Tuesday, September 19, 2023
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HomeKorean Foodkorean food / seoul / Who Makes My Beer? _ Part 5...

korean food / seoul / Who Makes My Beer? _ Part 5 – 1330

A refreshing beer at the end of the day makes you forget your tiredness. Breathing in a beer after being tired from the hot summer and wet and sweaty weather is truly enchanting in itself.

In the beer posts that have continued until now, we talked about 1) the elements of making beer, 2) how to enjoy beer deliciously, 3) craft beer in Korea, and 4) places where beer is made. Now, the final step is “Who makes the beer?” I'll tell you about Today, I can answer the questions that have arisen while preparing the beer post so far! I met the brewer 'Kim Woo-jin' who works at Korea Craft Brewery.

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Korea Craft Brewery where brewer Kim Woo-jin works

Q. Hello! Brewer! Nice to meet you.

A Hello. I'm Kim Woo-jin and I'm a brewer at Korea Craft Brewery.

Q. What exactly is a brewer's job?

A brewer is literally a person who brews beer. To be more precise, it's a person who works to make sweet and nutritious wort for yeast that actually makes alcohol. All steps, from basic malt milling to saccharification, filtration, fermentation, and maturation, are carried out through brewers. As a leader in craft beer, Korea Craft Brewery is also focusing on developing new local ingredients and recipes for the development of second-generation beer in Korea.

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Q. What led you to get a job as a brewer?

As I continued to work and study in fields such as cooking and wine, I naturally became interested in craft beer. Finally, I heard that the CEO of the wine company I was working on was working on a project to establish a new style of brewery that didn't exist in Korea, and I had a great opportunity to participate because I was wondering if there was a role I could play. In particular, being able to conceive new products that are not on the market from an early stage and actually create them was very appealing.

Q. Why did you establish a brewery in Eumseong, Chungcheongbuk-do?

Before building a brewery, they answered that the conditions for making good beer were materials, engineering, and brewer, and the reason they chose voice was because of “ingredients” among these conditions. Eumseong was a place where you could get close to the clean, rich water resources to make beer and a variety of ingredients. There is a great advantage of being able to find agricultural products such as barley and wheat, which are the main ingredients of beer, and peaches and ginger for flavoring, in a fresher state, and it is also intended to receive smooth supply and demand from producers. A more important reason is “water.” It's no exaggeration to say that water accounts for a big part of beer's flavor. When we looked at candidate regions across the country and compared the taste of water, the water in the Eumseong region was the most neutral. The water in some areas had too longitudinity*.

*Hardness: This indicates the strength of the water; the lower the hardness, the softer it is.

Q. If so, just as shochu tastes different from region to region, does craft beer taste different from region to region?

Since the craft beer market in Korea is still small, there isn't much difference between regions, but I think there are clear differences in taste when it comes to using different water quality and local ingredients from region to region. If you look at each country more broadly, cultural differences are more prominent. As the market grows to suit the popular tastes of that country, characteristics arise. As a few examples, in Japan, lager beers with an emphasis on minerals are popular, similar to ours, while ale beers with an emphasis on flavor are traditionally made in the UK, and beers using spices are traditionally made in Belgium.

Q. What kind of beer is currently being produced at Eumseong Brewery in Chungbuk?

We produce a variety of beers under the “ARK (ARK)” brand, such as Hugmy, Behi, Cosmic Dancer, Some and Some, Black Swan, Ark Classic, and Butterfat Trio. There are also beers made in collaboration with LINE FRIENDS, such as Arc Coney and Arc Brown. In addition to this, they have produced more than 30 types of products to date by combining their own beers requested by famous restaurants, hotels, and pubs all over the country, and Hitachino Nest, a famous Japanese craft beer.

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Q. Ah, I heard that Ark Canned Beer was released this time! What's the difference between canned beer and bottled beer?

Basically, it's the same beer except that the container it holds is different. Although the development of technology has solved many problems such as the internal coating of aluminum cans, it is true that bottled beer is basically safe in terms of storage and aging.

Q. There is a trend where many craft beer breweries are popping up these days, but what differentiates Ark from them?

We are making beer that can lead you to the craft world by carefully considering the tastes of those who drink it rather than hastily putting out beer with unstable flavors in order to keep up with trends or be whimsical. We are also working to get more people into craft beer through various collaborations, friendly names, and sophisticated designs.

Q. Are there any beers that Ark is particularly fond of? What's the reason for that?

They are all child-like beers, so I love them, but if I had to pick one of them, it would be “Cosmic Dancer.” It was initially planned as a summer season, but since it was so complete and popular, it was produced annually.

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Ticket for the Ark Brewery tour

Q. What are the participants' reactions to the brewery tour? Do you plan to continue doing so in the future?

When I built a brewery, I didn't approach it as a place that simply functions as a factory that produces sake. I dreamed of a brewery as a place where many people would come and enjoy craft beer together and create culture. Meanwhile, various brewery tours have sprung up with us, and seminars and workshops have been held at breweries, and it seems that it is now becoming a culture.

Q. When it comes to drinking, you can't miss the snacks that go with it. What snack do you personally think goes best with beer?

A. This is a very simple yet difficult question. If I abandon the prejudice that I always enjoy fried food, dry snacks, and beer, I think I'll open my eyes to a more diverse world of flavors. I personally remember that dark beer and pig's feet went really well together. Wheat beer, which has a mild flavor, is a delicacy when eaten with steamed clams. In particular, I think the best snack is mussels steamed with white wine. Other than that, light-colored beers go very well with meat dishes that have a light broth, such as steamed ribs.

Q. On the other hand, what is the worst compatibility?

A. Um… This is a really difficult question… ah! I don't think samgyeopsal and lager (common bottled beers sold in restaurants) go well together. The fat and flavor of the grilled meat are already too rich, so if you eat lager at that time, you can hardly feel the flavor of the beer; you just rinse your mouth. Personally, I think dark beers like Guinness are a better match.

Q. Are there any other craft breweries or pubs you'd personally recommend?

A. Since it's called Jibiru in nearby Japan, local beers are very developed. Among them, if you go to Tokyo, I recommend Hinachino Lab, which is located in an editorial shop called Maache ecute (Maache ecute), which was created by renewing the area under an old railway trading station. Also, the old pubs located in the German region, which can be said to be the birthplace of beer, are also very interesting. You can enjoy experiencing different beers in each region, such as Cologne beer represented by Kölsch, smoked beer from Bamberg, and old breweries in Munich.

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Ark Pub located in Gangnam where you can try Ark draft beer

Q. Is there a direction Ark would like to take in the future, or is there any craft beer you would like to make?

I don't want to make sour beer just because sour beer is popular, or make cider just because cider is popular. However, even in a proper home, there are no domestic hops, and in the reality that 100% of malt is imported, I would like to achieve 100% localization when it comes to other auxiliary materials. There are many excellent farmers in various regions of the country, and I would like to collaborate with them to present a variety of new second-generation Korean beers to the world with uniform ingredients every year.



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