The trademark for Taedonggang, the official beer of North Korea, has been registered in Miami, and the people behind the brand in the United States are set to launch their first beer at Lincoln's Beard Brewing Co. Saturday, January 13.
The Taedonggang brewery is based in Pyongyang, North Korea. But as Lincoln's Beard Brewing co-owner John Falco tells New Times, the brewery has nothing to do with the beer being released Saturday.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records show Taedonggang is a limited liability company registered to the Miami attorney Adrian Irias. Florida business records show the company's manager as Miami real-estate agent Francisco Siman in Coral Gables.
Michael Campos, who handles marketing and social media for the company with his business, Neuelane, says the actual owners wish to remain anonymous. Campos couldn't say much about the Miami-based brand except that the launch on the 13th is legitimate.
The company is "starting from the ground up," says Campos, who created Taedonggang's Instagram page two days ago.
Campos says the brand was trademarked in Miami to keep it "as far from the little rocket man as possible," referring to President Donald Trump's insult to North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.
The people behind Taedonggang USA approached Lincoln's Beard, Falco says, which assisted in brewing the recipe. The recipe was pieced together with information from open-source materials but slightly tweaked. Rice was replaced with grain, the alcohol percentage was slightly decreased, and the color was matched.
"We're pretty confident that it looks exactly like what they're drinking," Falco says. "No water from the Taedonggang River but we did the best we could."
The January 13 launch is described as a "tongue-and-cheek" event by Falco, who says it's also meant to "poke a little fun" at North Korea's leader. During the event, there will be a DJ playing K-pop music from South Korea, a chef making Korean-inspired dishes, and merchandise giveaways.
The giveaways are limited to the first 250 people who RSVP to the event, Falco says. The beer comes in cans with a commemorative label. Pints will be sold, and at least 5 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and other organizations.
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Taedonggang might be closest to what North Koreans drink in terms of beer, and it can't be found anywhere else except in that country. The U.S. banned the beer's importer in 2015, according to UPI, citing failure to file tax returns.
The brewery that makes Taedonggang, dubbed the "Pride of Pyongyang," began making beer in 2000 after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il acquired equipment from England's Ushers of Trowbridge brewery, according to the Wiltshire Times. Per ratebeer.com, Taedonggang produces several brews, such as a German-style lager like the one that'll be released at Lincoln's Beard.
"North Koreans are very proud of this beer," Falco says.
Taedonggang Beer Release. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company. 7360 SW 41st St., Miami; 305-912-7390; lincolnsbeardbrewing.com. Admission is free.