SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Last week, South Korean craft beer enthusiasts were treated to a sampling of U.S. rice dishes paired with imported brews. Held at 63 Convention Center in Seoul, the annual World Craft Beer Festival is hosted by Hanwha Hotels & Resorts, and reflects the growing popularity of craft beer in South Korea. This year’s festival was an opportunity for Korean consumers to experience all that U.S.-grown rice has to offer, complemented by some of the best imported craft beers.
USA Rice Korea worked with Hanwha Hotels & Resorts as well as the Korean Micro Beer Importers Association (KMBIA) to create a “USA Rice Section” that showcased U.S. rice at the festival. The 63 Convention Center’s chef team and food and beverage managers developed four new recipes using U.S. rice: Grilled Cube Steak & Risotto, Grilled BBQ Skewers with Saffron Fried Rice, Grilled Sausages & Rice Cake Skewers, and Roast Shrimp Butter with Lemon Garlic Sauce & White Rice. Menu items were paired with craft brews that highlighted the complementary flavors of each dish.
The USA Rice dishes received such high praise from the 2,500 festivalgoers that 63 Convention Center has decided to use the menus at future events and functions.
South Korea is a significant market for U.S. exports, and USA Rice-led initiatives such as participation in the World Craft Beer Festival are essential to consumer outreach and maintaining market share. U.S. rice exports to Korea in the January-July 2019 timeframe totaled 151,000 metric tons valued at $126 million, compared to 81,000 MT valued at $63 million during the same period in 2018.