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North Korea has honoured a brewery it imported brick by brick from Trowbridge as one of the top 10 businesses in the secretive state.

The Taedonggang Beer Factory was praised for its contribution to “the five-year plan for national economic development” alongside other firms, including one that supplies feed to zoos and a pharmaceutical factory, state media reported.

Opened in the North Korean capital 21 years ago, the brewery had formerly been located in Wiltshire under the ownership of Ushers, a specialist in regional bitters.

It was purchased in 2000 for £1.5 million by North Korea’s government, which then dismantled the 175-year-old property and shipped it piece-by-piece to Pyongyang to be rebuilt, along with 20,000 kegs.

Ushers boys drinking was a perfectly acceptable West Country session beer. The rest of it, well not so much. Not exactly the brewery I would have bought myself….

13 thoughts on “Snigger”

  1. Except that the “beer” they are producing isn’t a recreation of Ushers but something closer to an American pilsner / lager, although at 5% ABV rather strong by comparison with similar “sex in a canoe” beers.

    The BBC’s Korea correspondent Steven Evans in a September 2016 review notes “an OK beer, a bit bland to my palate more used to magnificent British bitter – a bit too much like ghastly, dishwater, mass-produced American beer, in my opinion.

  2. Steve

    North Korea permits smoking in most places – think there’s some restrictions in the Pyongyang metro but you can certainly have a smoke with a pint!! (Albeit you’re accompanied wherever you go) but as with Minimum unit pricing for alcohol, Western countries like NZ (and now the UK) have managed to surpass North Korean levels of control. Indeed the prohibitionists seem to see it as a model to be emulated – not a warning.

    Ushers had just closed when I started my career in the Drinks Trade – I recall some of the HGV drivers who were assigned to clear out the containers and brewery owned materials in Trowbridge saying that they recall the brewery being literally pulled from the ground and shipped out! Apparently the head brewer had to give a group of potential North Korean brewers a ‘crash course’ .

    To be honest I’d see it as a potential solution that could be applied to a lot of institutions in the UK. NGOs and Higher ‘education’ institutions, for example- The ‘university’ employing Richard Murphy could be transported lock, stock and barrel to Hamhung or Kaesong. He might even be permitted in a North Korean pub and apparently there’s plenty of birds in the DMZ he can observe…..

  3. VP – THE YEAR IS 2047

    British Prime Minister Mohammed Mbongo-Bongo-Carruthers announces the final victory over Lambert and Butler.

    Grateful catamites and shemales throng Downing Street to twerk in jubilation. 37 people are stabbed to death celebrating the improvement in our nation’s health.

    Opposition Leader Fatima Durka-Durka Oogachaka-Starmer cautiously welcomes the news, but says the government still hasn’t gone far enough in mandating NHS digital permission slips AND a note from your local imam before you’re allowed to eat at Greggs.

    The AI ghost of Ritchie Murphy fails to be nominated to the House of Cyber Lords, for the twentieth time.

  4. The AI ghost of Ritchie Murphy fails to be nominated to the House of Cyber Lords, for the twentieth time.

    Now that’s genuinely terrifying – are you sure you aren’t actually Rod Serling reincarnated….

  5. Maybe we could sell them the Crooked House pub up in Dudley, to go along with the brewery.
    Comes pre-disassembled too.

  6. I had a summer job once at the kegging plant in Trowbridge.
    Huge quantities of Starlight beer, Watneys Red Barrel.
    Years later I had a rep on the line, while chatting he admitted to designing Starlight and marketing it to kids who wanted to brag about “Cor, drank eight pints last night!” Which they could do, because it was so low in alcohol that it could be sold as a soft drink.

  7. @Anthony Griffiths
    I would be punished and abused in North Korea for speaking my mind.

    Why go to North Korea when you can get that here?

  8. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    If I ever went to North Korea I am convinced the first thing I would come across would be a fucking Oktoberfest.

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