After Being Legalized, Bali Arrack Makers Turn Happy    

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iIlustration of arrack drink
Illustration of arrack drink made into a cocktail.

PROBABLY each region in Indonesia has its own distinctive and traditionally-processed alcoholic drink. Bali, for instance, has arrack (distilled palm wine). So far, it is just taken advantage for ritual libation and self-consumption in limited circles.

It is said that foreign guests who visit Bali often ask whether Bali has such locally-made alcoholic drink. Of course, Bali has the one named Bali arrack. Unfortunately, this drink is not allowed to be officially circulated because it is still processed traditionally so that it does not comply with industry standards like the imported ones.

Seeing this phenomenon, Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, thought to find a solution for this problem. All parties must make a profit and the procedure must be legal. Then, Gubernatorial Regulation No.1/2020 regarding the Management of Balinese Fermented and/or Distilled Drinks was issued.

Many Balinese people, especially in Northern Bali and Eastern Bali, have a livelihood as traditional arrack makers. Their products formerly sold in secret and, in many cases, police officers often captured them in special legal compliance operation and they were subject to misdemeanor can now get solution.

Besides, the price at the farmer level or arrack maker is also very cheap, while the selling price to end consumers is quite high. So, here the collectors benefit more, while the farmers don’t get much.

After the issuance of the gubernatorial regulation, the arrack-making farmer community in Bali is happy to welcome it. The regulation then makes arrack, palm wine and rice wine (brem) of Bali legal. At the same time, local bartender community in Bali also welcomes positively this regulation because they can serve Balinese alcoholic drinks to their guests.

The Bali Regional Government is collaborating with related authorities such as tax office, arrack producers, cooperative and manufacturers. Hopefully, the product will comply with the standards of the industry and can be distributed legally. Last but not least, the Bali arrack can be aligned with imported beverages.

Creative bartenders will probably be able to create a number of Bali arrack cocktails from this traditional drink ingredient so that visitors can also enjoy this local distinctive alcoholic drink.

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