Alcohol consumption

The BBC picked up on a story in the Chosun Ilbo that celebs under 25 could be banned from leading teenagers astray by advertising booze. A bill proposing the clamp-down was passed by the National Assembly’s committee on health and welfare on 23 April. Reportedly prompted by Kim Yu-na’s Hite advertisements in 2012 (when she […]

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Chaebols muscle in on craft beer

by Philip Gowman 28 December 2014
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There’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal’s Korean blog about the improvement in South Korea’s beer scene since the relaxation of rules which prohibited you from selling beer unless you were one of the big boys. But the small brewers are now facing competition from a craft beer pub set up by one […]

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At this rate, by 2025 soju will be weaker than wine

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2014
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The JoongAng Daily reports that your bog standard soju now has 18% alcohol content, down from 23% 15 years ago. You can even find some below 17%. If trends continue, with wines getting stronger (you can get extreme wines at around 15%) it won’t be long before your everyday soju is weaker than your everyday […]

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South Korea’s boring beer and love of expensive whisky in the news again

by Philip Gowman 26 November 2012
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It’s something of a paradox. Koreans are prepared to put up with some of the most tasteless, characterless beer in the world, but insist on top quality whisky. For an explanation of the former mystery, the Economist (Fiery Food, Boring Beer – a dull duopoly crushes microbrewers, 24 November 2012) expands on a theme discussed […]

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PSY vs the generic K-pop girls

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2012
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PSY has thrashed the lot of them when it comes to YouTube views. And now he’s up against KARA, SiSTAR and 4Minute in the Soju Wars. According to Koreabang, Jinro’s Chamiseul outsells Lotte’s Cheoeum Cheoreom by almost 3 to 1. PSY has now signed up to promote Jinro, while Hara, Hyolyn and HyunA have just […]

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I have no reason to drink Cheoeum Cheoreom any more

by Philip Gowman 13 November 2012
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The average soju you get in London Korean restaurants is all much of a muchness. You either take whatever is on the drinks list, or, if you have a choice, you choose the one advertised by your favourite soju girl. And now that Lotte has parted company with Lee Hyori after five years advertising Cheoeum […]

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2012 Travel Diary #20: Rabbit Stew and Love Shots

by Philip Gowman 7 November 2012
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Beopgyesa, Sancheong County, Gyeongsangnam-do, Friday 30 March 2012. The ice on the mountain trail the previous day had given me metaphorical cold feet about proceeding upwards beyond Beopgyesa to Jirisan’s summit. During the night, the wind and rain outside our comfortable cabin in the temple compound confirmed the decision that we would head downhill, rather […]

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Seven shots of soju is “excessive”? It’s hardly even a warm-up

by Philip Gowman 6 August 2012
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“The World Health Organization defines excessive drinking as the equivalent of seven shot-sized cups (1 fluid ounce per cup) of soju for men and five for women” says the Joongang Ilbo. If you define it like that, it’s hardly suprising if 42.5% of Korean men find themselves drinking “excessively” at least once a week. Keywords: […]

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Daytime Drinking – the perfect hangover cure

by Philip Gowman 28 July 2012
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Daytime Drinking is a gentle comedy which is the perfect antidote the view that Korean cinema has lost its way. And it’s a film which makes you feel connected to Korea much more than many of the horror and action films which come our way. From the soulless self-catering guesthouse (or “pension”) in the mountains […]

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Groove Korea explains why Korean beer is so bad

by Philip Gowman 2 November 2011
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Why is Korean beer so dreadful? Rob Titley of Groove Korea has the answer: An Answer to Korea’s Bad Beer http://t.co/p3eSg6nf. Part of the problem is high barriers to entry. Keywords: General post tags: Alcohol consumption

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A nice collection of soju ads

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2011
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Gents, you know you like those soju ads but feel that you shouldn’t. Take a guilt-free look, courtesy of Suzy Chung at the official Korea Blog http://t.co/1pfEWqT4 Keywords: Musicians: Lee Hyori Other tags: Advertisements | Alcohol consumption

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The ideal boilermaker

by Philip Gowman 15 June 2011
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The ideal somaek (soju-maekju) mix? Apparently 3 parts soju to 7 parts beer. Each to his own, but the fun part is experimenting. http://bit.ly/j5F4ML # Keywords: General post tags: Alcohol consumption

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Korea’s premium whisky market

by Philip Gowman 15 April 2011
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Chivas Regal boss tracks the history of whisky in Korea "Korea is easily the No. 1 premium market in the world." Chivas Regal is part of Pernod Ricard, bitter rivals to Diageo. Source: Joongang Daily, 8 April 2011 #. Keywords: General post tags: Alcohol consumption

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FTA will be signed in October – scotch whisky to benefit

by Philip Gowman 16 September 2010
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EU-ROK FTA to be signed on 6 October at a Brussels summit, says BBC. Scotch Whisky could be a big winner, with its current 20% import duty phased out over three years. http://bbc.in/9TRQOC # Keywords: General post tags: Alcohol consumption | FTA

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2010 Travel Diary #10: an evening with Yi Chuljin

by Philip Gowman 7 June 2010
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Sunday 2 May 2010. I had secretly been hoping, before my schedule was finalised, that after the Jongmyo rituals I would be able to go to an authentic Buddhist dance performance by my friend Yi Chuljin. In a marathon exercise supported by the Jogye temple, he is in the middle of a 100-day run of […]

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Get plastered and win a holiday in Cheju-do

by Philip Gowman 12 May 2007

Not any more, though. Reports of a rather fun “drinking culture” competition hit the presses this week. The story even made it into the free newspaper handed out in the London Underground. Battered by criticism from the media and civic groups, Goesan’s county government decided to stop awarding its “Drinking Culture Prize” to its county […]

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Korean alcohol consumption

by Philip Gowman 7 November 2006
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It’s always nice to know that people are occasionally reading the stuff I write. Aidan Foster-Carter was prompted by my post on the Asian craze for fine wine to trawl his compendious archives, and he forwarded me this interesting piece on Korean alcohol consumption. Though out of date, it does confirm that when it comes […]

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