Forget Oktoberfest, North Korea Just Held It’s First Beer Festival

By : Jennifer Browne |


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Move over Oktoberfest, North Korea has just held it’s first ever beer festival in Pyongyang.

The secretive state’s own celebration of all things alcoholic began today in the country’s capital and saw 800 attendees turn up to join in the festivities.

According to CCTV+, the festival will last 20 days and was organised to promote Pyongyang’s home brewed Taedonggang beer.

The beer is named after one of the North’s most famous landmarks, the Taedong River, where the event is being held.

According to reports, it costs around £1 to get into the festival, and there are seven different types of beer to try from the Taedonggang brewery. And not only are the prices dirt cheap, but, perhaps surprisingly, it tastes great, too.

That is, according to those interviewed in videos.

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In 2008, a New York Times article described the Taedonggang beer as a ‘full-bodied lager a little on the sweet side, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.’

Approximately five hundred special guests were allowed in earlier today to try the beer for free for the first two hours, and the public were allowed in later on.

Wondering how a country with very little international trade agreement brews beer? Turns out, North Korea’s Taedonggang is brewed with equipment purchased from England in 2000, which was shipped to the DPRK.

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Choe Yang Nam, director of the People’s Service General Bureau, who opened the festival, said:

This Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival, held on the charming and beautiful Taedong riverside, is a significant occasion, which shows the superiority and vitality of our own-style socialist system, which is all about the people.

It also serves to promote our famous product, Taedonggang Beer, and make it more competitive.

Not quite sure it’s famous if it’s only sold in North Korea and in limited quantities in China, but hey, if this beer festival turns out to be a regular thing, it may just end up being globally known.

And while the festival definitely had it’s weird quirks, it actually looks like a pretty good time. Could this be the new Oktoberfest?


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