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Good Beer Hunting

Dec 20, 2023

In Korean folklore, dokkaebi are tricksy creatures who love to eat, drink, and challenge humans to wrestling matches. They tend to create mischief, but generally not mayhem, and can bring you luck—if you remain on their good side. This same sense of playfulness is evident at Dokkaebier in Oakland, California, an Asian-inspired craft brewery that encapsulates not just the name, but the spirit of dokkaebi in every beer they make.

In her first story for Good Beer Hunting, Maloy Luakian describes how her own Pan-Asian identity informed her experience at Dokkaebier, and how she was able to feel a sense of nostalgia through familiar flavors presented in an unfamiliar medium. Her story, titled “Supernatural Creatures And Blended Cultures — Dokkaebier’s Story Of Shapeshifting,” describes the brewery’s history, goals, and cultural influence as one of the only Asian-owned breweries in the United States, as well as founder Youngwon Lee’s background as a third-culture kid, with roots in South Korea, Guam, and the United States. 

In this conversation, she defines what third culture is and what it means to her, how the idea of authenticity in food and drink can keep tradition alive as well as inspire innovation, and how the beer cultures in Asia and the U.S. are influencing one another in fresh and exciting ways. It’s clearly a very personal story, and she admits that she wasn’t sure where it was going to end up. We’re lucky to have it on Good Beer Hunting, and it’s a pleasure to talk about it right now.