Bir Pletok, Non-Alcoholic ‘Beer’ from Betawi that is Healthy for the Body

While beer is generally intoxicating and contains alcohol, this beer from Betawi is not intoxicating and alcohol free. Its name is Bir Pletok. Especially for a Muslim, this “beer” is halal and safe to drink, because it is made from spices that can warm the body. The ingredients are ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, and sappan wood boiled with brown sugar. It is red in color with a distinctive and sweet spice taste.

Bir Pletok is inspired by beer drinks that contain alcohol. In the past, during the Dutch colonial period, the Dutch and Europeans liked to drink beer. However, the majority of Betawi people who are Muslims are prohibited from drinking beer containing alcohol. So the Betawi people at that time made a drink that resembled beer but without alcohol, thus Bir Pletok was created.

There are two versions of why it is called bir pletok. The first version, it is said that during the brewing of pletok beer there is a process of shaking the beer in a container. The process produces a shaking sound that sounds "pletok". However, there are also those who say that in the past the Dutch opened wine it sounded like 'pletok'. Pletok beer is a Betawi culinary variety that is included in the Betawi culture icon based on the Governor's Regulation Number 11 of 2017.
The Bir Pletok Benefits
There are several health benefits of consuming Bir Pletok which is rich in spices. Here are some of the benefits:

Improve Digestion
Consuming fresh ginger contained in Bir Pletok is good for digestion, especially reducing bloating after eating. Ginger can stimulate the digestive process by speeding up the time it takes the stomach to empty its food contents into the small intestine.

Relieves Muscle Pain
According to a 2010 study by the American Pain Society, consuming two grams of ginger per day can help reduce pain associated with exercise-induced muscle soreness. Researchers consider ginger's anti-inflammatory properties to be hypoalgesic, a fancy word indicating that ginger counteracts pain stimuli.

Treat nausea and motion sickness
The ginger contained in Pletok beer can be an effective antidote for motion sickness. Its ability to reduce nausea, is one of the most traditional benefits of ginger. Both motion sickness and nausea are often the result of gastric dysrhythmias, a condition that occurs when the rhythms of the stomach muscles are out of sync. Fortunately, gastric dysrhythmias can be overcome by consuming ginger beforehand.

Relieve menstrual pain
Overcome and relieve menstrual pain. The ginger content in Bir Pletok is as effective as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid, in reducing menstrual-related pain. Additionally, a 2014 study showed that if you consume ginger daily for a week leading up to your menstrual cycle, your mood and other behavioral PMS symptoms can improve.

Maintain cognitive health
Lastly, there is substantial research on ginger's ability to support healthy brain function. In a 2012 study, women who consumed ginger daily experienced significant improvements in their memory and cognitive performance. Another study also showed similar findings, suggesting that the bioactive properties and antioxidant activity in ginger may be beneficial in protecting the brain from cognitive decline.


“Manusia tanpa cita-cita adalah mati. Cita-cita tanpa kerja adalah mimpi. Idaman yang menjadi andalan adalah kebahagiaan.”
- Ali Sadikin -
Gubernur DKI Jakarta 1966 - 1977
“Emang rejeki kagak kemane, tapi kalo lo gak kemane-mane mana mau dapet rejeki.”
- H. Benyamin Sueb -
Seniman Betawi