Korean Drinking Guide – the beers and the barbecue

Written by on January 19, 2012 in Lifestyle, Worldwide Korea Bloggers

* This post is written by Thomas Walsh, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.

Korean beer

Korean beer

This post on how to drink in Korea is pretty basic as it is about the beer and you have all drunk beer before. Korean beer is much like any other beer but, quite frankly, not quite as good. Well, unless we are talking about American beer as that is truly bad.

If you gave me the option of beer from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Japan, England, France or, erm, most other countries or Korean I would pick “not Korean”. But Korean beer companies have a secret weapon up their sleeve – the barbecue. For some reason Korean beers work absolutely perfectly by reference to barbecue. It is almost their lack of distinguishing taste, their wateryness, their lack of ambition which renders them perfect fodder for the ritual of Korean barbeque.

The beers and the barbecue

The beers and the barbecue

And Cass, Hite and their friends have locked into this ritual and refined a technique for drinking Korean beer. If you see the glass above you will notice it has a red line about 2/3 of the way up. All Korean beer glasses have a little mark at about this level as this is the level you fill your neighbour’s glass before dropping in a shot glass of soju which is known as a bombshot or poktanju (폭탄주). And then downing it in a synchronised display.

38 Second Korean BBQ from Jen Moeller on Vimeo.

So in tribute to Korean beer, barbeque and drunkeness here is a little video Jen shot the other day whilst I was trying to eat and she was trying to annoy me with a camera. As you can see I was more concerned with trying to grab as much food as possible whilst she was distracted.

About the Author


The Worldwide Korea Bloggers (WKB) is a gathering of people from different parts of the world, all having affection for Korea. Currently, there are 50 bloggers from 17 different countries and they share their own precious experiences with Korea and its culture on Korea Blog.