Sunday, September 10, 2017

In South Korea Now, The Beers Are Dark And Full of Flavors

Western Beers are making a larger push into local South Korean markets:
"In the past, the local beer market was dominated by two local power brands: Cass and Hite - lagers which still account for more than 90 percent of the market. However, the recent trend among Korean beer drinkers has been to move away from these brands toward beers from overseas that have not always had a strong presence in the domestic market.
Between January and July this year, beer topped the list of alcohol imports for the first time, surpassing wine and the long-time No.1, whiskey, according to the Korea International Trade Association.
During this period, beer imports hit $143.9 million, a 50.5 percent increase year on year. The figure is notable considering it was only in 2014 that domestic beer imports first reached $100 million. For seven consecutive years since 2011, the growth rate has never fallen below 20 percent."
My standard disclaimer regarding Korean beer: yes it is watery lager and every single domestic brand tastes exactly the same but -- it goes really well with Korean grub, especially spicy dishes or seafood.

I dare anyone to stare down a steaming grill full of, say, spicy pig and / or cow intestines and tell me they could really use a Guinness.

And because Koreans don't tend to drink alcohol without eating something, there's a bit of a cultural barrier for them to start drinking heavy or dark beers that are, among other things, quite filling on their own.

As for breweries, I know Seoul has a few but I wish Daegu had more.  There are some places that serve imports but more places that actually make them would be appreciated by this humble English teacher.

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