Writing this article was a real challenge. Not only was information hard to come by, the whole standards and practices of Bali alcohol production varies wildly from what we are use to in Australia and we had to be careful not to pass out information that would potentially harm. Tourists and locals need to be aware of the pitfalls of poor alcohol production which has lead to injury and even death in the past. On this occasion we were not able to get a full ten and even included the more controversial spirits in Brem, Arak and Tuak. This is by no means a conclusive list as some very solid and trustworthy alcohol providers may be out there however we could not find them. Please let us know if you have found more locally made tipple.
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What makes a number 1 local brewery/winery or spirit in Bali?
With a fairly dense population you would expect breweries and other alcohol makers to be fairly common place in Bali. Sadly they are not and what is left is a handful of controversial and potentially lethal spirits and a few reputable wine makers. Whatever local reasons led to this the outcome is that the standard for locally made drinks is not very high on the island. This is a little sad but it makes the experience of consuming some good locally made wine all the more exciting. A number one in this category looks like it will be a winery for some time to come but by all means, if you see something you like, pass it on to the team at Top Ten Bali.
What gets the others in?
Ok, so we really went all around the world to fill up this list however we hit a wall at nine. From reading countless online reviews it seems that finding anything beyond Hatten Wines is a real pain and finding the local beers is even harder. To be honest we ended up including 3 drinks we really only wanted to include as a warning in the end. So if anyone has any other information about safe to drink breweries, wineries and distilleries we would be more than happy to include them here.
Be very careful about what you drink in Bali. Yes, in relative terms standards are high, but they are not as high as they would be in Europe, North America or Australia/New Zealand. The truth is that the likes of Arak and Tuak can be made in unregulated locations by people who are not really qualified to brew or distill. Problems and even deaths have been recorded from drinking tainted drinks, so beware. We wouldn’t normally say this but there are times where an international brand can be a better option than a local brew but it can be true in some cases in Bali. Try the local drinks by all means, but just look for signs of professionalism (packaging, consistency of the fluid, and the sellers set up) to guide your choice.