First Foreigner-Owned Brewery in Korea Set to Close

Boris de Mesones
Boris de Mesones

Boris Brewery Throws in the Towel after Landlord Requests Rent Increase of 66%

Please see updates to this article below.

Small businesses are often victims of their own success here in Korea. It’s a bit of a catch 22: no business wants to lose money, but if your business is too successful, you run the risk of having a landlord decide that they have their own ideas for your location. That’s what happened to Boris de Mesones, the Spainish-born brewer who has made Jeju his home for over 10 years now. We wrote about Boris in our first cover story on craft beer back in December 2009, and we got in contact with him for our recent 5-year update on craft beer.  After running his own award-winning brewery in Jeju for 5 years, he recently posted on the Seoul Brew Club Facebook group that his landlord has priced him out of business. “We were asked for a 66% increase even though we were paying already a rent above average.” Unfortunately, relocating a brewery isn’t so easy, and faced with the danger of another landlord doing the same thing to him after the legal 5 year limits on raising rents in Korea, Boris decided to give up. “We could not find a proper place in the vicinity or change the concept easily.” So it appears that Boris is out of the brewing business for now, although he will not be hard pressed to find work we’re sure. He concluded his update with, “I will continue teaching at universities, designing equipment and doing consultancy mainly in Spain, Germany, Spanish speaking America and Korea.”


  • We fixed Boris’s last name. We had written “Demesones” but it is “de Mesones.”
  • Boris also would like everyone to know that he didn’t quit but instead is waiting for tax laws to be settled before attempting his own brewery once again. “Once the government decides what is the new tax law i will be back.” Stay tuned for Boris Brewery 2.
  • The original article implied that owners thought they deserved the profits, but we changed it to “you run the risk of having the landlord decide that they have their own ideas for your location” after Boris told us that they had their own plans for the space.