Miracle On The Han River

As it turns out, Korea's history with beer is young and expanding rapidly, much like the rest of the country was back during the Miracle on the Han River. First introduced to the peninsula by Europeans in the dawn of the 1900s, beer and its industry in Korea has undergone a massive amount of domestic development and evolution considering it's been only about 100 years. Until relatively recently, the domestic beer market was controlled by two major companies, Oriental Brewery, and Hite-Jinro, both of which use rice as an adjunct for their beers, except for OB Golden Lager, and Hite Max - the only two mass produced beers in Korea which are not brewed with rice. Because of this, most of the dozens of brands of beer that each company produces generally sell to similar markets, with restaurants typically serving the beers of only one of the two company's lines. The public perception is that they both offer similar products which can be basically substituted for one another in terms of both price and taste. Foreign beers are offered as well, but can be extremely expensive compared to local and domestic brews. A few global brands including Budweiser, and Hoegaarden are brewed domestically under license. Before the 1990s, microbreweries didn't exist much in Korea, and in order to offer a wider range of beers to local markets, homebrewing was (and still is) a widespread trend. With the rise (and continued growth) of homebrewing, came the Korean Microbrewery. Currently, there are communities centered around homebrewing and the setting up of microbreweries all around Korea rise in numbers as the demand for higher quality and more sophisticated beer styles increases. So although what is available overseas as an import from Korea may be a bit on the weak side, don't fret, because the Koreans are just getting started.

Kong gang ul wi ha yo.

Rated Korean Beers

8-17-12 - OB Golden Lager - 2.07, Korean Adjunct Lager, 4.80%

Popular Beer Styles in The Republic of Korea

  • Pale Lager
  • Light Lager
  • Wheat Beers
  • Pilsners
  • Korean Breweries with Rated Beer

  • Oriental Brewery - Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea