Despite its Muslim majority, Indonesia has a lively bar scene. The country has more bars than Paris and Bangkok combined.
The country is home to several popular chains. One of them, Holywings, runs 36 bars across Indonesia. The chain is under investigation by Indonesian authorities for an alcohol promotion that ran afoul of the country’s blasphemy laws.
Several religious groups complained about the promotion. The authorities then shut down 12 outlets of the chain. They said they didn’t have the proper licenses. However, they have said the promotion was designed without the knowledge of management.
Some critics say the promotion undermines Indonesia’s reputation as a country of tolerance. The company has apologized for the promotion.
In a bid to meet sales targets, the employees of the chain created the promotion. It offered a free bottle of gin to men and women named Mohammad and Maria.
Some critics say the promotion is an example of Indonesia’s blasphemy laws being used to degrade the country’s reputation. The maximum sentence for blasphemy is 10 years in prison.
Bars in Indonesia are diverse. They range from cheap and cheerful backpacker bars to high-class hotel bars. Generally, the bar is a social venue where people of different backgrounds can socialize. During the night hours, many bars become nightclubs. Several bars in Jakarta offer live music.
Indonesians love to party. They usually drink alcohol in bars. Bartenders are also creating their own liqueurs. These liqueurs include Peychaud’s Bitters, Dom Benedictine, and Chartreuse.