The history of beer in Indonesia goes back to the year 1929 when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony, and a well-known Dutch brewery named Heiniken did set of the first brewery in Indonesia, in Surabaya.
With the first Indonesian beer being Bintang Beer, which is still the most famous Indonesian beer and sold all over south-east Asia.
Bintang is sold all over Indonesia, while other breweries are only sold in certain regions/islands in the country, today there are around 50 different types of Beers and Ciders produced in Indonesia.
Most people wouldn’t expect Indonesia to produce that huge amount of beers/cider.
And remember that Indonesia is a Muslim country so alcohol and beer are not easily available all over Indonesia, and especially around Aceh province northeast on Sumatra.
Another region in Indonesia which alcohol and beer are hard to find is in the province of West-Papua due to alcohol problems among the Tribes in the area, in some parts alcohol is completely illegal like in Baliem valley.
8 Local Beers To Try In Indonesia.
Panther Black Beer.
Style: Dark Larger 4,9%
Its sold on cans and bottles.
Dark brown with a large, creamy head. Caramel, malts, syrup, a bit of wood, both in the aroma and flavour. Medium, oily, average.
The finish is medium long. A decent beer to drink if you like dark beers and you realise you are in a country with not a big beer culture.
Style: Golden Ale 4,9%
Its sold on cans and bottles.
Pours a clear medium golden head, small frothy white head, mostly diminishing, light lacing; aroma pale malts, light citrus, melon, grain, light hops; taste medium sweet and light bitter.
Style: Pale Lager 4,9%
Its sold pmøu on cans.
Pours a clear, gold with a small head, white head. The aroma of flowers, malts. The taste is sweet, floral, fruity, syrupy. Light, slick, lively.
The finish is medium-long and balanced. Overall, either this is a surprisingly good lager.
The pride of Bali. A very easy beer to drink, after a warm day in the sun will you drink it like water.
Style: Pale Lager 4,8%
It´s sold on both bottles and cans.
Pours a clear golden colour with a big white fizzy head that diminishes relatively quickly.
The aroma is malty, grainy with some cereal touches. Notes of bread, barley, a bit of maize. Not much taste.
Style: Pilsner 4,8%
Sold only on bottles
A very decent pilsner. Crisp, clean and refreshing with a pinch of lemon zest, grassy hops and grainy malts. A light floral yeast, light spice and heavy cereal notes. Light sweetness.
Bali Hai Draft Beer.
Style: Light 4,9%
Sold on bottles and cans.
Pours a clear golden coloured body with a very thin white head and a few bubbles coming from the bottom. The aroma of rice, alcohol and light malt, not much else. Light-bodied; Slight lemon flavour upfront, just an OK beer to drink.
Anker Bir Pilsener
Style: Pilsener 4,9%
Sold on bottles and cans, the cheapest local beer to buy in Indonesia.
Pale golden with a small white head. Almost no aroma at all, some grain maybe. Not much flavour either, somehow refreshing neutral grainy with high carbonation, a hint of malt and lightly fruity.
Thin body, no aftertaste. Nothing really wrong with the exception of not tasting much at all.
Bintang Bir Pilsener
Style: Pale Lager 4,7%
Sold in both cans and bottles, by far the most popular local beer in Indonesia, and sold all over Asia.
Clear gold colour with a minimal white head. Smells some hops. Easy drinkable and refreshing. Tastes is hops and barley with some sugar notes. Almost no aftertaste. A very easy beer to drink in Indonesia, and often the only one available around the country.