Satsumatra Beer

Luisa Freitas


In the early summer of 2019 I was approached by the Mashionistas Brewery, as part of the Coventry Artspace Arts Listings, for a commission to design their new beer can flavour that they’ve created in partnership with The Twisted Barrel Brewery. In celebration of another partnership and creation of a brand new flavour the Mashionistas and Twisted Barrel aimed towards having their beer cans designed by local Arts Practitioners, as a means to not only help the local cultural scene but also to have unique artworks in their beer and ale cans.

These two breweries are not just artisanal tap houses but also hubs for cultural and artistic practice, particularly the Twisted Barrel where they run events such as brewery guide tours, late live music and also provide their space as a meeting and discussion area for Art Charities and Artist Networking. 


Satsumatra is a coffee and orange sour beer created with a mix of Mandarina Bavaria, Satsuma juice, a hint of Sumatran coffee and a little Orang Utan Coffee. The beer takes its name after the union between Satsuma juice and the Sumatran coffee, embodying an exotic feel that better reflects its content. The most important component of this beer, and the inspiration for its creation is the Orang Utan Coffee, a coffee company and humanitarian institution created with the purpose to save the rain forest habitat of the endangered Sumatran Orangutan, from which a percentage of each sales go to saving a section of the forest. The Mashionistas and The Twisted Barrel support this cause full-heartedly and reserve a percentage of the Satsumatra beer to the Orang Utan Coffee institution.

In order to best make justice to their cause and also showcase the content of the beer I made a few design studies featuring an Orangutan in a semi abstract format that resembled a forest, accompanied by warm vibrant colours inspired by the colour of the ingredients. The use of real coffee as a medium for the drawing was an imperative request in the briefing and so I used different coffees from dark to decaffeinated to achieve different tone variants. 

The breweries selected the design of the Orangutan looking at the viewer in white background since it creates more of an impact to the buyer, and the general visual treatment showcases a traditional artwork effect as well as more prominent coffee tones.

Magazine Feature

The beer can was also featured in the Idler Magazine int he issue March – April 2020 in a review of the beer’s content, with a note on the can’s design “Before you even get to the delicious contents the can grabs your attention here, with its beautiful, textless wrapper drawing you in.”

Additional information about this beer can be found on the Mashionistas blog, the Twisted Barrel Twitter and the Coventry Artspace Instagram

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