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The Economist Comments on Korean Beer: It Sucks!
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Mr. BlackCat



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Location: Insert witty remark HERE

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Koreans will drink good beer (or at least, better). That's for when they go to a bar dedicated to beer. What, you think it's only expats keeping the places with imported beer open?

But if you are out at a typical Korean bar or restaurant, sorry but the only imported beers I could imagine tasting good with Korean BBQ or a plate of dalkkalbi would be something like an MGD/Budweiser, at best maybe a Mexican brew like Pacifico or Sol.

It would be like drinking magkeoli with Italian or Tex-Mex. It just wouldn't taste right.


I don't really agree with you here. It's kind of a chicken and an egg argument as waynehead brings up. Different cultures all over the world have produced good beers and spirits that compliment and go with their diverse foods, I don't see why it has to be different here.

Many of the issues that plague modern Korea, as discussed in the article and here, is the entry and production barriers smaller players have to put up with in the face of the chaebols. I also think it has to do with Korea's quick rise into modernity, which we see in the food here as well. When they were poor Koreans convinced themselves that eating fat, feet and other undesirable parts of the animals (and produce) was good for you. They haven't had enough time to change society's views on these things, that's why we still get confronted with claims that rotten cabbage prevents cancer and borderline antifreeze in green bottles is good for stamina (side note: for a country with so many things that are good for stamina, Koreans do tend to nap a lot).

I'm saying all this as a non-beer snob. Beer is like sex and pizza, even when it's bad it's still pretty good. You're not bringing Jessica Alba/Ben Affleck home every night unless you're Ben Affleck/Jessica Alba. I have had the privilege to visit some of the best beer houses and microbrews in the world, from beer halls in Munich to holes in the walls in Brussels with 50 page beer menus. Sure, I like to splurge and drink the good stuff, especially when I can get a good price at Home Plus or if I'm having a nice meal. But if I'm out with the boys on a Saturday night the only thing that's going to remember my good taste is my wallet.
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darkjedidave



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Location: Shanghai/Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, local beer made me start brewing my own again. It turns out better than any of the swill here.

On a similar note, any place in the South where you can buy Taedonggang Beer? I would be interested in trying it.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

geldedgoat wrote:
Steelrails wrote:
But if you are out at a typical Korean bar or restaurant, sorry but the only imported beers [...]


...are the ones you smuggle in? Laughing


Laughing Nice.

Quote:
So Koreans are keeping Craftworks open? And the crappy Korean alcohol isn't crappy because it goes well with the Korean food, huh?


Yes, because the only place in Korea to get tasty imported beer is Craftworks. Rolling Eyes

Oh and John, did it ever occur to you that not drinking good beer with "crappy Korean food" is protecting the integrity of good beer? Why ruin your full pint of Bell's Two Hearted with a plate of chicken butt?

As for crappy Korean alcohol...Cheese Whiz is crappy cheese, but there is nothing else that belongs on a proper Philly Cheesesteak. Diet Coke is crap, but for a Long Island Ice Tea, it is the only way to go. Moonshine is awful stuff, but it goes great with BBQ Pork.

The reason the Korean alcohol gets a pass is that the food is the primary part of the menu. The drink compliments the food, not the food complimenting the drink.

You could have the finest glass of Cognac around and some cheap swill of a Mexican beer. Guess which I would choose to drink if I was going out for some Tex-Mex? Would I chose Seamus McDrinkey's Swill O'The Trough to go with me Shepherd's pie or a premium sake? Give me the swill.

Quote:
I agree that crappy Korean beer goes great with galbi or something like that, but it's only because we're conditioned to put the two together.


Tried it with geldedgoat's method. Thought we were onto something, then retreated to Hite in shame and self-loathing. Like I said, light crisp beers, if they are imported, can certainly work. But a nice dunkel would just ruin both things, and I love good beer to much to do that.


Quote:
Many of the issues that plague modern Korea, as discussed in the article and here, is the entry and production barriers smaller players have to put up with in the face of the chaebols.


I'd agree with this. You might see a better batch of beer if the monopolies were broken up.

Koreans do seem to be semi-decent at certain alcohol crafts. Some flower/herbal wines I've tried have been real nice, especially ones that are served hot. Craft Magkeoli is starting to grow bigger and bigger. I've been to some Magkeoli bars that serve 40+ kinds of Magkeoli and there is definitely quality there.
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oh and John, did it ever occur to you that not drinking good beer with "crappy Korean food" is protecting the integrity of good beer?


lol, I think your argument is whack. I can't believe you can't be honest with yourself about some of your "opinions"... and, especially, why you hold them. You can make all the analogies you want and fluff up threads with all the nonsense you want, but I think your opinion on this is bogus. "The bad beer compliments the food?" Really? Korean beer stinks, don't need to say much more than that.
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Seoulman69



Joined: 14 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Tried it with geldedgoat's method. Thought we were onto something, then retreated to Hite in shame and self-loathing. Like I said, light crisp beers, if they are imported, can certainly work. But a nice dunkel would just ruin both things, and I love good beer to much to do that.


I have to agree with the Steel man on this one. Some drinks are better suited to particular food and I think a nice pilsner would be best for a lot of Korean food. This is not to say that Hite or Cass are acceptable beers though. The Koreans need to improve there beer. It's possible to brew a nice pilsner that compliments the food. It's just that the Korean companies don't use decent ingredients. And whose fault is this? Apparently it's the Americans. I can't remember who told me this but after the Korean war the beer made in South Korea was very similar to the North Korean beer. However the residing American forces demanded a beer more like they were accustomed to back home. Basically Bud. Which makes me wonder why for so long American beer was terrible? The reason was prohibition. Prohibition made American brewers use non standard ingredients to make their alcohol. When prohibition was repealed the brewers kept using many of the cheaper ingredients to save money. Plus the American palette had adjusted to things like corn and rice being present in beers.

So in conclusion it was America's fault. Laughing
Not quite but you get the idea of how things evolved.
But cheer up folks. Korean beer is getting better and will continue to improve. The best thing you can do is to stop buying the crap beers and start buying better beers. Craftworks, Magpie, 7Brau, and some craft brews are available in a lot of bars now. The question is though, do you want to pay the extra?
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoulman69 wrote:

So in conclusion it was America's fault. Laughing


Maybe that's what Psy was rapping about. Bad beer is torture and if one had to endure it long enough, I can see that resulting in a spew of comments.

Hmm, perhaps I should sympathize more with the basher community...

Quote:
lol, I think your argument is whack. I can't believe you can't be honest with yourself about some of your "opinions"... and, especially, why you hold them. You can make all the analogies you want and fluff up threads with all the nonsense you want, but I think your opinion on this is bogus. "The bad beer compliments the food?" Really? Korean beer stinks, don't need to say much more than that.


So you'd order a Trappist Ale or a Rogue with some chicken butt or dalkkalbi? That's just a waste of good beer. It would make both the food and the beer taste worse. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that crappy wine would go better with Italian food than expensive Scotch.

If I want to drink good beer, I'm not ordering Korean food. I like my good beer. That's what Round 2 after the meat place is for- For good beer.

On a side note, I miss Barley wine.
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geldedgoat



Joined: 05 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those comparisons aren't very persuasive, since you're comparing different kinds of alcohols rather than different quality alcohols of the same kind.
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transmogrifier



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, this article is like the Korea Times writing an expose on the shittiness of New Zealand's soju industry.

Koreans (in general, though of course there are exceptions) just have no beer drinking culture and don't give a two hoots about it as a product to be savoured, and it shows in the lack of quality in their domestic product.

Korean beer gives me the worst headaches, so I wonder what else is in it sometimes. The taste is bland, but I've had worse.

NZ kicks Korea's ass at beer, of course, but we should be ashamed if we didn't.
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Unibrow



Joined: 20 Aug 2012

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EZE wrote:
Unibrow wrote:
I drink Cass and Hite, but in the States I drink Milwaukees Best usually.


You sounds a lot like me. I used to drink Cass, but I'm a Hite man now, with an occasional Cass. In the States, I usually drink Milwaukee's Best now that I can no longer find the $4.99 for a 12 pack brand called Josef Hoffbauer. Those were the good ole days. I notice its reviews are no better than Korean beers: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/892/11465 Hite and Josef Hoffbauer are, in my opinion, two of the most underrated beers especially when price is taken into consideration.


I'm glad someone agrees with me. Most people in this thread sound like high school girls. "Ew Bud Light is gross, I like Smirnoff Ice" but instead of alcopops it's imported microbrews. Don't get me wrong, I like a nice beer now and again, but for most social situations a pitcher of crappy draft beer is the way to go.
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transmogrifier



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. BlackCat wrote:
Beer is like sex and pizza, even when it's bad it's still pretty good.


Obviously you haven't had XXXX or VB from Australia. My two most hated beers, along with Lion Red from New Zealand.
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

transmogrifier wrote:

Korean beer gives me the worst headaches, so I wonder what else is in it sometimes.

Same here, I get the worst headaches and hangovers from it, and some others I know (even a couple Koreans) have said the same, particularly with Cass. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some funky soju-esque chemicals and colorings in it.

Sometimes the headache comes within minutes of drinking some. So now instead of trying to pretend I like it, I'm just honest and flat out refuse it, unless it's a company toast at a restaurant and there's no alternative.
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoulman69 wrote:
This is not to say that Hite or Cass are acceptable beers though. The Koreans need to improve there beer. It's possible to brew a nice pilsner that compliments the food. It's just that the Korean companies don't use decent ingredients. And whose fault is this? Apparently it's the Americans. I can't remember who told me this but after the Korean war the beer made in South Korea was very similar to the North Korean beer. However the residing American forces demanded a beer more like they were accustomed to back home.

Even if true, they've had plenty of time to modify or improve the product since then. They haven't. Mostly because most are fine with it as it is or don't know what real beer is supposed to taste like in comparison. Look at Japanese beers. World of difference. Korea copied many of their other products, but couldn't copy the beers?
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korean beer is a laxative. There, I've said what so many of you were too prudish to say.
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rainman3277



Joined: 13 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Gotta agree that when it comes to drinking with Korean food, Korean beer tastes like it's "supposed to". A more complex beer really wouldn't work. Certain wines and rice liquors of course, work better.


Wow. I've read you are a king korean apologist which is cool cause I am no friend of the whining and crying of many of the foreign community but.... you are actually trying to say the beer was made crappy intentionally to suit cuisine? Man, you are reeeeally reaching.
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NQ



Joined: 16 Feb 2012

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
Korean beer is a laxative. There, I've said what so many of you were too prudish to say.


Actually, I was gonna say this myself but you beat me to the punch! YES, Korean beer is very much a laxative which is the main reason why I don't like drinking Cass or Hite. I have to make sure there's a toilet around when depending on Cass/Hite to get drunk off of.

I don't know why this happens to me, but it sucks. Like the taste of Korean beer is fine, but the laxative effect is pretty sh*tty (no pun intended). I never had this problem to such an extent as I have back in Canada, as I have over here. Like even when depending on Bud, which isn't an exotic beer by any means, doesn't give me this effect.

HOnestly, the only good thing about Korean beer is the price and to an extent the taste. I actually don't mind the taste as much as some of you out there. Does anyone else have the same laxative problem as me??
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