Drinks liked by the Korean people include Taedonggang beer. Foreign visitors to Korea, too, relish it.

“Your beers are as good as any in the world! We hope many Americans get the opportunity to taste your good work.” This is what general director Tom Curly of the AP wrote in the visitor’s book after looking round the Taedonggang Brewery during his visit to Korea in 2011.

The brewery is situated in Sadong District, Pyongyang. At first it produced only a sort of beer. Now it produces different sorts of beer better in quality, and its production capacity has been enhanced.

Beer is divided into top-fermented beer and bottom-fermented beer according to the methods of fermentation, and Taedonggang beer belongs to the latter. The beer is made using the water from under the bottom of the Taedong River and barley, hop and so on produced at home. The sorts of the beer include that made from only barley, those with 30, 50 and 70 percent material being rice, that made from rice 100 percent and black beer. Last year the brewery developed wheat beer.

The brewery built in 2002 has been renovated on a modern line, its appearance changed for the better and the production processes modernized. Previously the bottling process was not automated, which caused trouble in production. But the process is now unmanned, and a beer case piling machine of their own design and make has been installed, thus making manual labour completely unnecessary for bottled beer production.

The comprehensive analytical laboratory situated near the production building has been put on a firm foundation, provided with latest analytical equipment and more technical forces. Pak Kum Hui, head of the laboratory, says, “We examine all the production processes from the supply of raw materials and the brewing of beer to bottling and the quality of the beer, check for the presence of microorganisms in the beer and analyse its ingredients. We’re making efforts to improve the properties of the beer—it is mild, thrilling and refreshing.”

The production control room also deserves a comment: an integrated control system has been established on a higher level with the help of researchers from the Kim Chaek University of Technology.

Thus the brewery’s production and business activities have been made more scientific and IT-based.

Large-sized refrigerator vans marked Taedonggang Beer quickly transport the beer. Lots of beer houses in Pyongyang serve the beer every day, and similar houses in provinces do so.

In 2016 there took place the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the picturesque bank of the Taedong River. The floating restaurant Taedonggang and the vicinity of its wharf served as the venues for the festival. The festival included a contest in which the contestants guessed the right between seven sorts of the Taedonggang beer after tasting it. In those days beer fans at home and from abroad turned up the thumbs, admiring the beer as the best and original.

The beer contains vitamins and mineral matters, and helps improve human health by preventing diabetes and obesity and promoting urination. So it is very popular with people. Workers of the brewery are striving to produce tastier and better beer.

Article: Rim Sang Jun