Reviving the Rustic: Korean Makgeolli - Atlas Obscura
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Seattle, Washington

Reviving the Rustic: Korean Makgeolli

Learn the history of Korea's oldest traditional liquor at this tasting event hosted at Girin Korean Ssam Bar.

Makgeolli, which roughly translates as "coarsely filtered," is the oldest traditional liquor from Korean, dating back to the Goguryeo Dynasty over 1,000 years ago. It was traditionally consumed by farmers who would carry large vessels of it on their backs while they worked in the fields. As soju and foreign beverages like beer became more popular in the 1970s, makgeolli fell out of favor and became relegated to the working classes.

Popular with food due to its beer-wine-like alcohol content and refreshing taste, and venerated for its high probiotic content, home-brewed makgeolli has found new prominence in Korean hipster bars, and amongst celebrities and rappers who refer to it as "Mack-Gully."

At Girin Korean Ssam Bar, brewer Cody Burns undertook a two-year process of wrangling with the government about how to classify and permit the makgeolli brewing process. Today, he is one of the only producers of this ancient liquor in the United States. Join Cody for an informal tasting and talk on the global popularity of this "drink of peasants."

Additional Details

  • 21+ to sample; bring your photo ID.
  • Light appetizers are included in the ticket price.


Email Shin Yu Pai at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.