Saturday, 3 December 2011

Taedonggang (North Korea)

One of the great things about working for an international organisation is the cross-cultural intellectual stimulation of interacting with colleagues based around the world. I learn so much from them all every day -- about politics, language, business and customs -- expanding my knowledge and understanding of people and societies in every corner of the globe. When we get together, it’s like a personalised, intensive course in foreign affairs, and I feel my mind sponge soaking up the wonders of humanity in all its glorious complexity.

Oh, and they sometimes bring me beer from some strange places.

The latest was from one of my colleagues covering North East Asia: a beer called Taedonggang from North Korea. (Thanks, Dan!)

The brewery has a bit of a strange story, it seems. The plant itself used to be in England and then, after some discussion about whether the equipment could be used for chemical weapons production, it was dismantled in Wiltshire, shipped around the world and reassembled in Pyongyang.

The beer they began brewing was named after the Taedong River, which runs through the North Korean capital. Not sure if that’s the water they use...

The taste is nothing special, but it’s also not as frighteningly terrible as some might imagine. It is pretty much a typical lager, though it has a bit stronger caramel note than it should, perhaps. Still, Taedonggang has a decent bitterness. Really, it’s not bad at all.

Happily, the beer doesn’t seem to suffer from the some low-quality production values as the two-and-a-half-minute TV advert for it...

1 comment:

  1. What you are drinking there was made on plant that came from the former Usher's brewery in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

    http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/latestheadlines/9441604.Surveillance_picks_up_former_Trowbridge_brewery_in_North_Korea/

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