’s flagship makgeolli ‘Neurin Maeul’ in the specially designed outdoor bar, where the sweet fragrance of decades old alcohol catches the breeze as it blossoms from inside the large hangaris.

Finally you’ll have the chance to make any purchases you would like from the Brewery store before we  board the bus and we return to Seoul.

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How to Sign up

Tickets for the trip are on sale for 75,000KRW and are all inclusive of everything above. If you would like to make your reservation please fill out this form and let us know!

Come welcome the Fall at this beautiful spot, with good company and great craft booze.

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Were you on the R.A.S.K tour? Or have you visited this brewery before? We would to hear about your experience!! Drop us a line in the comments section!

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:

http://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=5490783

Enjoy!

 

http://groovekorea.com/article/makgeolli-mania

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.

Zen

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!

A new year is dawning…

 

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Hello to all of you makgeolli lovers out there,

MMPK-Flyer2Here at MMPK HQ we have been making plans for the first quarter of next year~~

After a period of relative down time and prepping for bigger things in 2015 we are back in action and will be in full swing, involved in all things Makgeolli.

Things to look out for:

Our up and coming meetings being held on the dates you can see on our flyer on the left…

Held every 3 weeks, these are a great opportunity to find a new makgeolli bar and discover what they have to offer with us. Contribute to the evenings banter and the subsequent review on this webpage. You can also learn about the specific makgeolli you’re having by discussing it directly with our experts in an informal and fun setting~~ what joy!

As always we will announce registrations around a week before each meeting, however feel free to email us in advance if you want to reserve your place early (meetings do fill up quickly)

MMPK-Flyer

We are looking to do some serious updating on this page as well to give you more information on the market makgeolli available in the stores around Seoul ~ to give you an overview and help you identify what you are seeing at your local shop/mall or makgeolli bar. There are also a number of special events in pipeline to be hosted by us and as we are very sociable and friendly here at MMPK we would love to meet you in person at any of our makgeolli gatherings. Our community means everything to us and sadly it is not always practical in this big wide world for us to get together face to face…

So, if due to reasons of time or distance you are unable to join us in person then our online community on facebook and twitter are still going strong so feel free to contribute your thoughts, opinions, discoveries and makgeolli adventures with us through whichever social media service you prefer ~~

We wish you a happy holiday season from all of us here,

Love Mamas and Papas xxx