Interview With Alice Jun, Founder of Hana Makgeolli

As a part of our series on spotlighting Asian-American owned businesses we sat down with Founder of Hana Makgeolli, Alice Jun.

Tell us what your company does and why it’s noteworthy.

Hana Makgeolli is an artisanal Korean rice wine producer based in Brooklyn, NY that is focused on making traditional styles of Korean sool (jeongtongju). We are the domestic brewery to make jeongtonju and all of our wines are made with organic rice, nuruk - a traditional and wild fermentation starter - and only using traditional Korean brewing methodologies.

Share some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.

Hana Makgeolli first came to market in the midst of the pandemic - this essentially meant that our on-premise wholesale, and taproom sales channels were temporarily non-existent due to the shut down. We were able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic by quickly pivoting the business to direct-to-consumer sales and our makgeolli is now available for shipping across 38 states and available for local pickup and delivery as well!

Describe the moment you were proud of being Asian American since you began your entrepreneurial journey.

We have been proud of being Asian American and to represent this aspect of Korean tradition at every step of planning, building and launching Hana Makgeolli. With the recent movement to Stop Asian Hate we are exceptionally proud of our contributions, whether it has been funds raised, or product donated, to multiple community and non profit organizations that focus on all aspects of discrimination and marginalization of Asian Americans today.

Alice Jun

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