North Korea Launches Beer Using ‘Secret’ Brewing Techniques

A state-run newspaper claims it is best in terms of taste and smell.

Kim Jong-un approves of this calendar.Image Getty

North Korea isn’t a country you would associate with beer. Or anything fun, for that matter.

But the Taedonggang Brewing Company is hoping to change that with the creation of the world’s best tasting beer. Or so they say.

The brewery was set up around the turn of the millennium when Kim Jong Un complained about the imported beer coming from South Korea was “really tasteless” [via Chosun Ilbo].

What started as a not-so-subtle dig at their neighbours soon became a tireless enterprise with workers at the Taedonggang Beer Company working tirelessly to deliver Kim Jung Un a tasty pint – and there’s finally been a breakthrough.

According to reports coming out of the state-controlled regime, their latest effort isn’t just their best yet but quite possibly the best in all of the world.

According to the BBC, [via the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun] , the push to improve beer standards in the region is part of a concerted effort to make life “more enjoyable” during a volatile time for the regime. Not sure it’s going that well so far.

Kim Jong-Un
Kim Jong-Un The North Korea leader Image Getty Images

Originally the plan had been to launch the new brew at the July Pyongyang Beer Festival but, according to Yonhap News Agency, those plans were scrapped for unspecified reasons. Maybe it clashed with a nuclear weapons test?

It’s been worth the wait though, with those behind the scenes at the Taedonggang Brewing Company claiming that the beer is superior to all others in “terms of its taste and smell”. Smell? So it doesn’t smell like marijuana then.

The key ingredient is the use of barley in the brewing. While barley is usually used in beer brewing, malted grains like rye, oats and wheat are also often used.

A refreshing glass of beer.
Image Zac Macaulay/cultura/Corbis

There’s no word yet on whether the beer will be exported to the west but, with Kim Jong Un in charge for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t look likely. Not at all.

Not only would he most likely block the export of the brew for fear that westerners might uncover it’s not all that tasty, but the likes of President Donald Trump will probably be against the idea of helping the North Korean regime earn some extra coin overseas.

Besides which, pretty much nothing is exported out of North Korea anyway and anyone trying to smuggle it out of there is likely to meet a grisly end.

So maybe we’ll never know if it truly is the best beer in the world. Shame.

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