Stark Beer (Bali)

Four years and two days ago I reviewed three beers from the Storm Brewery in Bali. Yesterday, back at the same mall, I picked up two more from the Stark brewery (also in Bali).

I also had to pick up a Bintang. You know, as a control beer.

ASIDE: Apparently that last post attracted a lot of comments! Note the Australian commenter David Horovitz holding forth that some lousy “craft” brewery in Bali produces a beer that’s so complex that an unsophisticate like me just can’t understand it. This is why the developed world doesn’t take Australians seriously.

But I digress. For my last post, a review of two Stark beers. And as before, the disclaimer that I don’t know how to taste and rate beer applies.

Stark Wheat

Medium head that dissipates quickly. Golden-to-orangish color (at least when viewed through my hotel room coffee mug). Citrus-y nose, with some light hops, not unlike a Sam Adam’s Summer. Very forward citrus on the initial taste, verging toward sour in the middle. Lingering finish, with yeasty notes appearing. Overall: a mass-market style wheat beer, lacking something in the subtlety department but not unpleasant. Would be a nice change from the adjunct lagers that dominate the Indonesian market.

Stark Dark Wheat

Bigger head than the Wheat, but still doesn’t linger. Brownish color in the mug. Same citrus on the nose, but also hints of nut and malt—the exact same aroma as characterizes Ithaca Butt Brown. Initial taste is citrus. Nutty flavors emerge later, and the finish is mostly sour. Overall: Like its lighter cousin, an interesting alternative to Bintang and Anker, but probably less drinkable over the course of a long evening.

Comments 4

  1. Bali traveler October 8, 2013

    Hi, honestly i like Bintang very much so far. I come from Germany, Bavaria. And we Bavarians believe, that we are the only beer brewer in the world. However,as i stay in Indonesia very frequently, please tell me where to get this STARK beer. I will then taste and come back to you ….
    If you provide me with some more Information about the brewery in Bali, I could write an article for my Indonesia travel site at
    Best regards,

    • tompepinsky October 8, 2013

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Reinhard. I agree, Bintang is actually pretty tasty–so long as it’s hot out. As you may know, Bintang is much like Heineken, for obvious reasons.

      I have only bought Stark in a high-end grocery store in Jakarta. The basement of Pacific Place Mall, if I remember correctly. That’s where I’d check; if there are up-scale grocery stores in Denpasar or Ubud I’d definitely try there.

  2. Sandy June 5, 2014

    Hi, I am interested in visiting some of the breweries in Bali. Do you happen to know where they might be located? I have been a label collector for over 30 years, but this will be my first trip to Bali. Thanks for any help you can provide!

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