Monday, 23 January 2017

A star is imported

I see that Kingfisher Beer Europe intends to import Bintang into the UK. Bintang is an Indonesian beer, a Pilsner with a strength of 4.7%. Normally I'd say: "So what?"

My father was an expatriate worker in the cigarette industry, and his work took him to many countries, a few of which I visited when I was a child and a student. One of these countries was Indonesia. We lived in a provincial city called Semarang in central Java. The most popular beer available everywhere was Bintang, brewed by a local subsidiary of the Heineken group, and the bottles prominently feature the Heineken star, after which the beer is named: bintang is the Indonesian word for star.

I'm thinking back to the mid-1970s now, but as I recall it was quite a reasonable bottled beer which, ice cold straight out of the fridge, was just right to slake your thirst in the hot tropics (Java is just below the equator).

I shall keep an eye out for it. According to the report I read, it will be imported. If so, I'll give a try, if only for old times' sake. If, on the other hand, it is brewed somewhere under licence, I'm not sure that I'd bother.

This is my 1,382nd post. It is the only one written solely about lager.


  1. In March 2007 I spent a most enjoyable and relaxing week in the Maldives. This holiday followed a very stressful six months period where I was working full-time in a new job, whilst at the same time running my existing Off-Licence along with trying to find a buyer for the business. I wrote about it here.

    Canned Bintang, imported from Indonesia, was the only beer available at the resort I stayed at. I couldn’t really grumble as the Maldivians are Muslim, who of course are not supposed to consume alcohol; but this prohibition did not extend to tourists.

    It was a case of any port in a storm, but with temperatures in the mid 30’s, and sky-high humidity levels, an ice-cold Bintang or two really hit the spot. I’m sure you will enjoy it, and it will bring back memories of your time in Java.

  2. After all this time, finally necking something palatable eh?

    Once you get on the lout, there's no going back you know.

  3. Much more eco-friendly to brew it under licence in the UK rather than in effect shipping bottles of water half-way round the world ;-)

  4. Paul: Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world but, in the 1970s at least, that didn't stop quite a few of them drinking. Scotch whisky was, as I recall, particularly popular.

    CL: I'll let you know if my bottle of Bintang proves to be a 'Road to Damascus' moment.

    CM: I know and, as a Greenpeace subscriber, I should be pleased if they brewed it under licence over here, but I'm sure you understand my reasons!


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