City continues crackdown on Korean rice-liquor service

Another Korean restaurant has been cited for serving soju, a distilled rice beverage not allowed under its beer and wine license.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, a lawyer for BonChon, 121 Brighton Ave. in Allston, blamed a liquor wholesaler, whom he said told the restaurant soju was OK to sell under its license. The restaurant inquired after seeing that other restaurants in the neighborhood had started serving the liquor - which Koreans prefer over the fermented-rice sake served in Japanese restaurants. A police detective cited BonChon for soju service during an inspection on Sept. 13.

Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer told him restaurant owners should check with the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, not liquor wholesalers if they have questions what they can serve. In this case, only restaurants with "full" liquor licenses can serve the stuff.

The lawyer apologized and said the restaurant packed up its unsold soju and returned it to the wholesaler.

In September, the board ordered license suspensions for Apollo Grill and Sushi on Harrison Avenue and Ropponngi on Comm. Ave. in Allston for serving soju under their more limited malt-and-wine licenses.

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stupid

Soju: 16-40% ABC 20% typical. BANNED, WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?

Sake: 18-20%.

So, basically: same damn content. And the production methods are very similar- both start with rice and involve fermentation.

Why is our police force wasting time on crap like this?

Shrug.

We did this before, but most sake is about 15% tops; it is fermented and equivalent to beer or wine in this regard.

Japanese shochu (soju in Korea) is distilled from sake, much like brandy is distilled from wine. It's typically as strong as 45% (and the Japanese like it just fine, by the way; it was certainly what everyman puts down with his friends before going home).

it's my understanding soju

it's my understanding soju (the korean stuff) is made from potatoes. would that make it inline with vodka and it's distilled making it not like a wine which is fermented = not ok w/a beer and wine license.

Rice, not potatoes

I've been to three soju hearings now, and at all of them, both sides have agreed the stuff is made from rice - just that after fermentation, it's distilled (like vodka) as opposed to bottled after fermentation (like sake). And that makes all the difference under the laws of the commonwealth.

Is there anyone who supports

Is there anyone who supports this law, besides the alcohol bureacrats?

Why doesn't the governor help out the Korean community by ordering state officials not to enforce that part of the law?

How can the governor order

How can the governor order state officials not to enforce part of a law as a favor to some group or someone.I can't imagine the governor doing that would be legal. Why not have the legislature change the law.

Makes me nostalgic for the blue laws.

Any other old geezers remember back when it was legal to sell shampoo on Sundays but not hair conditioners?

As long as there are governments and laws, wannabe Talmudic scholars will always be able to find work interpreting them.