Gyodong Beopju


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Gyodong Beopju

 


There is an old lady named Bae Young-shin who has distilled Gyodong beopju for fifty-six years in Gyodong, Gyeongju.

Her courtyard is the only place in the world where you can find a brew quite like this, with its fantastic smell and taste. Mrs Bae has been designated an Intangible Cultural Asset for her unique skill in distilling Gyodong beopju. This designation (Intangible Cultural Asset) is a rare and very special honor.

Mrs Bae married into the Chae family in 1939, and ever since then she has been distilling beopju. When she was first learning the technique, she often stayed up all night.

Gyodong beopju is made from the following ingredients: glutinous rice, yeast cultivated on wheat, and spring water. The original recipe had an alcohol content of over 19ге (ABV), but in 1990, a new recipe was devised with a reduced alcohol content. A license was then obtained from the National Tax Administration.

There is a Chinese matrimony vine (or boxthorn) by the well in the beopju distillery yard, and people believe that it has been growing there for over a hundred years, and that the unique properties of its roots impart a special flavor to the water.
(Matrimony vines, or boxthorns, belong to the Solanaceae family, which includes the potato, tobacco, mandrake and several nightshades. The genus is Lycium. Matrimony vines have purple flowers and bright red berries.)

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