Magpie “Duck Ale / 덕후선생 덕 에일” Kettle Sour

Name: Duck Ale / 덕후선생 덕 에일
Brewer: Magpie Brewing Co. (South Korea)
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (Base Style: Historical Beer: Gose)
ABV: 5%
Review Year: 2020

Duck Ale (덕후선생 덕 에일) is a kettle sour beer by Magpie Brewing Co. from Jeju Island. Brewed with cucumber distillate and Sichuan peppercorn, this beer takes after Ghost, a beer that bagged the gold medal for the Gose category in the Asia Beer Championship in 2019 and 2020 and was named the Barth-Haas Champion Beer of Asia in 2019.

Read More: Magpie Brewing Co. “The Ghost” Gose


This beer is being evaluated as a Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A) with the Historical Beer: Gose (27A) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

Kettle sour” is not a beer style but more of a means to an end. In fact, kettle souring is a production method that gives us beers such as Berliner Weisse (23A) and Historical Beer: Gose (27A).

Recommended Reading: The Difference Between Sours and Kettle Sours, Explained (Vinepair, 2018)


Hazy pale straw with a thin white head. Prominent cucumber aromas meet with green peppers and black pepper. Light-bodied; moderately-high carbonation. Light tart flavors of guava and calamansi balance out the refreshing cucumber and cumin-like qualities; moderately-low perceived bitterness. Light green peppers for the aftertaste. Overall, crisp and refreshing.


Duck Ale is a unique interpretation of a gose that caters to a niche market of drinkers. In other words, it is not for everyone. The cucumber appeared to have enhanced the refreshing character of this beer as it somehow complemented the lactic sourness these beers are known for. Meanwhile, the salt was not notable, suggesting it was overpowered by the addition of the cucumber and/or the Sichuan Peppercorn. Despite this, Duck Ale still felt balanced and well-brewed. We imagine this beer making it to the dining table given its refreshing, effervescent, and drinkable qualities.