August 2016 saw Pyongyang hold its first-ever beer festival. Here at Koryo Tours, we were delighted to act as consultants to the Korean organisers, providing advice on how best to arrange such an event.
We were pleased as punch to see Pyongyang’s debut beer festival become such a roaring success, and are extremely happy to have been able to help make it somewhat of an unexpected smash hit! During its run, over 45,000 people visited, of which more than 40,000 were locals. Hundreds of people crowded the festival area each night, and took river cruises on the Taedonggang Cruise Ship.
With so many people attending each evening, and all seven varieties of Taedonggang beer flowing nicely, tourists could mix freely with Koreans, share toasts, see live musical performances, and even try to win prizes (such as when our very own Jessica defeated several local men in a pint-downing contest on stage).
It was a wonderfully sociable atmosphere — as you'd expect from crowds of people enjoying the good times that come with a few cold beers on a hot evening — and this was far and away one of the best opportunities we've been involved with for tourists to mingle with Pyongyang’s usually reserved locals, somewhat loosened up by a couple of pints of North Korea's finest beer!
Don’t worry if you missed out on this year’s event. As we're happy to announce that — what was one of our absolute highlights of this year — is set to return. That's right, folks: we've had word that next year's edition has now been scheduled, and will take place every evening throughout August 2017, from 7pm until midnight. And so any tourist visiting Pyongyang at that time is welcome to attend, and try one (or all) of the seven beers produced by North Korea's most famous brewery: Taedonggang.
From what we know so far, the 2017 edition of the Pyongyang Beer Festival will — much like the debut event this year — be dominated by domestic beer, rather than being a truly international festival. There are plans in place to expand it, but a gradual approach will have to be taken at first.
One of the initial steps in making this festival more international is to take more foreigners along, and we've been given permission once more to bring our tourists to this amazing event. So, if you join any of our tours in August — group or private — then we'll make sure you get to go where few others have.
We have several group tours running in August 2017. Join one of these and, on at least one evening of the trip, you'll get to enjoy a frosty pint or three alongside hundreds of locals. Make sure you don't miss out on next year's Pyongyang Beer Festival! Sign up now for a life-changing experience!
Any questions? As always: please feel free to drop us a line.
And if all that wasn't enough to get you excited then wet your whistle a little more by taking a look below at an *amazing* infomercial for Taedonggang Beer.
Don’t worry if you can’t understand the Korean in the clip — it's five minutes of awesome music, overly enthusiastic people drinking beer, and some great graphics.
Enjoy, and of course: Chuk-bae!