Beer Ads on North Korean TV. No Beer for Actual North Koreans.
Looking for just the thing to wash down those bites of kimchi pizza? How about a tall refreshing mug of Taedonggang, a new beer that is the "Pride of Pyongyang"?
The brew is reportedly delicious, "a full-bodied lager a little on the sweet side, with a slightly bitter aftertaste." How did a country with no beer brewing tradition managed to make a decent pint? The same way they got a decent pizza: Have Dear Leader buy the whole operation from a country that knows what it is doing, thanks to centuries of productive commercial effort:
North Korea's quest to produce decent beer began in earnest in 2000 when it started talks with Britain's Ushers brewery about acquiring its Trowbridge, Wiltshire plant that had ceased operations.
The North Koreans took apart the brewery that had been producing country ales for about 180 years, shipped it piece by piece to Pyongyang and reassembled it under the banner of its Taedonggang Beer Factory.
In classic communist style, the state television ad somewhat misses the point of advertising. The beer is only available for $1.50 a pop at bars that cater to foreigners. The ad is also three minutes long, and looks like hell. According to Reuters, the ad was snagged on Friday in Seoul and proclaims that the beer "represents the new look of Pyongyang. It will be a familiar part of our lives."
Via the world's foremost libertarian food blog Crispy on the Outside.
UPDATE: Commenters quite rightly demand to know what a 180-year-old ale-making brewery is doing churning out lagers. Those wacky North Koreans, they're always using equipment wrong. The next thing you know they'll be using nuclear material from a totally peaceable and legitimate power plant to make bombs!