Hi! Has anyone heard of makgeolli?
Well, if you haven't -- It's this really delicious Korean alcohol that's a bit hard to describe. I've heard people try "a cross between a horchata and a kombucha," "an adult mochi-champagne-froyo," "indescribable." They all agree though.. that it's pretty darn good.
Korea’s oldest alcoholic drink, makgeolli shares similar characteristics to beer and cider. They're all low in alcohol (~6-8%), carbonated and refreshing, and can be enjoyed anytime - with or without meals, solo or in social settings, fancypants or casual. [Did you know? Beer, cider, and makgeolli were all enjoyed by farmers in the scorching heat to quench their thirst and replace their meals in times of hardship. The concept of beer changed internationally, as each country replaced hops and barley with what they had an abundance of. England; apples. Korea; rice. ]
So why all this information? We love the amazing taste and the deep heritage of makgeolli, and want to share this drink with the rest of you.
I re-discovered makgeolli on a trip to Korea last year, and saw the hype and passion surrounding a drink that no one thought twice about in the U.S. I started tinkering with makgeolli recipes and started to dream that I could launch this in the U.S. But.. my batches didn't taste as great as I'd hoped. Fortunately, I have an amazing mother who made herself a makgeolli expert, and tweaked the recipe to eventually create.. [no bias here] the best tasting makgeolli I've ever had.
We've been working on this for about a year now, and we're almost ready to launch! We have our licenses, branding and a solid product made with my mom's recipe. It was made in our NYC kitchen, but made exactly the way it was brewed 1,000 years ago- with whole rice and Korean nuruk, fermenting away in these traditional Korean fermentation vessels.
To make things interesting, we spun out a few flavors that include these all-natural ingredients:
1) Blueberry: 100% pureed blueberries, with no added sugar
2) Mango: 100% pureed mangos, with no added sugar
3) Coconut: 100% shredded coconut flakes, with no added sugar
All. Natural. Wholesome. Goodness. Yum.
So what's next?
We go to production! We found the perfect sake brewery up in Maine, whose owner and head brewer is a certified Sake master. (Makgeolli production is very similar to sake production.) Dan is just amazing and will make our product come to life.
We are raising $20,000 for our first production run next month. We already have a few restaurants asking for Makku, and we can't wait for the rest of you to try it! Our distributor is lined up to start delivering our product in NYC as soon as it's made. Here's a breakdown of the funds we need to make this happen:
$8,500 Production run + canning
$3,400 Ingredients + shipment of ingredients
$5,000 Cost of rewards + shipping
$1,600 Kickstarter + transaction fees
$20,000 is a LOT of money. Soooo, we really need your help to get there! We wish we could offer you rainbows and unicorns, but we had to think realistically, and here's how we want to show our gratitude. Below is our humble library of rewards:
1. Thank you! Every dollar helps!
2. Frosted glass tumbler
3. Frosted glass carafe with cork lid (cups only included in set)
4. Mama Pak's kimchi
Kimchi. noun. Fermented heaven; AKA "fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic, and ginger."
Coming from a woman who has 40 years of kimchi making experience under her belt.
5. Korean BBQ 101
Have you tried Korean BBQ yet? We admit, it's a bit intimidating. But it really is a life experience that you shouldn't miss out on.
We'll make it easy! We've packaged up K- BBQ essentials and a how-to guide, so you just have to worry about not getting addicted.
6. Flavor maker
Want to really get involved? Be part of our history and future by helping us decide which flavor to launch next.
7. Makku mixology class
Makku tastes good alone. And it also tastes good with other things in it! Join us for an interactive mixology class, where we will craft premium Makku cocktails. Lights bites will be served.
This could be you.
All backers are invited to join us at our launch party on 6/28 in NYC.
We appreciate the time you took to read through this and ask that you consider making a contribution to help Makku come to life. Please also share this with any friends and family!
Korean lesson of the day: THANK YOU! Go Ma Wuh Yo!
Risks and challenges
- We've only brewed batches of Makku at home. And yes! It is delicious. But just how food doesn't taste quite the same when you try making your favorite recipe for 50 people, it's the same idea with alcoholic beverages. We may need to tweak our recipe a bit for our commercial run.
- Dan has never made makgeolli at his brewery before. The sediments can get tricky!
- The idea of makgeolli in a can.. I've seen it in Korea so I know it exists. But a can+carbonation+turning upside down means we need to find the perfect balance of carbonation... TBD.
More or less, we've prepared as much as we could to mitigate risk and expect to face challenges, as every start-up will. But we have many makgeolli experts in Korea supporting us, so hopefully they can be our heroes if we can't figure it out ourselves. As I mentioned, Korea has a very passionate makgeolli community that wants to share the drink with the rest of the world-- as much as we do!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)