HARD Rock Hotel Bali hosted its first Arak Fest, supported by Elizabeth International and local arak producers, at the Hall of Fame. The event aimed to delve deeper into the historical richness and evolution of Bali’s traditional liquor, arak, which has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis in recent years as a result of quality and branding improvements by Bali’s arak producers following its legalization by the Governor on January 29, 2020.

The event focused on educating young aspiring hoteliers on the value of certified arak, emphasizing how registered arak can compete with other imported spirits. The event was opened by Mrs. Putu Sri Budani, A.M. Par., HTS, Director of Elizabeth International and Shane Coates, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Bali.

The 200 university students in attendance were invited to gain insights from arak specialists. Along with a series of brand demonstrations by Bali arak producers and mixologist performances by Borti Jessika are also featured.

Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, the owner of Dewi Sri Arak, who also owns Hatten Winery, Dedi Pageriawan of Selaka Arak, and Ketut Darmayasa, the National Chairman of IFBEC, shared their insights into the production, branding and distribution of arak, highlighting the challenges and successes of this traditional Balinese beverage.

The event was moderated by Hendru Maulana Yusuf, S.S., HTS, Director of the Elizabeth International Business Incubator. The audience was also introduced to other certified arak brands, including Budi Pekerti, Palwana Salaka Ning, Sajeng Petala and Iwak Arumeri.

Arak is made from the fermented sap of coconut flowers or rice, resulting in a wide range of alcohol content from 15% to 50%. It plays an important cultural role in Balinese society, supporting both religious and social needs. Many arak products are now licensed and approved, with high quality packaging and a variety of flavors. 

With the vision that arak can compete on the global stage, the Arak Fest event aimed to educate the younger generation about arak as an intangible cultural heritage, while encouraging people to choose licensed Arak companies that promote quality and authenticity.

Hard Rock Hotel Bali its first Arak Fest

On the same day, the Hard Rock Hotel Bali launched its own arak range, crafted from the island’s finest arak sources. In line with the hotel’s sustainability program, the Arak Series at Hard Rock Hotel Bali showcases the rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship of Bali’s traditional spirit.

By sourcing arak from licensed and certified local producers, the hotel not only ensures the quality and authenticity of its cocktails, but also supports the livelihood of Bali’s small arak farmers and producers. This initiative not only enhances the guest experience by offering unique and locally inspired cocktails, but also strengthens the bond between the hotel and the local community. [ special]