Drink is the curse of the working class. But things are different in Jakarta and here the curse of the drinking class is work. Some say that this desire to quaff back endless glasses of beer is due to the hot tropical climate while others attribute it to the often tempestuous relations that many expats have with the local ladies. But whatever the truth, one thing is for sure: drinking beer is vital for the good health of both mind and body and, as the great Ernest Hemingway once said, “a f**king great way to end the day”.
And so it was off to Paulaner Brauhaus, an upmarket German bar with not-so-busty Indonesian barmaids bizarrely kitted out in the traditional Bavarian attire. Yet despite this shortcoming (sorry!), the huge and spacious bar still retained an authentic German feel, if a little dark and gloomy.
There is plenty of good German grub here. Boiled pork, sauerkraut, beef goulash, spaetzle, all sorts of sausages etc.
But beer is what it’s all about and in this respect Paulaner Brauhaus excels: they have the only microbrewery in Jakarta, with a choice of either light or dark German beers on tap!
But then the bombshell hits -
“Sorry. No German beer anymore. Only Bintang.”
On hearing these words my mind kinda goes into a tailspin, somewhat like a Spitfire shot down by a Stuka dive bomber (although that’s perhaps not the best analogy to use in the context of this review).
Not that this is the fault of Paulaner Brauhaus. What has happened is that the Jakarta local government has decided that by brewing beer on site Paulaner Brauhaus has somehow been violating laws regarding the brewing of alcoholic drinks.
A very sticky mess which is highly unlikely to be resolved unless substantial amounts of money change hands, one would think.
Paulaner Brauhaus, Jakarta
Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta,
Jl. MH Thamrin No.1,
Telp (6221) 2358 3871
11.30am - 0.30am
11.30am - 01.30am
11.30am - 0.30am
No need, the place is huge.