In a significant development for fans of the Arak Bali, an impressive total of 48 Balinese Arak brands have successfully acquired tax stamps within the past two years. This official recognition through taxation now grants these Balinese Arak brands legal status, allowing for lawful distribution in the market.
I Wayan Jarta, the Head of the Bali Department of Industry and Trade, shared this positive news and assured that several other Arak factories are currently undergoing the necessary processes to secure their tax stamps.
“Presently, 48 alcohol brands utilizing Balinese Arak as their base material have received legal recognition with tax stamps. We’ve received reports indicating that some others are still in the process,” highlighted Wayan, as reported by Antara on Monday (29/1/2024).
Reflecting on the progress made, Wayan acknowledged the growing awareness among Balinese Arak entrepreneurs to responsibly manage taxes. Notably, in the inaugural year, only 34 brands successfully navigated the process to obtain tax stamps, marking significant progress within the industry. Bali designates January 29 as Bali Arak Day, celebrating the cultural significance of this traditional beverage.
The Arak Bali industry has evolved to encompass not only downstream business players but also involves farmers upstream. The number of farmers involved has increased from 1,472 to 2,550 individuals, with 10 cooperative units overseeing their activities.
Emphasizing the positive impact of legal recognition, Wayan highlighted that the imposition of taxes has transformed Balinese Arak from an illicit and negatively perceived beverage to a legitimate and regulated product. Furthermore, this opens the door for offering Balinese Arak to tourists and guests, contributing to the local economy.
It’s important to note that Balinese Arak already enjoys legal support through Bali Governor Regulation Number 1 of 2020 concerning the Governance of Balinese Distillation and/or Fermentation Drinks. Additionally, the industry benefits from Intellectual Property Certificates that protect the traditional distillation methods of Balinese Arak.
“With the implementation of this policy, Arak farmers, traders, and the industry can confidently and securely produce Arak to preserve, market, and empower Balinese Arak for the sake of customary activities and the development of the people’s economy, such as SMEs and cooperatives,” expressed the former Bali Governor (2018-2023) Wayan Koster.
In the broader context of Indonesia, alcohol is not a foreign concept, with various regions boasting traditional alcohol types. One such popular and distinctive beverage is Arak, a distilled alcoholic drink commonly produced in Southeast Asian and South Asian countries.
Arak is crafted through the fermentation of coconut sap, sugarcane, rice, or fruit, depending on its country of origin. This versatile beverage can be mixed, aged, or distilled repeatedly, with typical alcohol content ranging from 30-50 percent. Often enjoyed in a blend with juice or syrup, Arak holds a unique place in the rich tapestry of Indonesia’s traditional drinks.