Welcome to Bali’s exciting drinking scene! This island in Indonesia is not just about beautiful views and rich culture. It’s also known for its special way of enjoying drinks. In Bali, having a drink is more than just the taste. It’s about where you are, the people around you, and local customs.
Bali mixes old and new ways in its approach to drinks. You can find everything from beers made right in Bali to local fancy wines and drinks from around the world. The nighttime here is full of energy and offers different kinds of drinking encounters.
But there’s more to Bali’s drink scene than just the range. It’s also about learning the area drinking rules, like how old you have to be to drink. The prices of drinks can be high because of taxes. Plus, Bali has its own traditional drinks, like the famous Arak, which give you a taste of the island’s past.
In this guide, we’ll explore all about drinking in Bali. We’ll look at busy beach bars and quiet spots where people enjoy their own drinks. We’ll learn about the special ways to enjoy a drink in Bali. So, let’s get ready to learn about this interesting part of life in Bali and see what makes it so special.
What is the Legal Drinking Age in Bali?
In Bali, like the rest of Indonesia, you need to be 21 years old to officially drink alcohol. In some places, especially where lots of tourists go, this rule might not be as closely followed. But in other places, they might ask for your ID to check your age.
It’s good to know that this age limit is there for a reason. It helps keep everyone safe. So, if you’re under 21, it’s best to wait until you’re old enough. And if you’re old enough to drink, it’s always a good idea to have your ID with you. That way, you can enjoy Bali’s fun drink scene without any problems.
Why is Alcohol Expensive in Bali and Its Availability
One of the main reasons alcohol is expensive in Bali is due to high import taxes. Indonesia, including Bali, imposes taxes on imported goods, and alcohol is no exception. These taxes can be really high, sometimes nearly 200-300% of the alcohol’s original price. This means that if a bottle of wine costs €20 in its home country, it could cost €60 or more in Bali after all the taxes are added. (source: Indonesia: Alcohol Import Tax Increase) In the source it talks about 150% increase in 2015, well you can imagine that more than 8 years later plus inflation it is between 200-300%.
Average Prices for Different Types of Alcohol
- Local Beer: Local beers like Bintang are the most budget-friendly options. You can expect to pay around €2 to €4 for a bottle. It’s a favorite choice for many because it’s light, refreshing, and easy on the wallet.
- Imported Beer: If you prefer imported beers, they’re available but cost more due to import taxes. The price for an imported beer can range from €6 to €8 (or nearly IDR 100k) per bottle.
- Wine: For wine lovers, a glass of local wine might cost about €3 to €5 (between IDR 50k-75k). Imported wines are pricier, with prices usually starting from €5 and going up to €10 per glass, depending on the brand and the venue.
- Cocktails: Cocktails in Bali can vary greatly in price. On average, you might spend about €5 to €10 per cocktail. The price can be higher in upscale bars or luxury resorts.
Finding Affordable Options and Happy Hour Deals
Some bars and restaurants are also known for its happy hour deals, which can be a great way to enjoy drinks at a lower cost. Usually the Happy Hour is in the late afternoon and early evening. What you can expect is a Buy 1 get 1 free promo.
To find more affordable drinking options, consider these tips:
- Local Spots: Try local bars and restaurants instead of tourist-heavy areas or high-end resorts. Local spots often have more reasonable prices.
- Beach Bars: Beach bars, especially in areas like Canggu, can offer good deals and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Supermarkets and Mini-Marts: Buying drinks from supermarkets or mini-marts and enjoying them at your accommodation can be a cost-effective option.
- Cirkle K and Mini M: Both of these convenience stores have a alcohol license, and they alternate Promos. You could easily save up to 25% on beers here. If Circle K does not have the promo, than Mini M has it. The stores are often nearby each other.
- Local Warung: Nothing beats a local warungs price, at least most of the times.
Local Beer and Wine: Bali’s Own Brews
Bali is not just about beautiful beaches; it’s also home to some great local beers and wines. Let’s talk about these local favorites and how they’re making a mark in Bali’s drink scene.
Local Beer Brands
Two popular local beer brands in Bali are Bintang and Bali Hai. Bintang is probably the most famous beer in Bali. It’s a light, refreshing lager that’s perfect for Bali’s hot weather. You’ll see it in almost every bar and restaurant, and it’s a favorite among both locals and tourists. A bottle of Bintang usually costs around €2 to €4, making it a budget-friendly choice. I prefer price around 25k IDR.
Bali Hai is another local beer. It’s also quite popular and comes in different types like lager and ale. Bali Hai offers a bit of variety if you want to try something different from Bintang. The price is similar to Bintang, so it’s also easy on your wallet.
Rise of Local Microbreweries
In recent years, Bali has seen the rise of local microbreweries. These small-scale brewers are making unique drinks that offer more variety than the usual lagers. For example, there’s Stark Beer, which is known for its wheat beer and craft choices. These local microbreweries are getting fame for their quality and the unique flavors they bring to Bali’s beer scene.
Bali’s Local Wineries
Bali’s climate is also suitable for wine-making, and there are a few local wineries on the island. Hatten Wines is one of the pioneers, producing wine in Bali since the 1990s. They use local grapes to make a range of wines, from refreshing whites to rich reds. Another notable name is Plaga Wine, offering a variety of wines that are perfect for a tropical setting.
These local wines from Bali are a great way to enjoy something different in Bali. They might not be as cheap as the beers, but they offer a unique taste of Bali’s own produce. A glass of local wine might cost you around €3 to €5, which is quite reasonable compared to imported wines.
Drinking Alcohol at Bali’s Beach Bars and Nightlife
Bali’s beach bars are a big part of the island’s fun nightlife. Imagine sitting by the ocean, with a cool drink in your hand, watching the sunset. That’s what you get at Bali’s beach bars. They’re not just places to drink; they’re where you can relax, meet new people, and enjoy the beautiful Bali views.
The Beach Bar Experience
At these beach bars, you can find a mix of drinks, from local beers like Bintang to fancy cocktails. The atmosphere is usually laid-back and friendly. Many beach bars have comfy chairs or bean bags right on the sand. Some even have live music or DJs in the evenings. It’s all about chilling out and having a good time.
Popular Locations and Their Specialties
- Seminyak Beach Bars: Seminyak is known for its stylish beach clubs and bars. Places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta are famous here. They offer a range of cocktails and international drinks, and they’re great for watching the sunset. These places are a bit more upscale, so the prices might be higher than other beach bars.
- Canggu Beach Bars: Canggu is more laid-back and has a surf vibe. Bars like Old Man’s and The Lawn are popular here. They have a relaxed atmosphere, with live music and a mix of local and international drinks. The prices are usually more budget-friendly than Seminyak.
- Kuta Beach Bars: Kuta is known for its lively party scene. The beach bars here are perfect if you’re looking for a fun night out. They often have DJs and dance floors, along with a wide range of drinks.
- Uluwatu Beach Bars: Uluwatu’s beach bars, like Single Fin, are famous for their stunning cliff-top views. They offer a mix of cocktails and local beers, and the vibe is relaxed but chic.
Bali’s Traditional Liquor: Arak
In Bali, there’s a traditional drink that’s both (in)famous and a bit mysterious. It’s called Arak, and it’s a big part of the local drinking culture. Arak is a strong spirit made from fermented rice or palm sap and that being distilled. It’s been part of Balinese life for a long time and is often used in religious ceremonies and local celebrations. The distillation often happens illegal! This can make Arak dangerous!
Arak comes with some risks. The main concern is methanol poisoning. Methanol is a type of alcohol that’s very harmful if consumed. Sometimes, when Arak is made improperly, it can contain dangerous levels of methanol. Drinking even a small amount of methanol can be very harmful. It can cause serious health problems, like blindness or even be fatal. I’ve got a full elaborate article on Arak in Bali everything you should know! If Arak comes in a plastic bottle, avoid it. The picture above is theone that is made under supervision of government.
Tuak: Bali’s Unique Palm Wine
Have you heard of Tuak? It’s Bali’s special palm wine, a must-try for anyone visiting the island. Made from palm tree sap, Tuak is not just a drink; it’s a part of Bali’s culture and community. With its sweet and strong varieties, it offers a unique taste of the island’s traditions. Curious to learn more about this fascinating Balinese beverage? Check out this detailed article on Tuak and discover the flavors of Bali! Read more about Tuak.
Wrapping up: Alcohol in bali
Let’s wrap up what we’ve learned about drinking in Bali. First, remember you need to be 21 to drink here. We talked about how drinks can cost different amounts. Local beers like Bintang are usually cheaper. There are also small breweries in Bali making their own special beers.
We saw how fun Bali’s beach bars are. Each place has its own cool style. And we learned some ways to find drinks that don’t cost too much, like happy hour deals.
We also learned about Bali’s own drinks, Arak and Tuak. They’re important in Bali’s culture. But it’s good to be careful when trying them. Honestly I would suggest to avoid arak, even when mixed. Methanol is so deadly!
So, when you’re in Bali, enjoy the drinks and have a great time. Just make sure to drink safely and remember the rules. Thanks for reading!
Hi I am Dwi. I am a blogger, travel agent and a mom of a lovely daughter and wife to a supportive husband. I customize and plan tours in Bali and islands nearby for a living and have been doing this for more than 14 years. Get in touch via contact [at] taletravels.com