March 04, 2021

“Chukbae!”: The rise of North Korean beer

Increased quantity and quality herald social change, but large-scale export remains unlikely

Three North Koreans walk into a bar. They order a Ponghak, a Taedonggang, and a Rakwon. The bartender apologizes: they’ve only got a new beer, Ryongsong, on hand.

“No problem, we’ll have three of those!” says the Rakwon-drinker and goes to the toilet. The bartender brings three Ryongsongs.