Beer, Batik and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika


With over 17,000 islands and 300 native languages, Indonesia is a culturally rich archipelago. To highlight the valuable unity in our differences, Guinness presents the unlikely combination of batik and beer in their limited edition pack, ONE INDONESIA.

Photos by Guinness doc.

Guinness has a reputation as ‘the beer for the bold’ because of its dark colour, with the exception of its creamy head. Its appearance gives the impression of an overwhelmingly bitter taste. But those who have tasted Guinness can attest to how delicious it is. A whiff of the beverage brings a pleasant aroma with notes of caffeine and malt. Sip after sip, the interplay of sweet and bitter in Guinness’ smooth, creamy body is increasingly tasteful. The dark beer concludes with a delightful velvety finish.

Matching its distinct colour, Guinness comes in black cans and bottles. But in their mission to recognise the common threads that bind Indonesia, Guinness departed from the usual black and appointed two artists to redesign the look of their beer for a limited edition called ONE INDONESIA. Since the project coincided with the National Batik Day, the national textile became a fitting tribute. The campaign was named “Together We Are More”, a message that echoes Guinness’ values of power, goodness and communion.

The design draws inspiration from ‘Pancha Mahabhuta’, the combining of fire, water, earth and air. The design is a nod to the Indonesian spirit of team work (gotong royong), collective decision making (musyawarah untuk mufakat) and our national motto of unity in diversity, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

Darbotz, a street artist whose work has been mentioned in The New York Times brings together fire and water in his design for Guinness. “I particularly enjoyed bringing my own vision and a modern interpretation to the basic elements of life. Personally, I love how these elements represent unity in diversity specifically for Indonesia and for me as an individual,” he said.

Ykha Amelz, a talented Indonesian illustrator and fashion designer was the other creative mind commissioned for the project. “It was a very exciting challenge for me to get out of my comfort zone and I really enjoyed the learning process about how to apply Batik ideology and the meaning of the elements we have represented,” says Ykha, whose design combined earth and air elements. She applied Peksi Bird and Megamendung (cloud) patterns to symbolise air, and Beras Wutah (rice) for earth.

The limited-edition Guinness beer pack has been named ONE INDONESIA, and launched as part of a campaign “Together We Are More”. The message echoes Guinness’ values of power, goodness and communion. Grab your ONE INDONESIA, available for both Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Zero.

The project has won an Indonesia Design Award for Best Product Design.

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Natasha Gan
Natasha is a writer with 5+ years of experience and a digital marketing professional currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can view her past works on

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