Simple Guide to Beer in Korea as known as Maekju!

In this article, we will share to you a simple little guide to beer in korea. Beer in Korean language is much more well known as Maekju, usually drink together with some delicious food like chicken, known as Chimaek, or chicken and maekju. Korean really love chicken and maekju so much that you can find it easily in every chicken house in south korea.

Talk about Maekju and beer in korea, there are numerous alcoholic beverages popular in Korea aside from its traditional delicious and famous soju.

South Koreans love alcohol. The country ranks at the top of the charts of alcohol consumption per capita. Alcohol is an entrenched part of their social customs in gatherings and meals, especially. Interestingly (for us beer lovers), beer has a huge 40 percent share of the alcohol market in the country.

In this list, we will share to you some list of excellent Korean beers. I believe that you can also find these korean beer easily in your country where you live in.


hite beer in korea

Hite was being launched back then in 1993, it has never been the same since then. Hite beer has really gone up to become the top selling beer both in South Korea and worldwide. Hite brewery makes the beer in Seoul city, capital city of South Korea.

Hite beer usually has a light golden color and pours with a small white head, usually south koreans use it as a beverage accompany meals either both for dinner or casual korean meals.

The Hite brewery is one of the largest South Korean brewers. Hite Brewery brewing 9 different beers including but not limited to Hite, Hite Prime, Hite Stout, Hite Exfeel (light, low cal beer) as well as being the local maker of Fosters and Carlsberg. 

The popular 4.5% Hite is a micro filtered lager that has a fresh taste which also is the first beer to include a thermometer mark on its label. This brewery prides itself on using pure underground spring water and premium cornstarch, malt, yeast, and hops, resulting in a beer with a heavy malt aroma with a hint of hops that’s light-bodied, yet buttery.


cass beer in korea

Cass was introduced back then in 1994, it can now boast a current market share of 36 percent. As you can see, Cass is dominating the domestic beer market in South Korea. Cass brands firmly established and rooted amongst the older generations of beer and it started to advertise itself to win the younger adults market.

Cass Breweries was taken over by Oriental Breweries in 1999 which the company primarily makes OB Lager and Cafri Premium Lager. Cass beers are 5.0% lagers which are one of the top 3 most popular beers in Korea. Oriental Brewery acquired Cass in 1999 and has since been the brewery responsible for putting Cass Fresh on the market.

Today, Cass Fresh sells well globally using premium ingredients like pure water, malt, hops, and cornstarch to give it its quality consistency. The characteristic of cass beer is light, refreshing, and has a grainy malt and hops aroma, with a sweet malt taste and crisp, bitter finish.

It pours pale golden with small white foam. Additionally, there are no identifiable “hard” tastes in the profile, which makes it a great beer to have with meals. Oriental Brewery took the 2020 Korean beer award yet again this year. So that means Cass has won the race for the best beer five years in a row.

OB Lager

ob lager beer in korea

Oriental Brewery makes OB Golden Lager and was introduced back then in 1948. The brewery crafts the beer to produce a distinctive, deep taste, using German hops, premium malt, cornstarch, and rice.

This premium lager has a heavy hops aroma, is light-bodied, and has a deep, crispy malt taste, which is a result of using tower-malting and light corn. The pale golden lager pours with a small white head and is a smooth beer with which to complement meals.

This 4.7% Lager has a light golden color and a flavor reminiscent of many Asian beers that use rice grains. Owned by Oriental Breweries, there are 3 other types of OB beers, including a 4.4% new lager and light (low cal) as well as a non alcoholic OB variety. Oriental Breweries also makes the 4.0 % Cafri premium lager.


cafri beer in korea

Cafri is a well-stocked, popular beer in stores and bars across South Korea. Oriental Brewery has produced this premium beer since 1995. Cafri core ingredients consist of water, malt, hops, and yeast. It has a sweet, malt, and corn foretaste with a trace of fresh hops, but afterward, the aftertaste turns watery, finishing with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Cafri beer is also highly carbonated, pouring light golden with a small white head. The exceptionally light Cafri is an elegant accompaniment for spicy Korean foods, especially their famous korean barbecue.

Max Beer

max beer in korea

Max beer proud of it’s creamy soothing beers as the differentiate factor compare with another beer on the list. Other than that, you can find max beer in Chicken shops all over South Korea.

South Koreans usually drink max beer together with chicken meals. You might also probably order a cold one too as a companion of spicy chicken. However sometimes max beer has more froth rather than the beer itself, so you might as well need some scoop to help you cope with the froth.


terra beer in korea

Hitejinro advertise Terra as “Clean and Crisp”, so basically Terra is kind a cousin of Hite Beer. However it’s quiet match up to it’s brand identity. This beer comes to you in a green bottle, which looks very different to the blue that we see with Cass and Hite Beer. 

Hitejinro Brewery make this beer with malt grown from Australia, so it might have a really different taste compare with another korean beer listed here. Terra has more refreshing taste beer, and this one is a type of beer you would like to bring back home.


kloud beer in korea

Lotte joined the fray in 2014 with its attempt at creating a beer. Klaud is a 5% beer fermented without the dilution of water. Instead of water dilution, Lotte use the gravity method which they say helps bring out more flavour.

Kloud first launched immediately command a demand that surpasses its supply for quiet a while. The launch of Kloud beer in 2014 got such a massive reception that it was soon short of supply, seems like lotte doing a great job in creating this Kloud beer.

This situation caused the beer maker, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, to begin the construction of a new brewery to bridge and meet tha gap between the supply and demand. Lotte Chilsun brews Kloud beer from hops, malt, and yeast. Instead of water, the brewery uses fermented concentrates from the original gravity method.

The lager has an aroma of malt, bread, and hops. It has a sweet, malty taste with a light bitter finish. The beer pours light golden, forming a fluffy white effervescence for its head.

Benefits of Beer

Beer has been almost like a mineral water in many country all over the world, also in Asia, including japan, china and south korea. As we know, beer is essentually the fermentation of grain, it’s quiet adored all over the world.

Especially in Korea, they treasure alcohol like a pirate treasures gold. But as you probably know, having one too many can have lasting implications on your health and happiness as well, as some alcohol might having addiction effect to it’s drinker.

Alcohol dependence and liver implications are just a few to name. However, when you drink beer in moderation, your body can pull all the goodness from this glorious drink to give you a health boost. here we are actually talking about keeping it under 14 units a week. 14 units is the recommended daily allowance for each people to drink.

So what does the science say. Well, Scientific studies have shown that beer has several health benefits for us. Some major ones are:

  • Improved Heart Health.
  • Prevention of Kidney stones.
  • Improved creativity.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Just for fun fact, the legal drinking age in korea is around 19 years old and above.

Which one are your favourite among these korean beer? Do you like to drink beer in korea? Let us know in the comments below!

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