North Korea has launched its own wheat beer

North Korea’s only brewery has launched an “exclusive” new beer made with wheat instead of barley, according to the country’s state-run news.

The new beer forms part of Kim Jong Un’s pledge to improve North Koreans’ quality of life, according to the country’s state-run news.

Pyongyang’s Taedonggang brewery claims its new approach, which replaces traditional barley with wheat, “is better than existing beers in terms of its taste and smell”, a report in Rodong Sinmun said.

The article said that the new wheat beer is “a world-class competitive product” which will help to raise North Koreans’ quality of life “by engraving the spirit of the great general” into the drink.

The brewery has been developing its new wheat beer since 2015, according to the report, and was originally meant to launch last year in-time for the Pyongyang Beer Festival in July, but the event was cancelled without explanation.

“The new varietal beer with wheat and barley is richer in flavor than previous beers due to its unique aroma and high-tech brewing technology that blend harmoniously with yeast and wheat,” Chung Dong-cheol, Taedonggang brewery’s director, told South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The article claims that the new beer was produced as part of a bid by the government to raise living standards within the hermit kingdom.

“We must make a decisive transition in improving people’s livelihood and building an economic powerhouse,” Kim Jong-un said in the report.

The news comes months after the European Union imposed stricter sanctions on North Korean trade, preventing alcoholic beverages including saké and beer in addition to wine and Champagne from being sold in the country.

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