Make It a Taedonggang River Beer

North Korea has come out with its first beer commercial for Taedonggang River Beer, “the pride of Pyongyang,” which shows both businessmen in suits and a sweaty worker in uniform enjoying a cold one. No word in the ad on how much a River beer costs, but with the average North Korean making about a dollar per day, it seems more like an upper-class good, enjoyed by the likes of the country’s leader Kim Jong-il — who has visited the brewery — rather than your average working man. (HT: VSL) [%comments]


Finally, an export besides military and nuclear tech.

Lars Marius Garshol

I actually bought this beer, at JS Texas Bar in Seoul, because I noticed that it was twice the price of the other Korean beers. When I asked why the waiter told me it was North Korean, and so of course I had to try it.

It's a decent pilsner. Certainly far better than the South Korean efforts. I'd say it's about equivalent to Heineken. Not much to get excited about, in other words.


Finally, North Korea figures out what to do with all that excess grain they have.

Eric M. Jones

Gold-bronze hue. Sweet scents of peach nectar with a wisp of tree barks. Creamy entry with continued pear notes and distinct oaky overtones mingle with an uplifting menthol nuance. Perfectly balanced with creamy flavors of black cherry and blueberry supported by vibrant acidity and big refined grass clippings. Tart, prickly finish resounding with toasted oak impressions of our beloved leader.


I have had this beer before and I can assure you that it taste like crap. I think people find an exotic lure to tasting the "forbidden fruit" from North Korea and that is what gives them the pleasure, not the taste. As stated in a previous post, it is a bit more expensive, so in the minds of some folk it must be better because it costs more.

When this beer became available in South Korea, a friend of mine who owned an ex-pat pub bought 25 cases. It moved very slow. My friend summed it up best when someone would ask him how it tasted; he would reply, "Everyone has thier own tastes, but no one ever orders a second one!"


it would be much better if they feed their people


I assent with dani who wrote above my comment.
As a lot of people know, North koreans are having very poor living condition and stuff, they better feed people instead of exporting such beers


Anyone there have a TV (with or w/o a converter box) on which they can watch this thing?

Anyone there have $0.50 to get into a movie theater where this might be played?

Anyone in N.K. have a laptop on which they could watch the advert on BBC?

dave harbert

Mr have way to much time on your hands.
Thanks.....i needed that,


In the word "Taedonggang", "-gang" means a river, so "Taedonggang River" isn't a correct trasnslation. ^^


"No word in the ad on how much a River beer costs, but with the average North Korean making about a dollar per day, it seems more like an upper-class good." What a specious statement. Millions in Africa, for example, live on a dollar a day but beer is one industry that does exceptionally well across the African continent. Beer in Africa is most definitely not an upper class good. Perhaps Heineken might be, but not the various local brands, which are consumed in large quantities by "your average working man." What would make beer consumption in North Korea any different?


Hwitaeg, dani: What is the relationship between exporting beer and feeding the population? Wouldn't exporting beer, if profitable, make it easier to import food to feed the population? Obviously all this gets distorted in a totalitarian regime, but by how much?