Unlike most beer festivals, variety is not this event's central focus (big surprise here). Instead, North Korean brew enthusiasts will be gorging themselves on state-owned Taedonggang beer alone, a local favorite named after the nearby Pyongyang Taedong River. The Taedonggang Brewing Company dates back to 2002, when then-leader Kim Jong Il, who was known to appreciate a good drink or two, decided to purchase a retired British brewery and transport it in full to his own personal Communist wonderland.
The festival is set to offer seven different varieties of Taedonggang -- including chocolate and coffee-spiked styles -- but the most popular by far is the original Taedonggang beer, a 5% ABV American-style (shhh, don't tell them) adjunct lager reportedly brewed with a mix of barley and rice for a drying, slightly bitter bite and pleasant sweetness throughout. It's apparently pretty tasty, too, especially during the region's current 95+ degree heat wave.
So while event-goers clinked glass mugs, munched on crispy fried chicken, and belted out patriotic songs with booze-fueled glee, the powers that be plotted for an international battle more chilling than a cold pint in January. Who needs a drink?
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