Despite the omnipresence of Bintang in Bali – helped by the hordes of Australians who feel compelled to don the ‘Uniform des Australiens’ while holidaying there – there are a couple of ‘Indonesian’ competitors plus a few craft beer suprises.
Bintang, despite the bad press, is not a bad beer and is in fact very drinkable given the climate and the ability of the local water supply to turn your stool to liquid. Owned and operated by Heineken it is has been brewed since 1929.
Next in popularity, several lengths back, is Bali Hai. Despite the name it is brewed on Java and is owned by San Miguel (Phillipines) and Kirin (Japan). Also a pilsener like Bintang I prefer it as it tastes a little more full bodied.
A fair way back again is Ankar. I could only find this in a couple of supermarkets and in taste it was indistinguishable from Bintang. Brewed again on Java it is also a subsiduary of San Miguel.
The two suprises were a couple of local Bali craft beers. The first company, Stark, produces a wheat beer (reviewed in an earlier blog) and a dark beer. The other, Storm Brewing, produces a whole range with seasonals etc but your correspondent could not track any down. I passed the brewery in Denpasar while en route elsewhere and there was no way Mrs botf was going to let me stray.