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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
We here at MMPK have been operating Korean traditional alcohol tours for the past year or so through our network of makgeolli lovers and personal recommendations. After thorough beta testing and development, we are now ready to launch our services to the world at large, and therefore have designed a brand new website to better showcase all the services we offer. From tasting tours, brewery & museum tours, private brewing classes, brewing certificate courses and our international client consulting, we have developed services for all your makgeolli and Korean alcohol needs!
So if you are looking for something special and unique to do while in Korea, or simply want to broaden your alcohol knowledge horizons, check out our new service website and get in touch 🙂
Held at COEX, this exhibition shows wines, spirits, sake and yes of course Korean traditional alcohol! There will be exhibitors from 200 companies spanning 20 countries. We know first hand that there are some artisan brewers showcasing at the exhibition, so if you have any time feel free to get over to COEX and show them support…and of course taste some truly excellent brews!
Industry Show Days: Thursday April 20th – Friday April 21st
Public Day: Saturday April 22nd
Time: 10am – 6pm (5pm on Saturday)
Where: COEX Exhibition Centre
For more details on how to get there and what’s going on visit here.
The spring season for makgeolli festivals and expos continues!!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Name: The Manjok (만족) *translates as ‘The Satisfaction‘
Location: Near the entrance to Hongik University.
Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas August 1st
Thoughts: Anyone visiting the area around Hongik university will quickly become aware that there is no shortage of places to choose from for food and drink. Whatever your fancy, there are a dozen places that will provide it for you. Makgeolli is of course no exception. Typically what’s been offer has catered for the predominant student demographic. Places such as Hongdaepo, Hawaiian Makgeolli and countless other nameless places, selling “house makgeolli” for cheap, fun times. Although more recently some more upmarket places have appeared in the area, including the fantastic Olsoo.
Not until the opening of The Manjok in the area, has there been a restaurant that has quality brews at a reasonable price. The owner is one of the brewers for 좋은술 (Joeun Sool), who are one of the most prominent premium makgeolli producers in the country. Their products include 천비향 탁주 (cheonbihyang takju) and 약주. The Manjok serves this brewery’s usual premium fare, as well as a variety of other craft brews that 좋은술 produces… great things….things that we had never seen. We were excited.
Service: ***** 5 Stars
Style: *** 3 Stars
Ambience: **** 4 Stars
Overall: **** 4.5 Stars
Baked Pork (보쌈): **** 4 Stars ~ Fatty, Juicy, Plentiful, Pairs well with Ihwaju.
What we liked: The Brews. Usually when we get together with our Mamas & Papas to try things out we start at the cheapest side of the menu, and try to sample our way up towards the really awesome items. However, we were (pleasantly) denied that chance. The owner was so keen for us to try the premium side of menu that he recommended us a large number of things that we hadn’t tried before. The majority of these brews do come from 좋은술, however there are varieties that as far as we know can’t be found in other spots, and they are priced much cheaper than can be found in other bars. If you’re not on your premium makgeolli game however, there are still a large number of regular takjus and makgeolli blends/cocktails to be enjoyed as well. (When we visited, the most prominent drink being consumed by patrons was 장수 (Jangsu)… stick to what you know I guess. #sadface)
What we disliked: Ice! At the time of our visit, a lot of the 천비향막걸리 was being stored in a refrigerator on the veranda of the restaurant, and although they were (fairly) cool, the manager insisted on blending the brews with crushed ice. Which though making them pleasantly cold, also made it a little difficult to drink. It seems a bit petty to pick on this however as they are still smoothing out the kinks in the newly opened venue. (We visited on their first weekend). We will update this section soon (we will definitely be visiting again)
Recommendation: We were elated to discover that The Manjok opens it’s doors at 11am. Even further elated to hear that they provide a lunch special. Our minds were blown when we told that this lunch only costs 5,900won. This makes it cheaper than most lunches you can find in the area, and with all that excellent makgeolli to pair it with I can imagine many afternoon workers arriving at the office with a spring in their step. This place also works well in the early evening, so feed and drink up before the rest of your Hongdae adventure.
Directions: Facing Hongik University’s main entrance, turn left and walk a few moments, taking the first left just before the Starbucks. You will see a CU convinience store on the corner. The Manjok is in the building directly across from there on your left, on the second floor.
Address: 서울 마포구 서교동 344-6 칼리오페빌딩 2층 (Seoul Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 344-6, Kaliope Building 2F)
There’s nothing like sitting down to a really good meal, or hanging out in an awesome atmospheric bar and thinking ‘One thing would make this experience even better…good makgeolli.’ Well now is your chance to make that happen.
One brewery we greatly respect for their commitment to quality, tradition, and just because they make a really delicious brew, is Baesangmyeon Brewery. They are the masterminds behind Neurin Maeul (느린마을) makgeolli, a brew we regularly recommend for people looking for a satisfying, aspartame free makgeolli.
They also really respect their consumers and community, and they would like to hear from you! If there is a place in the Gangnam or Seocho area that you think should be serving Neurin Maeul (느린마을) makgeolli, they want to know about it so they can get some in the fridge.
So if you have a suggestions, simply put as many details as you can in the Google Form, and it will be accessed directly by the brewery. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the exact details (we know it can be tough to remember the names of all the places in this big ol’ city) So just whatever small details you can give is still helpful.
These are the brew pubs of Baesangmyeon Brewery, and they are the force behind Neurin Maeul (느린마을) Makgeolli, which is an all chemical & aspartame free brew. Baesangmyeon’s brew philosophy is all about tradition, quality of ingredients and all natural processes. They don’t just stop at makgeolli, they have an extensive range of rice & fruit wines, including premium infused soju. At each of their showcase brew pubs they have a large selection of fruit wines, cheongjus, sojus and makgeolli’s for take home purchase. There are three brew pubs in Seoul where you can experience fresh Neurin Maeul brewed on site, an experience no other makgeolli brewery currently offers. Each brew pub has a different atmosphere, but each offer similar menus and varieties of alcohol. They also have a free membership program which gives you excellent benefits such as unlimited makgeolli, cheongju and soju for 10,000won for a 2 hour period. MMPK has regularly visited each Neurin Maeul location, and we readily recommend them as places to get an excellent overview of the spectrum of Korean traditional alcohol.
Atmosphere: The Yangjae location of the three Neurin Maeul Pubs was the first to brew on site, and it is actually in the building of the Brewery’s offices. The neighborhood of Yangjae houses a lot of offices, and the crowd at the pub of an evening is often office workers coming in for a few drinks at the end of the day. It’s a little more out of the way in terms of entertainment locations, but the atmosphere is cosy and lively, and they have a number of rooms for big groups. A special feature of this location is that they also have an outdoor terrace for the warmer seasons.
Recommendation: For those looking for a casual but quality makgeolli experience.
Atmosphere: Of course being in Gangnam, this location has a much more trendy and busy atmosphere than both Yangjae and Jongno. The crowd that can be seen at Gangnam is much younger and louder, and people are more likely to let their hair down at this pub. It is a very popular hangout, and it is not unusual to see a line or have to wait for a table, however the size of the location usually means the lines move fairly quickly. One thing to note is that the Gangnam location is more of a restaurant and bar, and whilst you can buy some alcohols for take out, the selection is not as diverse as the other two locations.
Recommendation: For those looking for a more party atmosphere, or a good quality makgeolli experience in the Gangnam area.
Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub – Jongno Center One Building
Atmosphere: This is the most recent installment in the Neurin Maeul Brewery Pubs situated on the Cheongyecheon, and it is by far the largest. It is housed in one of the biggest financial buildings near Euljiro 1-ga station, and you can certainly feel the size of the pub on entry. However despite being so big, the atmosphere is still quite busy without being overwhelmingly so. One feature at this bar is that you can ask for them to bring you a free tasting of the four seasons of Neurin Maeul to help you make your choices.
Recommendation: If you find yourself in the Gwangwhamun or Jongno area, this location is a nice way to finish off a day of sightseeing or stream wandering.
Tell Us Your Experiences!
If you check out any of the Neurin Mauel Breweries & Pubs, we want to know what you think! Let us know by commenting below, or posting on our Facebook Page or Facebook Group 🙂
What about the Supermarket?
Don’t forget that you can also get Neurin Maeul at a number of different supermarkets in Seoul, including Homeplus and Emart. If you’re wondering if your local supermarket carries it, check out our lists here and here.
You’ve heard of Restaurant Week, you’ve heard of Food Week, well now Makgeolli Mamas & Papas Korea proudly presents the very first MMPK Makgeolli Week!
Over the course of our 2 years in operation, MMPK has had the opportunity to explore, taste and discover so many fantastic makgeolli bars. We feel passionately about spreading the word about not only where to try, but also what is best on the menu at the bars we review. We know it’s not always easy to know where to go, what to order, or most importantly which makgeolli you might like.
And so the concept of MMPK Makgeolli Week was born! We got together with 2 of the best makgeolli operations in Seoul to team up in a 10 day long event, showcasing their very best makgeolli and food. Both Muldwinda and the recently opened Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, are experts in the makgeolli industry and have each designed a special MMPK Makgeolli Week menu. You will have the opportunity to experience the best of what these bars have to offer, as well as broadening your own makgeolli horizons.
So how does MMPK Makgeolli Week work?
Both bars have designed their own set menus for MMPK Makgeolli Week, which anyone will be able to order for the duration of November 7th – 17th.
MMPK Makgeolli Week is all about trying & tasting new makgeollis, so get out there and explore world of makgeolli. What we really want is to hear about what you think!! Whether you are at Muldwinda or Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, we are always listening. Take a picture of your makgeolli, food or friends post it on our Facebook page with your impressions, or just tell us what you thought! We want to know favorites and not-so favorites 😉
We will be visiting both bars frequently during MMPK Makgeolli Week, so we hope to see some of you there! If you have any questions at all, email mmpkorea @gmail.com
Chelsea Bruck (left) has a long connection with Makgeolli Mamas & Papas, so we were very excited to see her and her business partner, Brandon Hill (right) in the news. During their time in South Korea, the pair travelled around the country to different breweries, with our resident Dr. Makgeolli (Jo, Hyojin). The long tour taught them several tricks of the makgeolli making trade. Chelsea and Brandon are working their butts off right now to open up a makgeolli house in New York, where they will brew their own makgeolli! We can’t wait to try it.
Check out the article (in Korean…translate works pretty well this time) to find out more!
Write a note below to show your support for Chelsea and Brandon!
Thoughts on this article? Other experience with makgeolli abroad? Feel like leaving tips for those searching for anything makgeolli? Comment away!
We’re not huge on politics here at Makgeolli Mamas and Papas; we really just want the world to sit and enjoy some satisfying makgeolli with us on a rainy day. But, a new brand of makgeolli produced in Daegu, South Korea, is running into some political issues. The name of their makgeolli, in the eyes of some, is a little too close to that of a political figure-head in Gyeongsang province. Take a peek for yourself to find out what is going on.