Màkku’s makgeolli stands out from the crowd due to its commitment to using only fresh, authentic ingredients without any artificial flavors. Founder Carol Pak emphasizes that the earthy richness of Màkku comes from the natural ingredients it is made with, and the drink is designed to highlight the pure, fresh flavors. This dedication to quality and authenticity has resulted in a makgeolli that is both cheerfully sweet and tangy, with a velvety consistency that sets it apart from other beverages. At 6 percent alcohol by volume, Màkku is a little stronger than a typical beer, making it an appealing option for those looking for a unique and refined drinking experience.
While Màkku is available in a version with no added flavors, it’s the flavored varieties that have become the popular choice among consumers. Flavors like passionfruit, blueberry, and mango are created using pure cane sugar and fresh fruit purees, which not only add a delightful sweetness but also give the drink its pastel hues. When poured into a glass, the different colors of the flavored makgeolli add to the overall experience, making it a visual treat as well as a delicious drink.
Carol Pak’s journey to creating Màkku started during her time working for Anheuser-Busch, where she traveled the world in search of emerging trends in organic and fermented beverages. Her passion for discovering unique bars and beverage culture led her to a makgeolli bar in South Korea, a country she visited while exploring different drinking traditions. Growing up in a Korean-American household, Pak had notions about makgeolli being associated with older generations, but the experience at the makgeolli bar opened her eyes to the modern and dynamic world of this traditional beverage.
Pak was inspired to create Màkku as a way to introduce this underappreciated drink to a wider audience, recognizing that many people were unaware of the rich history and potential of makgeolli. She believes that the decline in makgeolli sales in Korea around 2010 was due to a lack of awareness, and that the beverage truly deserves a place in the market. While the Korean government had to incentivize consumers to drink makgeolli at one point to prevent its disappearance, Pak notes that there has been a resurgence in recent years, with younger Koreans embracing the drink and even making careers out of producing it. This shift has brought greater diversity to the industry, with the average age of a Korean makgeolli brewer now being around 30, a significant decrease from previous years.
Màkku’s emphasis on authenticity and quality, along with its innovative approach to flavors, has propelled makgeolli into the spotlight once again, captivating a new generation of enthusiasts. Pak’s devotion to preserving and celebrating the traditions of makgeolli has brought a renewed sense of excitement to the beverage industry, and her dedication to crafting a high-quality and delightful drink has earned Màkku a well-deserved place in the market.