'Makgeolli-making': now an intangible cultural asset

Traditional brewing technique officially approved by the Korean administration

The Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea has officially designated Makgeolli-making as a national intangible cultural asset. 'Makgeolli-making' does not just constitute the traditional brewing techniques, but also includes the traditional lifestyle of producing and enjoying Makgeolli for different kinds of special occasions, something known to be enjoyed by Koreans since the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC - 668 AD).

Filtering makgeolli by hand is the traditional way to separate the alcohol from the rice sediment
The filtering process of making makgeolli

Compared to other Korean liquors that may be only made in certain regions, Makgeolli is valued for its widespread production all over the country. According to the Cultural Heritage Administration, this is what makes Makgeolli-making a culture that is shared by everyone, not owned by any one individual.

During the Joseon dynasty, each household had its own special Makgeolli-making methods. Even though those methods have changed somewhat throughout history, Makgeolli maintains its status as a national drink.

When making makgeolli, it's common to filter by hand
Filtering makgeolli by hand

"The special technique of Makgeolli-making has been passed down for thousands of years and its actual documents are present, making it especially valuable." says the spokesman of the Cultural Heritage Administration.

The Sool Company has been teaching makgeolli making classes at Susubori Academy, at breweries, at expos all over Korea and around the world for many years. For us, this designation to recognize the process for making traditional Korean alcohol is an exciting step forward bringing the joys of sool brewing to the world stage. Even though Covid-19 has restricted our ability to offer classes, our online makgeolli making courses are a great way to get started in learning about the foundations of makgeolli fermentation.

A ceremony to celebrate Makgeolli-making being designated as an asset will take place on the 26th of July at 5 PM, on the fields of Hwaseong Haenggung Suwon, complete with brewing experiences. On the 26th and 27th, 26 different breweries will be open for tours across the country.

Stay tuned for more information on celebrations for this momentous occasion for makgeolli brewing!