What is the No 1 beer in Korea?

Answered by Michael Weatherspoon

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of trying many different Korean beers and can confidently say that there isn't one clear “No 1” in Korea. However, there are several popular choices that are loved by locals and tourists alike. These beers each offer a unique taste and experience, making it difficult to crown just one as the absolute best.

One of the most well-known Korean beers is Cass. It is a light that is crisp and refreshing, perfect for hot summer days. Cass has a clean and smooth flavor profile, with a subtle sweetness that is not overpowering. It is a popular choice among Koreans for its easy drinkability and is often enjoyed with barbecued meats or spicy Korean dishes. Personally, I find Cass to be a great choice for casual gatherings or when you want a light and uncomplicated beer.

Another popular Korean beer is Hite. Hite is also a lager, but it has a slightly stronger and fuller flavor compared to Cass. It has a malty sweetness with a hint of bitterness, giving it a more robust taste. Hite is often consumed alongside Korean fried chicken or other fried dishes, as its slightly stronger flavor pairs well with the rich and savory flavors of the food. I have enjoyed many evenings with friends, savoring Hite while indulging in delicious Korean fried chicken, and the combination never disappoints.

Kloud is a relatively newer addition to the Korean beer scene, but it has gained popularity for its high-quality taste. It is a German-style pilsner that boasts a rich and complex flavor profile. Kloud has a slightly hop character, balanced by a smooth and malty backbone. It is a beer that can be savored slowly, enjoying the intricate flavors with each sip. I have found Kloud to be a great choice when I want a more sophisticated beer experience, perhaps when enjoying a nice steak dinner or celebrating a special occasion.

OB Golden Lager is another noteworthy Korean beer that has its own loyal following. It is a relatively light and easy-drinking beer, similar to Cass, but with its own distinct flavor. OB Golden Lager has a clean and crisp taste with a touch of sweetness. It is often enjoyed as a refreshing option during outdoor activities or as a casual drink with friends. I have fond memories of sipping OB Golden Lager during picnics by the Han River in Seoul, appreciating the simple pleasure of a good beer in a beautiful setting.

Last but not least, Max is a popular Korean beer that offers a unique twist. It is a beer, which means it has a slightly stronger and richer flavor compared to traditional lagers. Max has a smooth and creamy texture, with a slightly sweet and malty taste. It is often enjoyed as a dessert beer or as a treat to indulge in after a long day. I have found Max to be a great choice when I want something a little different from the usual lagers, and its smoothness makes it a great companion for relaxing evenings at home.

While it is difficult to determine the absolute No 1 beer in Korea, there are several popular choices that cater to different tastes and occasions. Whether you prefer the light and refreshing Cass, the fuller-bodied Hite, the sophisticated Kloud, the easy-drinking OB Golden Lager, or the unique maltiness of Max, there is a Korean beer for every preference. So, the next time you find yourself in Korea, I encourage you to explore and discover your own personal favorite among these fantastic options.