Pungjeon Sagye (풍정사계) is a craft distillery located in the beautiful Hwayang village in Cheongju city area. They are one of the few Korean distilleries that still make their own nuruk (rice yeast).
They produce four different types of alcohol, which are all based on the same process. Read a small introduction to the traditional distilling process here. Each spirit is named after a season.
Spring is yakju, light rice wine of 15% alcohol. Not sure if it really adds any value, but this wine was served in an official dinner when Trump visited Korea in 2017.
Summer is gwaha-ju, in other words a mix of yakju and distilled soju. Distilled soju was traditionally mixed with yakju to make it last longer to the hot summer. Summer is just slightly stronger than Spring with the alcohol percentage of 18%.
Autumn is takju, strong 12% makgeolli in other words.Very clean and fresh flavoured makgeolli, which one could drink whole night with out having a headache next morning. (Unlike market makgeollis…) Autumn and spring were our personal favourites of the four.
Korean cold winter is when you need something strong to warm you up. Not a surprise that winter is the strongest one, pure distilled soju of 25% alcohol content.
We were lucky to have a tour at the distillery and to see the facilities. The production is run by a heart warming couple who basically operate everything by themselves. We got to meet them and see the process and facilities including home made nuruk!