Ep. 8 – Tiffany Needham on running a brewery, the Korean craft brew scene, and community building

Tiffany Needham is a co-owner of Magpie Brewing Co, a local craft brewing company in South Korea. From their company bio: Magpie Brewing Co. is committed to creating the best craft beers possible and growing the culture of craft beer in Korea. We work hard to balance traditional beer styles with innovative recipes and flavors.

Magpie can be found in Noksapyeong, Hongdae, and Jeju. Connect with Magpie on Facebook or their website.

Show Notes

01:20 getting Magpie started

04:30 what its like owning a business as foreigners

05:49 getting a business license

06:29 how long to get a business license

07:29 deciding what beers to launch with

08:48 on policy, industry and growing the operation

13:40 why own a brewery

15:00 brewing logistics

16:53 what did Magpie want to be

19:52 customer demographics

20:48 on menu changes

22:53 running a small business in Korea

26:29 on feminism and business

29:25 hardest part of running a business

30:25 what its like to work at Magpie

32:00 on competitiveness and size

33:00 how Magpie distinguishes itself

35:15 on gentrification

39:58 what’s next for Magpie

44:02 the Fail Ale

45:43 hardest beer to brew

47:53 hard liquors

48:20 where the name Magpie come from

49:21 describe working at Magpie in one word

51:12 beer stereotypes in Korea

53:10 competing with the big guys

57:50 what do Magpie employees drink

58:51 on starting ones own brewery in South Korea

01:01:50 what business would you do if you couldn’t brew

People, Places, Things Mentioned on the Show

Arario Museum (아라리오 뮤지엄)

Cheonan (천안)

Coffee Smith (커피스미스)

Contract brewing

Dandy Pink

Gapyeong (가평)

Haebongchon (해방촌)

Hierarchy in the Korean workplace


Hongdae (홍대)

Ilsan (일산)

Itaewon (이태원)

Jeju (제주도)

Kabrew (카브루)

Magpie Brewing Company (맥파이)

Networking in Korea (인맥)

Noksapyeong (녹사평)

Oriental Brewery (OB)

Seoul Global Center

South Korea Policy on Craft Beer (2014)

Standing Coffee

Tapdong (탑동)

The Booth Brewing Company (더부스 브루잉)

West coast style pale ale

Woori Super (우리슈퍼)

Yeonnamdong (연남동)