* Date : 2014-09-09
What is the true taste of Korean makgeolli, made with time and devotion? This was the question asked by Kim Yong-hoe, author of Korea’s first comic series about makgeolli, “Daejak.” He takes off on a journey to meet three masters of makgeolli who are keeping traditions alive in the modern world, determined to make the best alcohol possible.
Maintaining the original flavor of makgeolli – Master Song Myeong-seop
In Taein-myeon, Jeollabuk-do Province, there is a master who uses traditional techniques to make alcohol as closely as possible to the original makgeolli. He is a designated Intangible Cultural Heritage in Traditional Liquor Making, Song Myeong-seop. His insistence on following tradition and his pride in his work have created makgeolli that is made with ingredients that he grew with his own hands – makgeolli that is close to nature and close to its original form.
Making makgeolli in a brewery passed down through 5 generations – Master Park Gwan-won
The most famous rice makgeolli brewery in Gyeonggi-do Province is Baedari Suldoga, led by master Park Gwan-won. The makgeolli made here follows a recipe that has been passed down in the family for five generations, and is considered the best makgeolli in the region. Park is so devoted to Korea’s traditional alcohol that he used his life savings to build the country’s one and only makgeolli museum. He only has one wish – to continue the 150-year-old tradition of his family’s makgeolli with integrity.
Making white lotus makgeolli with exquisite flavor and aroma – Master Kim Yong-se
In Dangjin, Chungcheongnam-do Province, master Kim Yong-se has maintained the same traditional taste of makgeolli for eighty years. His brewery has an old gotaek (traditional house), aged makgeolli jars, brewing tools, and ancient books that make it seem like a living makgeolli museum. The makgeolli made here has been acknowledged even by Cheong Hwa Dae, and it has a light, clean taste that is made by fermenting Dangjin’s famous Haenaru rice and white lotus leaves. The third-generation owner, Kim Dong-gyo, has added a modern trend to the brewery, making it a hands-on tourist attraction. It’s an exciting blend of traditional artisanship and young trends, which will create the makgeolli of the future.