International Wines and Spirits Expo 2016

When it rains it pours!  If you haven’t already marked your calendars for the Makgeolli Festival at Goyang, or the Korean Traditional Liquor and Food Festival at Namsangol, then you might as well do that and add another!  One of the biggest events of the year in the alcohol industry is happening for a short three days starting on Thursday this week.

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!

Wine and spirits expo


Industry Show Days:   Thursday April 20th – Friday April 21st

Public Day:  Saturday April 22nd

Time:  10am – 6pm (5pm on Saturday)

Where:  COEX Exhibition Centre

Cost:  20,000won

For more details on how to get there and what’s going on visit here.

The spring season for makgeolli festivals and expos continues!!


Helen’s Kitchen (헬렌스 키친)

Name: Helen’s Kitchen (헬렌스 키친)

Location: Samseong Dong

Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on August 16th, 201420140816215621010 Thoughts: Helens kitchen is a genuine gem among the facades of glitz and money that are abound in Samseong dong. With many of Seoul high end hotels, the casino and the fantastic COEX center a stones throw away from Helen’s place you would be forgiven for missing it. However, it is absolutely worth taking the time to find! Helen’s fluent English articulates her passion for makgeolli,and her constantly changing drinks menu is indicative of a restaurant owner who lovingly curates the drinks she serves.

Location: Overall **** 4.5 Stars


20140816200344600Seafood Jeon 해물하전   **** 4 stars (Thick, fluffy, crunchy, Fresh)

Potato Jeon 감자전  ** 2.5 stars      (Soft, gooey, bland)

Tofu Steak 두부스테이크  ***** 5 Stars (Succulent, Sauted Veggies, Herbs!! (in Korean food!?),Aromatic)

Squid 오징어 *** 3.5 Stars  (Fresh, Clean, Juicey, vibrant)   20140816193323308 20140816193328708     Makgeolli Mamas & Papas Highly recommend the Tofu Steak. It is unusual to have herbs included in Korean cooking, however this dish is a unique fusion of east and west and an attractive alternative to Tofu and Kimchi (두부킴치). 20140816200334228 Makgeolli:  Deoksan 덕산 *** 3 Stars – Pungent aroma, balance of dry/sweet, vanilla notes

GeumJeongSan 금정산 **** 4 stars – sherbet tang, complex, thick,

Jahui Hyang 자희향 **** 4.5 stars – Floral, creamy, smooth, liqueur-like

Milyang Makgeolli 밀양막걸리 *** 3stars  – (personally sourced by Helen in Milyang, Gyeongsangnamdo) tart, light, clean, balanced

We were also lucky enough to be presented with a variety of Cheongju (청주), which is the clear sweet wine drink, which remains suspended when the sediment of freshly brewed makgeolli has settled to the bottom of the vessel. Helen presented us with some experimental cheongu from 복순도가 and from 밀양막걸리 which are currently not available for sale~~ delicious!! ~~ Don’t worry we will be providing more varied information about cheongju soon! 

Beoksundoga's experimental cheongju - An apple vinaigrette flavour!
Beoksundoga’s experimental cheongju – An apple vinaigrette flavour!

What M&P Liked: Helen. She has a very clear and vibrant passion for her line of work: personally travelling around the country to visit breweries and villages that sell bottles which are generally unavailable in Seoul. Whether she hears about them through word of mouth, or if they are just her personal favorites is something you can chat about when you meet her ~ She will tirelessly explain each of the brews she provides, their origins and will answer any questions you care to ask her. Her Makgeolli list is always changing, and she guarantees that everything she has in stock is freshly delivered and at it’s best.

Helen describing one of the brews

What M&P Disliked: Aspartame. As you may know we do our best to steer away from makgeollies which contain Aspartame as an artificial sweetener. However, the majority of  varieties on the market in general do contain it. Helen’s selection is fantastic, however a lot of what she has are Aspartame brews. However, Helen is considering moving to a larger location in the same area and mentioned she will be stocking a lot more premium bottles in future (Most of which are Aspartame free!). We will keep in touch with Helen and will inform our jolly makgeolli loving friends when and to where she moves! 20140816211138110

   Address:  149-31 Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-878

    Map: Here

Have you ever been to Helen’s kitchen? How was your experience? Leave a comment here or find us on our facebook or twitter

Please Comment!

Makgeolli Festival Roundup 2013

It’s that time of year when  we start seeing some excellent makgeolli festivals pop up for us to taste at and partake in.  It can be hard to know exactly when these things emerge until it’s too late, so here is a wrap up of what we know is going on.  We have our ears to the ground and we will be updating here when we get any new information about makgeolli events coming up.


Ilsan Makgeolli Festival

When:  Saturday October 5th – 6th

Where:  Ilsan Cultural Park (Cheongbalsan Station)

What:  An outdoor festival of tasting and exhibitions of various makgeolli brewers



Ilsan Festival


Makgeolli Day / Traditional Alcohol Festival @ World Cup Park


When:  Makgeolli Day is on the last Thursday of October every year, so that means this year it will be Oct 31st

Where:  Last year the festival was held at World Cup Park in Sangam on the last weekend of October.  It was the greatest festival we have ever been to, and we have been waiting on the edge of our collective seats ever since for it to happen again this year.  However when we searched for info about the festival this year, we haven’t been able to find anything planned.  Instead we found that there was a similar festival held in May (not sure how we missed that, but we are quite depressed that we did), and no information about the October festival.  However you can guarantee that we will be checking every day and asking everyone we know about what’s happening.  For a look at some pics from last year’s festival, check out our photo gallery here.



Makgeolli Expo

When:  November 6th – 9th

10am – 5pm

Where:  Coex (Samseong Station)

What:  The largest exhibition of makgeolli incorporating traditional liquor, hansik and traditional alcohol making tools.

Website:  The Korean Tourism Site is here, and the Korean site is here, but as yet there is limited info on this year’s event.

Makgeolli expo


Got any tips about other makgeolli festivals or exhibtions?  Got any questions we can help out with?  Comment below and let us know!

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