Food & Beverage

McDonald's to offer beer & burgers in South Korea

McDonald's to add beer to its menu in South Korea.
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McBeer is coming to South Korea, the Ireland of Asia.

Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea reported that McDonald's will begin serving beer in South Korea. The news site said it's McDonald's first such move in Asia.

According to a company statement, customers who purchase a Signature Burger EVM at the Pangyo Techno Valley restaurant in Gyeonggi province can swap out the normal soft drink with a beer with a small upgrade charge. Beers are limited to one per burger, so not exactly an efficient way to get drunk.

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The company said the location in Pangyo Techno Valley is primarily frequented by adults due to the number of office buildings in the area. McDonald's also said that customers will have to show an ID in order to claim their beer. The minimum drinking age in South Korea is 19, according to the World Health Organization.

The fast-food chain already serves alcohol in select locations in the United States and Europe.

McDonald's increase of its alcoholic offerings is the latest such move in the fast-food industry. In September, Yum Brands announced which would serve beer, wine, sangria and frozen cocktails. Starbucks has also expanded its menu to offer alcohol in some of its U.S. cafes.

It makes sense for the fast-food giant to introduce alcoholic beverages in the Asia-Pacific region by testing in South Korea, which has gained a reputation as the "Ireland of Asia."

South Korean drinkers consumed a staggering 27.5 liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2010 with an average daily intake of 54.9 grams of alcohol, according to the WHO's 2014 global status report on alcohol and health.

For comparison, Irish drinkers only consumed 14.7 liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2010 with an average daily alcohol intake of 31.7 grams.

Click here to read the full story on Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea.