The 2021 World Suul Conference

The 2021 World Suul Conference took place in a two day online event and covered the ins and outs of makgeolli, cheongju, and soju, Korea’s traditional alcohol. 

Filled with an array of talks, the Zoom seminar allowed listeners from across the world to tune in. We at The Sool Company attended and watched each speaker give their perspectives on the nature and history of traditional Korean alcohol around the world. While the event did get off to a slow start with a few technical issues, the speakers were still able to present information that both experts and beginners would have found interesting.

2021 World Suul Conference

Topics of discussion during the program covered the types of alcohol native to Korea, how to brew, and the quality of ingredients. Many companies and individuals around the world logged in to share how they are contributing to spreading awareness of Korean traditional alcohol and creating their own unique taste.

Makgeolli, The art of fermentation – about the process of building, Byulbit Agriculture and Brewery Co., Hongseong-gun, Chuncheongnam-do, South Korea

The talk, led by Changbom Park, covered how to make Makgeolli, what is makgeolli, and what to look for when selecting the ingredients. The talk was very informative.

What does Suul mean to me? – Hana makgeolli Brand Story, Alice Jun, Co-founder, Hana Makgeolli Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

You can check out Hana Makgeolli through their Instagram. During this segment, we heard from Hana Makgeolli about their brand story and their contributions to the makgeolli market. Based in the USA, Hana Makgeolli gave a unique viewpoint on the importance of spreading knowledge of makgeolli in a western country. While we in Korea might be very familiar with sool, when abroad, equal promotion of the product and education on culture is important.

Korean Unfiltered Suul, Makgeolli, Jeff Rubidge, Connecticut, USA

You can watch some of Jeff’s videos on his YouTube. Jeff’s presentation also introduced the listeners to another key figure who is spreading awareness of Makgeolli and Korean alcohol through YouTube. Jeff’s channel has a variety of content about the flavour profiles of Makgeolli, how to make makgeolli, and his experiments on how to make nuruk.

Korean Unfiltered Suul, Makgeolli, Tei Park, California, USA

Within this talk, we were guided through Tei Park’s own experiences with Korean alcohol through her eyes as a Korean-American. We saw that it has been important to recognize Korean heritages and how Korean alcohol can assist in doing so.

Korean Filtered Suul, Cheongju, Julia Mellor, Founder of The Sool Company, Australia

Of course we wanted to be involved in the event. During this session, Julia presented who The Sool Company is and what we do. Following on, an introduction to the significance of Cheongju and how the sool industry can and will evolve over time.

Korean Filtered Suul, Cheongju, John Allen, Helsinki, Finland, Europe

Check out John’s content on Instagram. John also stressed the importance of Cheongju in his talk and gave us an insight into the market for Korean alcohol in Finland and Europe. John has also been busy making his own Makgeolli and nuruk and creating a brand with the hopes to introduce sool to Scandinavia.

Korean Distilled Suul, Soju, Remembrance video for the late Taek-Sang Kim, Seoul intangible heritage, Samhae Soju

There was a brief special video featuring the story of Soju icon and cultural legend, Kim Taek-Sang. While the entire video was not played for us, there were instructions to find the full video to watch later on.

Korean Distilled Suul, Soju, Tokki Soju Brand Story, Brandon Hill, founder and creator of Tokki Soju, New York, USA

Explore Tokki Soju through their Instagram. Due to drinking laws in the USA, you must be 21 and over to view their page. Finally, Tokki Soju’s founder Brandon introduced their brand, what his purpose was for Soju distilling, and his contributions to the Soju industry across the globe. Formerly USA-based, Tokki Soju has made a name for itself from the distribution of top-quality Korean alcohol. They opened their flagship bar ‘Tokki Bar’ in Seoul this year, so check them out here if you want to try their excellent soju cocktails.

The next International Suul Conference will not be for another 3 years, but based on the content from 2021’s event, we can’t wait to see the next presentations on how the world of Korean traditional alcohol has changed over time. If you’re looking to learn more about the world of makgeolli in the world around you, check out those presenters above and see how they’re growing, what they’re promoting, and join the Korean sool movement!

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