Over the past couple of years the demand for craft beer in Bali & Indonesia as a whole has boomed. Following off the back of the worldwide trend towards smaller local craft beer labels and away from the traditional mainstream lagers has now found its way to this Asian country. While Indonesia is a majority Muslim country meaning alcohol is not widely drunk amongst the 270 million people, there is a more liberal towards alcohol than in some other Islamic countries. Indonesia prides itself on its secularism and the Christian and Hindu populations are increasingly looking for a more varied choice in beer.

Bali is at the forefront of the new craft beer scene where millions of tourists and ex-pats were getting bored of the limited options of Bintang & Bali Hai which have traditionally dominated the market for the past decade. The influx of ex-pats in Bali have led to an increase in investment into brewing. Brands such as Tumage, Stark & Kura Kura have brought Pale Ales, Session IPA’s and Wheat Beers to the mainstream in Bali. In Canggu which is arguably the epicentre of the young ex-pat community in Bali the brewery Black Sand has popped up which brews its own beers for consumption onsite. With 4-8 beers available at any one time ranging from session IPA’s, Indian Pale Ale’s and Pilseners there is a great choice for the ever more demanding digital nomad crowd who now populate the cafés and bars of southern Bali. The European & American visitors of today demand better quality than the Aussie tourists of yesteryear who would be happy drinking Bintang by the bucket-load for 2 weeks. The new generation of Bali visitors are creating a kind of mini California on the coast of Bali, where vegan cafés rub shoulders with boutique fashion shops, studios and increasingly upmarket bars & breweries.

Another new addition to the Bali bar scene is The Barn in Canggu which is a gastro-pub inspired by the British country pub. Aaron Mahoney the owner of The Barn says the demand for high quality craft beer in Bali has surged in the past 7 years. “When I first came to Bali 7 years ago nobody knew anything other than Bintang. Now with the popularity of locally brewed craft beers in Europe & The US there is an increasing demand for more flavoursome beers. We’re combining excellent new craft draft beers made here in Bali with Beer from Australia & America to give people the kind of choice they would expect in a pub in London. The most difficult thing with importing beer is the huge import taxes levied on alcohol imports. This means the margins on imported beer is so slim and makes the cost of beer so expensive that tourists can’t get their head round paying $5 for a beer when they can get a cheaper beer back home in Europe. What they don’t realise is that the Indonesian government adds 150% on top of any alcohol import so we have to charge high prices to make any profit.

Author's Bio: 

The Barn is a new brew-pub serving traditional British bar food and showing live sports including UFC, English Football & Rugby. With a wide range of local & imported beers and a speakeasy bar upstairs with weekly events & Live Music, The Barn is the hottest bar in Canggu for 2021