Last year, North Korea’s weeks-long beer festival along the Taedong River was a surprise success among tourists and locals.
This year’s follow-up was billed as the second, monthlong, occurrence of an annual event. But now, it looks as though that “annual” moniker might’ve been a bit optimistic. This year’s festival was just cancelled abruptly, only hours before it was set to start today.
No explanation was offered, though various news reports surmise it may be related to a drought in the country currently, as well as the fact that North Korea’s tourism industry is in a tight spot at the moment due to increasingly strained international relations. Following recent missile tests and the death of an American tourist who’d been detained in the country, President Trump is reportedly planning to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea.
The country’s premier brewery, Taedonggang, had created a new beer specifically for the festival. Not yet named or bottled, but available in kegs, the brew is said to taste oddly minty and a bit flat, according to Associated Press reporters who were among the first to try it.
North Korean media reportedly was touting the event as recently as last week. But now, it seems, residents will have to wait until next year to have their version of Oktoberfest.