What? Koreatown is running out of Korean beer and soju

October 8, 2014
Doctors warn that “Poktanju,” the local equivalent of the boilermaker, is more detrimental to people’s health than pure liquor. They also advise no more than five glasses of soju for males and 2.5 glasses for females for each drinking session. (Korea Times file)

Believe it or not, Koreatown in LA is running out of Korea’s one of the most most popular beer and soju. (Korea Times file)

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

Koreatown is a little drier as a result of the ongoing court battle between Korean beverage manufacturer Jinro America and local distributor Hite USA.

According to Koreatown sources Tuesday, supplies of Hite-Jinro products — Chamisul soju and Hite beer — have almost completely run out.

Some establishments are going as far as to purchase the drinks at supermarkets and reselling them, sources said.

“We used to get 25 cases of Chamisul soju a week, but right now it’s been cut in half,” a Koreatown meat restaurant owner said. “There is no Hite beer, and only a bit of Dry Finish.”

The owner said the restaurant depends on being a seller of one particular brand of drink and that it has seen damages due to the low supply.

On Sept. 19, Jinro America, the American branch of Korean beverage giant Hite-Jinro, launched a lawsuit against the CEO of Hite USA, a Los Angeles-based distributor.

“It’s true that supplies of beer and soju have not been coming in for a while,” a Hite USA source said. “Distribution is based on the remaining stock. We’ve received word that more supplies will arrive soon, but we can’t guarantee it.”

The Hite USA source declined to comment on why supplies of beer and soju have stopped coming in.

One Comment

  1. Charles C Montgomery

    October 9, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Loss of Korean beer is a win. No nation makes worse beer.
    But you gotta have soju with your samgyeopsal!^^^