Beer in South Korea

The South Korean beer market is currently dominated by two big companies, which are Hite-Jinro and Oriental Brewery (OB). These two manufacturers have several brands and they are sold in almost every restaurant in Korea. Most restaurants or bars in Korea only have one of these brands on tap, as most of the brands have similar taste and price. Local brands usually cost around 3,000 Won, which is not really expensive, so a lot of people drink regularly.

There are many beer brands in Korea, but they are made almost same manufacturers. Hite-Jinro provides Hite, Max, Dry Finish d, Stout, and Queen’s Ale. Almost every Korean beer brand offers lager beer, but Queen’s Ale is an ale beer.

Queen’s Ale provides deep and abundance of floral and fruity aroma through fermentation format that is different from that of lager with intense refreshing feeling. The preference in Ale in Korea is increasing through a diverse range of specialist beer bars located in the trend mecca of Korea in Hongdae and Itaewon regions in Seoul.

Oriental Brewery (OB) provides OB Golden Lager, Cass brands (Cass, Cass Light, Cass Red, Cass Lemon, Cass 2X), Cafri, and Aleston.

Aleston is also an Ale beer like Queen’s Ale, which provides higher quality beer than other Korean lager beer brands. Aleston is described as a ‘British Style Ale’ and comes in two forms, Black Ale and Brown Ale. The price is around \2,500 for a 500ml can. There are also 330 bottles and can as well as 6 packs. The price is similar to Queen’s Ale, which is from Hite-Jinro, as well as a host of different imported brews.

Korean ales are okay, and they are better than the normal domestic lager beers such as Hite or Cass, but at the same point, Korean ales are more expensive than lagers. So only a few Koreans take these two Ales, and the others take imported beers, if there is no price different.



I like some Korean lagers, but a lot of people say that Korean lagers are not tasty. They say Korean lagers are insipid, and there is too much carbonic acid in Korean lagers. Because of those opinions, Lotte Liquor invented a beer called ‘Kloud’, which is 100% malt real beer. Normal Korean beer brands add water to make beer, so a lot of people think Korean beers are insipid. But Lotte Liquor used ‘Original Gravity’ method, which does not use water to make beer. So it has deeper flavor than other Korean beers and a lot of people started to like it. I think lager brings a feeling of refreshment, and because of that characteristic, it is good to eat with rich foods.


In Korea, you can find so many imported beers in markets. In the past, the imported beer was so expensive that not a lot of people drink them, but in these days, many big markets like Home-plus, e-mart are selling them with a cheap price, so many people started to drink them. Also convenience stores sell them with a cheap price too, so it is easy to drink imported beers anywhere.

So what imported beer brands can you find in Korea?

There are some famous imported beers in Korea. Representatively, there are Heineken and Pilsner Urquell in lager brands. The taste of them is not strong and light, so it is really good to eat with chicken. And there are Hoegaarden and Guiness in ale brands. They have less carbonic acid but have a strong scent. Paulaner, 1664 Blanc, and Weihenstephan are also famous imported ales Their scent and the taste are awesome, so many people like them. If you do not like bitter taste, Corona Extra (Mexican Lager) will be a good choice. It has less bitter taste and light. Vin Diesel, the main actor in movie Fast and Furious, also loves this beer.


Article by Junhyung, a Freshman in Business Administration

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: