Alas, a chef friend Wonil Lee finally took me to the closest 막걸리 makgeolli brewery in Seoul! My jaws literally dropped the moment I stepped food into this brewery/shop! Korea's oldest traditional liquor has made an impressive comeback...
Baesangmyun Brewery is one of the leading makgeolli producers in Seoul. Their flagship store-느린마을 양조장's (Neurin maeul-so not spelling this right) is in Yangjae-dong (near the Yangjae station line #3). Their formula: never use artificial sweetners like aspartame, and makgeolli is brewed fresh daily. Tastings are available upon request.
A lil' bit of history:
Dating back from the fourth century and Korea's Silla dynasty, it was most popular in the 1960's and 70's. However, it soon lost it's popularity after the hangovers that were caused by chemicals in the process of making makgeolli, to hasten the fermentation process. Nonetheless, after breweries have improved the recipes, along with the great price point, this traditional rice wine has been revived!
Makgeolli's cloudy appearance is made from steaming glutinous rice, wheat, or barley with water and the fermentation starter-nuruk. The alcohol content ranges from 6-7%, and best served with their natural companions: Korean style pancakes- pajeon (파전) or bindaedduk (빈대떡). The best part-it's average price at the supermarket is 1100 won ($1.10)/bottle, and at restaurants they range from 3,000 won-15,000 won ($3-$15)/bottle!
My choice of Korean liquor...
After visiting makgeolli specialty bars and makgeolli expos, you can never learn enough about it! Trips to more breweries are in the works, thus my search continues...
Seocho-gu, Yangjae-dong 67-3, Seoul/서울시 서초구 양재동 67-3
Chef Lee bought me a box of 6 goodies!!! Come on over if you guys want a tasting, there is no way Sally and I can finish this on our own!!!
The goods that were in the box + beautiful bowls a friend gave me a while ago for makgeolli!!!