One of the best ways to avoid chemical-lad- en makgeolli is to make your own. MMPK has teamed up with award-winning brewing instructors Becca Baldwin and Daniel Lenaghan to connect aspiring makgeolli home brewers with the class- es and resources to get them fermenting away in no time. Baldwin and Lenaghan lead courses at Susubori Academy, a traditional alcohol education and research institute based at Kyonggi University in Seoul, and are founders of Makgeolli Makers, their own independent brewing venture. They teach both introductory and advanced technique classes, and often partner with MMPK to host special events. The appeal of home brewing was the impetus for many MMPK members to get involved with makgeolli in the first place. Jeremy Cape, an MMPK regular, says that he had lived in Korea for two years without ever enjoying makgeolli until he tasted a friend’s home brew. He was floored by the complexity and richness of the beverage that tasted nothing like what was in the cheap green bottles. “Making your own (makgeolli), you can tailor it to what you like,” Cape notes. Possess- ing a passion for loose-leaf tea and a preference for sweeter, balanced brews, he is working on a green tea makgeolli recipe that is perfectly at- tuned to his palate. For those with limited patience for brewing, some affordable aspartame-free regular makge- olli is available at E-Mart, Homeplus and even some smaller shops. Baesangmyeon Brewery, one of the largest makgeolli breweries in Korea, makes Neurin Maeul, a flavorsome and balanced session brew. Baldwin and Lenaghan often point to Baesangmyeon’s success at brewing an af- fordable yet high-quality and all-natural makgeolli as a potential model for other breweries. Another great aspartame-free supermarket makgeolli to look out for is Yetnal, which stands out from its shelf companions for its earthy, dusty taste. To develop a palate for makgeolli, a good first step is to get to a well-curated bar, and MMPK recommends a selection. For an upscale dining experience, head to Tricycle in Hapjeong. Here you will find some of the most top-shelf Korean alcohols in the world, not just makgeolli but also cheongju and soju. The biggest draw is the own- er’s extensive wealth of knowledge and passion for the industry, as well as personalized recom- mendations. For something more casual, check out Moomyeong Jip in Sangsu. One of the first bars that MMPK ever reviewed, it has great at- mosphere and good value and quality products. The space is both comfortable and vibrant, and their selection of makgeolli should have some- thing to please most palates. In Insa-dong, the hands-down favorite traditional establishment is Story of the Blue Star, nestled in an old hanok house down a back alley. Despite it being a favorite among bloggers, the experi- ence here is refreshingly consistent and queue- free. Expect to be treated to makgeolli in ice-cold kettles and a lively atmosphere. Just next door is MMPK’s favorite all-rounder, Nuruk Namu. With a contemporary feel, it boasts an extensive selec- tion of both regular and premium makgeolli, deli- cious food and a helpful and knowledgeable own- er, a juxtaposition of the old and new that sums up the dynamic world of makgeolli today. Find your flavor MorE INfo j Makgeolli Mamas and Papas Korea www.mmpkorea.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/mmpkorea