Back in May, Kura Kura set off its first Single Batch Series with the limited-edition coffee stout. Brewed with toasted oats, dark roasted malts and organic coffee beans, and canned in a specially designed label by American and Bali-based artist and calligrapher Rostarr, this series fruits a crossover collaboration that revolves around local identity; one that spotlights Kura Kura’s passion of craft brewing by using locally sourced ingredients while celebrating homegrown talents.
Departing from the same idea, Kura Kura unveiled the Rosella Gose for their second Single Batch release: a refreshing and sour brew boasting ingredients like hibiscus flowers and sea salt harvested by farmers from the Amed coast in east Bali. In capturing this burst of complexity and contrast in flavours, the craft beer brand invited Bali-based multidisciplinary artist Agugn (Agung Prabowo) to design a beer can that conjures up just the right imagery and feel.
“I approached the design by visualising these flavours of hibiscus, berries—basically, the taste buds of this new beer flavour,” said the Bandung-hailed artist over a video call. “I went off from these descriptions of flavours and started to refer to my visuals to develop it.”
Designed onto the Rosella Gose beer can are some of Agugn’s signature visuals that have shaped his psychedelic style in his manual printmaking and digital work, from the icosahedron icon and black and white silhouette figures to the burst of ‘trippy’ colours. This time, he included more from his visual directory: hilly mountains that look like they’re about to erupt (likely a reference to Kura Kura’s Plaga brewery’s mountainous location); a bird that is resting on a heart flag pole; and fruits, plants and blossoming flowers that jut out with their roots.
Not one visual seems to be significantly connected with another, but they still belong and exist naturally in this make-believe world that Agugn has imagined for the beer can. “You can see that the overarching theme is tropical. But truthfully, I didn’t set out to create specific meanings for each visual, because anyone can interpret it differently. For example, maybe the heart flag pole can mean finding love through beer,” said Agugn.
As for the colours, they’re meant to be vibrant and contrasting—a translation of the flavours that the Rosella Gose brings out. “One of the keywords given to me was ‘sour’. First off, I’ve never tasted a sour beer. But I imagined it to be thrilling, so the use of contrasting colours here is to describe this burst of flavours and sourness,” shared Agugn. “Many people have also said that the visuals complement the flavours and the drinking experience.”
It is this very reason that Kura Kura continues to expand the world of local craft beer. There should be stories and singular experiences embedded in drinking it—a mission they set out since its inception in 2020—and through the Single Batch Series, the brand is not only tapping into one, but two different disciplines that come together effortlessly to create a meaningful product that can be appreciated across the board.
For Agugn personally, designing for a beer can is a wishlist ticked off. But it also comes with a sense of satisfaction that is not only felt by the drinkers but him as the designer. “When I first tasted Rosella Gose, it felt complete. The wholeness of the design and the flavour is awesome, everything is balanced and complements each other.”