What do you call Korean beer?

Answered by Kyle Floyd

Korean , also known as “maekju,” is a popular and beloved in South Korea. The term “maekju” combines the word “maek” (맥), which means wheat or barley, and “ju” (주), which means or liquor. This combination perfectly captures the essence of Korean beer, which is primarily made from barley or wheat and is enjoyed by many Koreans.

One of the most well-known Korean beer brands is Hite, which has been a staple in the country for decades. Hite beer is characterized by its smooth and crisp taste, making it a popular choice among beer enthusiasts. Another popular brand is Cass, which is known for its light and refreshing flavor. These two brands dominate the Korean beer market, but there are also other local and options available.

When it comes to Korean beer, it is important to mention the culture of pairing it with delicious fried chicken. In fact, the combination of fried chicken and beer has become so iconic in Korea that there is even a slang word for it: “chimaek.” This word is a blend of “chikin” (fried chicken) and “maekju” (beer), and it perfectly captures the joy of enjoying crispy chicken with a cold beer.

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to explore the world of Korean beer firsthand. I have tasted various brands and types of Korean beer, from lagers to ales, and each one has its own unique characteristics. Some have a malty flavor with hints of caramel, while others are more hop-forward with a finish. It is truly fascinating to see the diversity within the Korean beer scene.

In recent years, the craft beer movement has gained momentum in South Korea, with passionate brewers experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. This has led to the emergence of a vibrant craft beer culture, with breweries popping up in cities like Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island. These craft beers often offer a range of flavors, including fruity IPAs, rich stouts, and refreshing wheat beers.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of visiting some of these craft breweries and witnessing the passion and dedication that goes into creating these unique brews. It is always a delight to chat with the brewers and hear their stories behind each beer they produce. The craft beer scene in Korea is constantly evolving, with new breweries and beer styles emerging all the time.

Korean beer, or “maekju,” is a beloved beverage in South Korea. Whether you prefer the classic taste of well-known brands like Hite and Cass, or enjoy exploring the flavors of craft beers, there is something for everyone. So, next time you have the opportunity, I encourage you to try a Korean beer and experience the rich and diverse world of Korean brewing. Cheers!