By Isaac Kim
Korean beer has been known to be flat, tasteless, and watery. All that will change with the introduction of Hite's new beer, Queen's Ale.
Hite Jinro, one of Korea's top brewers, announced on Aug. 22 that their new ale will hit stores on Sept. 5.
The difference between ales and lager is where the yeast ferments in the brewing process. If yeast rises to the top, the resulting beverage is ale, but if yeast ferments at the bottom, the beer is labeled as lager.
Ales take up only 30 percent of the world's beer, and up until recently, Korea only brewed lager. If people wanted ale, they would have to find pubs that served draft or imported ale.
However, more Koreans are preferring the taste of heavier and more bitter beer. Dark beer, such as Ireland's Guiness or Germany's Edinburgh, are finding themselves in more and more bars and pubs as well as fancy restaurants.
Thus, domestic beer brewers are prying themselves away from lagers and are trying to appeal to the growing patrons of ale beer.
For three years, Hite Jinro researched the ale brewing process with the skills of Denmark's beer researcher institute Alexia. The result is a light-brown-colored pale ale. Made with 100 percent barley, the ale goes through a "triple hop process" to get its appealing color.
The price for a bottle (330ml) of Queen's Ale Blonde is 1.900 won, and for a bottle of Queen's Ale Extra Bitter, 2,100 won.
"We put our heart and soul into Queen's Ale to present consumers with a fresh and rewarding taste," said Hite Jinro CEO Kim In-kyu. "We want to instill more pride in domestic beers than foreign imports."