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“Makgeolli, next Korean wave”

By Shin In-ho | 기사입력 2022/06/29 [15:40]

“Makgeolli, next Korean wave”

By Shin In-ho | 입력 : 2022/06/29 [15:40]



On May 23rd, CNN reported that “makgeolli” the milky and sweet traditional rice wine from Korea, is drawing attention as a next-generation Korean Wave runner. Actually, makgeolli has been pushed out by soju, which is often referred to as “Korean vodka,” and beer. CNN wrote an article titled “How Korea’s Makgeolli Is Getting Out of the Shade of Soju,” highlighting the status of makgeolli that has been revived in Korea and it also paid attention to whether makgeolli will be able to advance to the world stage and become a new Korean Wave.

 

CNN labelled “makgeolli” according to the Korean pronunciation and said that it captivates the younger generation. For example, most of the students who come to the makgeolli manufacturing class by Professor Kim Kyung-sup of Global Cyber University are women in 30s and young businessmen. This phenomenon is completely different from 10 years ago, when most of the students who wanted to make makgeolli were in their 50s.

 

Makgeolli had not been considered as a promising industry at the beginning. Before the Japanese colonial period, makgeolli had often been made at home but during the that period, all liquor manufacturing was taxed and also required licenses, which caused domestic brewers to be pushed out by standardized industrial liquor makers. And then, in the 1960s after the liberation, manufacturing makgeolli was banned because of food shortages. It had brought soju craze until the 1989, when the ban of manufaturing makgeolli was lifted. Since then, makgeolli has gradually regained its reputation, thanks to private research efforts for making quality makgeolli and policies allowing home manufacture since 1995. Allowing online sales of traditional makgeolli in 2017 also helped it restore its old reputation.

 

“Makgeolli is considered healthy and organic for foreign consumers. It is a kind of alcohol that foreigners have never seen before,” said CEO Kim Min-kyu, who has been running a premium makgeolli brewery since 2009. He added, “Korea’s soft power is expanding beyond Asia, and I think makgeolli will also ride the Korean Wave.”

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