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It's supposedly made with an exclusive brewing technique...

Elisabeth Sherman
February 06, 2018

While news of a North Korean ferry arriving in South Korea for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics—carrying a “140-strong orchestra to perform during the Winter Olympics,” ice cream and a karaoke machine, according to Reuters—caught attention this morning, the notoriously secretive country made other headlines, too. 

The BBC reports that the country might have created a new style of beer, using a so-called exclusive brewing technique. The state newspaper, called Rodung Sinmun, is claiming that the country’s Taedonggang brewery formulated a beer using wheat, instead of barley, and claims that the beer “is better than existing beers in terms of its taste and smell.”

The North Korean tabloid Chosun Ibo also speculated that beer has been in works since at least 2015, after that the leader of the country, Kim Jong-un, complained that beers imported from South Korea are too bland. Apparently, Kim Jong-un is a beer fan himself—the country held a beer festival in 2016 but it was abruptly canceled in 2017 with no official reason ever given.

Media outlets in North Korea are already counting the launch of the beer as a win for Kim Jong-un, who apparently has plans to raise the standards of living the country, and that its inception is part of a larger “battle” to make life "more enjoyable for the people.” Of course, as the BBC points out, the reports coming out of the state media operations aren’t reliable, so there’s no way at the moment to confirm whether the beer is actually real or any more details about it.