Hundreds turn up for North Korea's first beer festival

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North Korea holds a beer festival

North Korea is known for many things, but a watering hole it wasn't — until now.

On Friday, the Communist country's capital of Pyongyang played host to its first ever beer festival which saw 800 attendees turn up to join in the festivities.

According to CCTV+, the festival will last 20 days and was organised to promote Pyongyang's home brewed Taedonggang beer.

The beer is named after one of the North's most famous landmarks, the Taedong River, where the event is being held.

During the opening ceremony, 500 guests got to enjoy the lager on the house while snacking on fried chicken and being serenaded by live music performances.

The event comes amidst international condemnation over leader Kim Jong Un's continuous pursuit of nuclear arms. Since 2013, Kim has promised economic reforms to improve the living standards of its people.

Photos of the first beer festival held in North Korea:

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North Korea holds first beer festival
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North Korea holds first beer festival
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows a waitress carrying jugs of beer to guests before the opening of the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows a general view of guests attending the opening of the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows waitresses preparing jugs of beer before the opening of the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows a woman drinking some beer during the opening of the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows Choe Yong Nam (L), director of the General Bureau of Public Service who doubles as chairman of the preparatory committee for the festival, saying 'cheers' with other officials after the opening ceremony of the Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken on August 12, 2016 shows a volunteer (R) tasting Taedonggang beer at the beer sampling competition after the opening of Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival on the banks of the Taedong river in Pyongyang. / AFP / Kim Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
North Koreans gather along the Taedong River where a beer festival was organized on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
A beer server fills up glasses of draft beer at a beer festival held along the Taedong River on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
A North Korean man gulps down a glass of draft beer during a beer drinking competition held on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Pyongyang, North Korea. This competition was held during a beer festival along the Taedong River in the North Korean capital. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
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Choe Yong Nam, director of the General Bureau of Public Service, said in his opening address: "This Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival, held on the charming and beautiful Taedong riverside, is a significant occasion, which shows the superiority and vitality of our own-style socialist system, which is all about the people."

In 2008, a New York Times article described the Taedonggang beer as a "full-bodied lager a little on the sweet side, with a slightly bitter aftertaste." The beer is currently available only in the North and is also distributed in limited quantities to China.

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