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New SNU Student Club ‘SNU Brew’ Gaining Popularity

  • September 27, 2016
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SNU Brew members at a bar
SNU Brew members at a bar

Koreans have long carried a reputation of being heavy drinkers. But in recent years, heavy drinkers have shifted their attitudes from the “pour and chug” mentality to one of growing curiosity and sophistication about the alcohol they are consuming. Beer sommelier is trending in job listings, and there are now institutes that specialize in researching side dishes that pair with particular beers. These institutes are so popular that places fill up as soon as the registration period opens.

Partaking in this trend, JANG Won Hyuk created a new student club at SNU called ‘SNU Brew,’ in which students learn about beer and make their own brews. Members of ‘SNU Brew’ meet up on a weekly basis and visit beer-brewing facilities in the outskirts of Seoul. They learn from professionals how to their own make homemade brews. Jang Won Hyuk explained that he wanted to create this club because there aren’t many opportunities to learn about alcohol. “By visiting breweries, participating in lectures on beer, and tasting a variety of beers, we have been able to enjoy and appreciate beer more.” Since ‘SNU Brew’ was established in November of last year, the number of members has increased to over 200.

A member is brewing beer
A member is brewing beer

Statistics suggest that the trend of binge drinking in Korea is declining. Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety found that the number of bomb cocktail (폭탄주) drinkers has decreased since 2013. YANG Dong Hae, manager of The Sidedish Research &Develop, said that recently drinkers have stopped continuing to drink to the second or third sitting and just end in the first round. His organisation focuses on finding the most nutritious and flavourful side dish that best complements alcohol.

‘SNU Brew’ may represent a trend that moves away from binge drinking and towards a more refined drinking culture where people appreciate and savour the taste as well.

Written by Hye Bin Lee, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,

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