A Hanoi Brewery Named A Beer After Kim Jong Un & The Reviews Are In

by Joseph D. Lyons
Linh Pham/Getty Images News/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems to have his own everything. He has his own train, which reportedly carries its own helicopter. He has his own limo, with his own bodyguards running alongside. And now Kim Jong Un has his own beer in Hanoi after a local brewery named one of its creations after the supreme leader, The Washington Post reports.

"The Kim Jong Ale at Standing Bar is actually pretty delicious," Bloomberg White House correspondent Margaret Talev tweeted on Tuesday with a picture of the beer's logo at the bar, which specializes in serving craft brews. "But no one here can explain why @MittRomney is decorating the shelf," she added, referencing the bar's decor.

The Post describes the beer as a "kimchi sour ale with gentle and refreshing tart notes that belied the dictator’s ignominious reputation," and not everyone in Hanoi is a fan. William Gallo, who is reporting on the summit for Voice of America, tweeted Sunday that "the Kim Jong Ale is better tweeted about than drunk, in my opinion. But hey by all means don’t let me stop you." He added, "I just want to reiterate here that the Kim Jong Ale is so nasty that there’s basically no way it wasn’t a political statement."

The ale is far from the most notable peculiarity of the summit (there are also bars selling cocktails named "Peace Negroniations"). In the running for the most bizarre detail is Kim's preferred mode of transportation: a bullet-proof train that traveled at 35 miles per hour all the way from North Korea to the Vietnamese border with China.

The train itself is reportedly decked out. The New York Times did a piece on the train in 2018, when Kim rode it to Beijing's central station. First off, the slow speed is due to the carriage's weight. The bulletproof nature adds thousands of pounds, the paper reports. Plus there are various spaces like conference rooms, dining cars, and offices, along with all the food and wine.

Another oddity of Kim's trip was the limo drive from the border to Hanoi. Not only did Kim ride in a bulletproof Mercedes limo, as the Associated Press reports, but he had his guards run alongside it, seemingly to add another layer of protection. Trump's journey from the United States — with a stop for fuel — was still shorter than the train and limo combo.

One final oddity was that Kim and U.S. journalists were originally going to share one hotel, the Meliá Hotel Hanoi. That journalists and the North Korean leader were going to share that space in Vietnam was a departure from the norm (no Westerners were allowed to see the train or inside the limo). But the journalists were reportedly kicked out upon Kim's arrival.

According to Twitter, multiple journalists have drank the beer (no word on if the leader will try it — he's reportedly afraid of poisoning). And Trump reportedly doesn't drink, so alcohol probably won't be bringing the leaders together.

That leaves the Kim Jong Ale as a niche beverage for international guests during the summit. Depending on what the leaders agree upon, guests may need a drink afterwards.