This past weekend we went to Sansawon (산사원) in Pocheon. Sansawon is a museum to Korean alcohol run by Bae Sang Myeon Brewery (배상면주가). The facility is a combination museum/tasting room and they also have a large grounds that includes a coffee shop, a maze of large onggi, and beautiful pagoda perfect for lazing the day away with a good drink. You can wonder around there for hours. It's a perfect place to spend a sunny spring afternoon.
In their museum section they have a large collection of antiques related to brewing. There is a brewing equipment section that features an assortment of onggi including one designed with an insulated cooling system. As well as a large assortment of nuruk making equipment. There is a library of historical texts on brewing and old notes from the former head brewer. But one of my favorite sections is their displace of wooden and ceramic bowls and decanters used for serving Korean alcohol. I wish I could take all of them home with me. They are so beautiful.
On the lower level is their tasting room. It features a dizzying array of alcohol to taste. Be careful or you might get too tipsy to see the rest of the place. Here you can try almost all of the alcohol they produce. Bae Sang Myeon Brewery is mainly known for making Neurin Maeul makgeolli (Slow City, 느린 마을) and have many Neurin Maeul brew pubs throughout Seoul where they brew fresh makgeolli on site. There you can taste their unpasteurized products. They also have a pasteurized verision available at Sansawon. Truthfully I tend to shy away from pasteurized makgeolli but I have to say the pasteurized version of Neuril Maeul is probably the best pasteurized makgeolli out there. They also make yakju and soju as well. Their best known yakju includes a dandelion yakju Dae Po. There is also a series called Shim Sool which comes in sparkling and lime. One of my favorite drinks they offer is Arak soju. It comes in apple, pear, plum, sweet potato, and blackberry. There are many more drinks that they offer and you can taste them at Sansawon.
After the finishing in the tasting room you can wander around the grounds. There you can get lost in the maze of large onggi, explore the display of antique brewing equtiment that they have outside, or enjoy the scenery in the pagoda. On the grounds is where they have a replica nuruk house where you can see how they made nuruk in the past. There is also a cafe and a traditional Korean house that was rebuilt on the site.
The museum and grounds are open 8:30-5:30
512 Hwahyeon-ri Hwahyeon-Myeon Pocheon-Si Gyeonggi-do Korea