Registration for August 27th Meeting Open!!!

Get ready Mamas & Papas, we are going old school comfort for our meeting this Saturday!  The last few meetings have been some incredible fine dining experiences, but we decided to switch it up a little and check out a little gem in the Sillim area.

better sootdae interior

Whilst there are no shortage of rough and ready makgeolli bars around Seoul, it can be a tough ask to find one with great atmosphere AND great makgeolli.

sootdae kettle

Well, fear not we have done the legwork and have found this rare combination.  Whilst we have never been to this place before, the MMPK team has actually studied brewing with the owner, so we know we will be in good company!

sootdae food

The location features some classic Korean style dishes in the old tavern style, and has been around since 1989 (no small feat for bars in Seoul!).  So if you would like to join us, send an email to mmpkorea@gmail.com 🙂

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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.)

IMG_1306

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.

IMG_1331 IMG_1310

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.

IMG_1365

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!

2015 New Year Party @Muldwinda!!

                                                Happy New Year Mamas & Papas!

It’s a brand new year, and we feel like celebrating!  The team here at MMPK have big plans for the makgeolli industry this year, and we thought, what better way to kick it all off than with a party?  We sat down with the team at Muldwinda & Susubori Academy to put together a shindig of deliciousness.

New Year Party Poser

Date:   Saturday, January 24th

Time:  7:30 till late

Cost:  40,000won prepaid  (45,000won at the door)

Drink:  

                Unlimited Makgeolli (Hand Picked by MMPK)

We sat down with our partners at Muldwinda and have selected a range of makgeolli that we personally and other members in our community have enjoyed. In addition, all the brews we have selected are aspartame free 🙂

                A Bottle of Homebrew

Myself and Papa Dan have been beavering away in Susubori Academy, brewing up a special makgeolli to give to each guest.

                Free Premium Tasting

We have invited a range of premium brewers to showcase their Takju, and there will be a free tasting at the event. If you like what you taste, you are also welcome to purchase any of the brew on offer.

                Secret Brew Tasting Competition

We thought it might be a bit of fun to test those taste buds! In addition to the bottle of homebrew, we also brewed up a special taster with three secret ingredients. Upon arrival, you can taste and guess what those three ingredients are for the chance to win a prize.

mmpk secret brew

Food:     

                  Buffet

No good having a night of makgeolli without delicious food! To that end, there will be a buffet of all sorts delicious goods to pair with the brews.

Events:   

                  Meet The Brewers

For those out there who have always wanted to know the face behind that premium makgeolli, we have invited some members from the brewing community to attend. You will have the opportunity to meet and taste their brews, and ask any burning questions you’ve always had.

                  Prizes

We are cooking up some activities with some pretty cool prizes. We don’t want to give away all our secrets, so come join us to find out 🙂

Muldwinda Kettle

 

Sign Up: 

                     mmpkorea@gmail.com

If you or anyone you know would like to join us in celebrating the start of what we hope will be a very prosperous year in the makgeolli industry, send us an email with the full name and contact number of those attending, and we will give payment details.

 

We look forward to celebrating with you, one and and all, to get an amazing year started with delicious makgeolli and good friends 🙂

 

MMPK Best 5 Makgeolli Bars of 2013

We had a very full year of exploring makgeolli bars all over Seoul last year, and we made some amazing discoveries.  There are a lot of factors that go into making a great makgeolli bar experience, and there is no shortage of different styles to enjoy.  We here at MMPK took a look back at the bars we reviewed in 2013, and came up with what we would consider the best 5 places to discover, learn and enjoy makgeolli.  Although some bars were reviewed a little earlier, we regularly returned to these in 2013, as we simply couldn’t stay away from them.

5 – Moomyeong Jip (Sangsu) 무명집 Interior It’s hard to go past the bar where we had our first official MMPK meeting.  It had been on our radar before we had even started exploring the world of makgeolli, and for good reason.  The big draw card of Moomyeong Jip is the balance of all elements.  The atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable and modern, the food is delicious, and the makgeolli selection is extensive.  We have made many trips back here when looking for a casual bowl with friends, and we will sure to be back many times in the future.

How to get there: Go to Sangsu (상수) station on line 6 and take exit 3.  As soon as you come out of the station turn right and go down the hill.  You will see 무명집 on the left, on the 2ndfloor.

Address:  서울특별시 마포구 상수동 329- 7번지 2층 To see our first review of Moomyeong Jip, check here

4.  Tricycle (Hapjeong) Tricycle Bossam One of our favourite makgeolli experiences was at this bar, which truly takes pride in both the makgeolli and food.  All Mamas  & Papas were impressed by each dish that we tried, and there were numerous makgeollis on the menu that are difficult to find at just any bar.  The highlight of the bar was the manager, who took care to select a range of different makgeollis for us to try, arranging them in an appropriate tasting order.   It might be a little pricier than your average makgeolli bar, but then again it’s just not average.

How to get there: Go to Hapjeong station and come out exit 8.  Make a quick U-turn and you will see a construction walkway.  Walk through this and follow the hill down for about 10 minutes.  Tricycle is tucked away on the left hand side of the road, keep an eye out for their sign.

Address: 서울특별시 마포구 합정동 426-1 To see our review of Triycle, click here.

3.  Makgeolli School (Isu) Paul with bottle We often find new bars by recommendations from others, and that was just how we found Makgeolli School.  This tiny little bar was just too small for a regular MMPK meeting, so instead we approached the manager to have a special tasting with MMPK staff and regulars.   We were still learning so much about the makgeolli scene, and we were treated to an eye-opening array of various tastes, ingredients and regional makgeollis.  It cannot be denied that Makgeolli School is always well stocked with the usual suspects (and some of the not so usual) and it has some of the most comforting anjou we have experienced.  Make sure you try the Ojing-oh Soondae, you won’t be disappointed!

How to Get There:  Come out of Isu station (line 7 & 4) exit 10.  Walk straight for a bit and take your first right.  Walk down this street until you come to Makgeolli School ( 막걸리 학교,) a tiny little bar on the right.

Address:   144-16 Sadang-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul

To see a write up of our experiences at Makgeolli School, click here.

2.  Story of the Blue Star (Insadong) blue star Not every makgeolli experience is all about the selection available, sometimes you just want a big kettle with some good, simple anjou.  What better place to enjoy that kettle than inside a cozy, traditional hanok?  Story of the Blue Star is tucked away in a small alley at the top the Insadong main street, and it’s a place where you can settle in and forget about the rest of the world.  There is just one kind of makgeolli on offer, though there are variations by adding certain flavor powders.  Although that makgeolli contains some aspartame (which we here at MMPK are definitely not fans of), the anjou is organic and fresh, and they pair together delicously.   If you are looking for a traditional makgeolli experience, we regularly point people in the direction of the Blue Star.

How to get there: Go to Anguk station on line3,  exit 6.  Walk a whole 5 meters and turn left down a very narrow alley between a parking lot (left) and a building.  When the alley opens up, the makgeolli house will be on your right.  You may feel unsure about being in the right place, but you are, it’s a hanok. Head on in!

Address:  서울 종로구 관훈동 118-15 To read our review of Story of the Blue Star, click here.

1.  Muldwinda (Chungjeongno) 2012-11-05 22.18.06-1 There is one bar in Seoul that is committed to providing not just the best possible kinds of makgeolli, but also the best of all kinds of Korean traditonal liqour.  Muldwinda is a place where you can experience small brewery makgeollis that you cannot find anywhere else in Seoul, including a whole new world of cheongju and premium soju.  What makes Muldwinda the premier makgeolli bar, is its true belief in supporting good product and the brewers behind it.  It is connected with (and next door to) Susubori Academy, which is an Academy for learning to brew all kinds of Korean traditional alcohol.   It is stylish, relaxed, and a home for all those who want to discover the emerging market of truly delicious brews.

How to get there: Go to Chungjeongno station (line 2 & 5) and take exit 7.  Turn right immediately and follow the road for about 7-10 minutes.  It’s a quiet street, so you might feel like you are going the wrong way, untilyou will see a shining white building across the street with lights and windows…this is Muldwinda.

Address: 충정로3가 3-12 (경기대로 43) To read our very first review of Muldwinda, click here.  (Note:  This review was in 2012, and since then many new, small brewery makgeollis have become available.  We will be profiling these makgeollis seperately soon)

Asan Folk Festival 2013!!

This time of year is always a busy season for Makgeolli, and we are only now getting the time to collect ourselves and reflect on the past few months.  Back in October we had the annual Asan Folk Village Festival weekend.  MMPK teamed up with the always awesome Susubori Academy, along with their expat brewing instructors Becca Baldwin and Dan Lenaghan, to offer a weekend of open air makgeolli classes.

godubap in Asan

This year the classes were held over the course of two days, with the first class having the opportunity to stay overnight in the hanok village.  It was a beautiful moonlit night, and we all enjoyed a long night of country air and plenty of fresh makgeolli.

Makgeolli Class 2 Asan

Of course the highlight of the weekend was the Expat Brewing contest, where 8 creative makgeolli lovers came up with their own unique brew for the public to taste and rate.  This year saw some stiff competition, and the flavor combinations were nothing short of inspired.  The entries were as follows:

‘Jeolju’ – Becca Baldwin:  A 300 year old traditional Iyangju recipe with a lot of elbow grease in the making.

‘Sunrise Liquor’ – Dan Lenaghan:  An out-of-the-box Iyangju with red bean.

‘Baninja Reloaded’ – Julia Mellor: A revised (and much improved) version of last year’s entry; banana & ginger infused Iyangju.

‘Bad Seeds’ – Caroline Mahon:  A fragrant Danyangju with cardamon and cloves.

‘Creamy Cocoa Memories’ – Don Edwards:  A sweeter Danyangju inspiration incorporating cocoa and raisins.

‘Speckled Spice’ – Beryl Sinclair:  A spicy Iyangju with vanilla beans and black pepper.

‘Serious Cider’ – Staci Gray:  A carefully concocted ‘hard cider’ inspired Danyangju of apple and cinnamon.

‘Bae Saengang’ -Tyson Hanrahan:  A balanced Danyangju with pear and ginger flavorings.

Expat Brewers Info

We had two categories for the voting.  The first was the public vote, where attendees of the festival could taste and choose their favorite among the 8 brews.  And then we had the Brewer’s Choice Awards, where class takers, Susubori & MMPK Staff voted for their top three brews.

Public Vote

1st Place:  ‘Jeolju’ Becca Baldwin

2nd Place: ‘Baninja Reloaded’ Julia Mellor

3rd Place:  ‘Serious Cider’ Staci Gray

Brewers’ Choice Awards

1st Place:  ‘Serious Cider’ Staci Gray

2nd Place:  ‘Jeolju’ Becca Baldwin

3rd Place:  ‘Bad Seeds’ Caroline Mahon

Staci & Beryl Asan

All in all, we had a fabulous weekend in excellent makgeolli loving company, and we just can’t wait until next year.  A big thanks as always to our hard working collaborative makgeolli team at Susubori Academy, who pulled together to make the whole thing happen.  Check out the photo gallery below for a closer look at some of the action 😉

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