Maybe I missed my calling? Or, maybe it’s just waiting for me at the bottom of a freshly-drained glass of Max Creamy Draft.
The fine folks at Hite-Jinro were out in force at the Ansan Valley Rock Festival, held over the final weekend of July in Ansan, a satellite city of Seoul. One of my best and oldest friends here in Korea, Sam, convinced me to drop the 250,000 won or so to spend the full weekend there. We braved some rough heat, rain and incredible mud for the occasion. We also had a pretty great time in the process.
One of the highlights was when Hite-Jinro set up an advertisement booth for their recently-revamped (in look only, I am pretty sure) Max Creamy Draft, which a friend back home reminded me is not too far in taste from Colt 45 or Old English. But, instead of 40s, in Korea this stuff is poured at a 45-degree angle, in such a way that the foam rises to the top but does cascade from the glass. Only into your mouth. It’s a measured practice you may need to practice four-or-five times, which is what I told those gathered when I stood up to give my shpiel on how to properly pour your Max, on your way to becoming a “Cream Master.” Yes, this was an actual thing.
Everyone for their bravery at getting before the mic was rewarded with a free drink ticket (3,500 won value. I like how Korea does not screw people though they easily could. If this was held in the States, they would almost certainly be charging 5 or 6,000 won, $5 or $6, per glass. Captive audience). After my turn, they gave me TWO DRINK TICKETS. I shared one with Sam, who chose not to participate in the beer shilling.
Did I miss my calling? Watch and decide. Props to a not-nearly as old, but no-less-dear friend Su Yeong (aka Steve Vai’s biggest fan), for taking the shot.