The aim of this paper is to provide an account of the history, current status and vision of the Korean Institute on Alcohol Problems (KIAP). In the context of increasing alcohol consumption, rising second-hand effects and industry-friendly government policy, the Korean College Alcohol Study (KCAS) was established in the Republic of Korea in 1999, and changed its name to the Korean Institute on Alcohol Problems (KIAP) in 2005. KIAP's mission is to decrease alcohol consumption and its related harms by promoting research, advocating policy, developing intervention programmes and preparing media communications. Since 1999, KIAP has published scientific papers and books in alcohol research and used the internet and other media for dissemination of specialized information to the general population. In the last decade, KIAP has trained front-line alcohol researchers, and advanced domestic and international networks to promote evidence-based alcohol control policy in Korea. The light of hope shines brightly as KIAP grows and establishes critical linkages to move forward in its mission.