The Bali Hai Challenge or “I’ve Been to Bali Too”

In the words of the iconic Redgum song, we’ve all been to Bali at some time or another. And look, I am actually quite a fan as long as I can avoid downtown Kuta. But having been there again recently, not only has everyone been to Bali, they are all wearing a Bintang T-Shirt, Bintang wife beater or pair of Bintang hot pants.

It seems every Aussie needs to highlight the fact that, well, they are an Aussie. And how better than wearing the same T-shirt advertising the same so-so non-Aussie beer.

Bali Hai beer can

The Bali alternative

We're all individuals

We’re all individuals

With this in mind my fellow botf correspondent @bladdamasta set me a quite daunting (as it turned out) task. “Buy me a Bali Hai T-shirt”, he challenged. “How easy will this be!”, I thought to myself. I was off to Bali. Tick. Bali Hai is brewed (sort of) near Bali. Tick. You can buy Bali Hai in Kuta bars. Tick. Kuta is full of cheap tacky T-shirt knockoff shops that would print my arse on one if I asked. Tick.
Well, despite all those big, fat ticks. The outcome was a resounding gameshow ‘Bzzzzt’. Having diverted my family for a lovely afternoon in Kuta on some flimsy excuse, I parked them at Fat Yogis and set out on my quest. Bugga me I must have walked every lane of Kuta only to be treated with what ranged from somnolent disinterest to spiteful derision when I politely asked for a Bali Hai T-shirt.

There’s an opportunity here brewers of Bali Hai. I can’t be only person ever to want to purchase a T-shirt to advertise your so-so non-Aussie beer?

I flew home empty handed but far from defeated. I contacted the brewer in Java. Surely I can buy one from them. Nope. Next, I had seen the colourful cans in local bottlos so there must be a local distributor. BINGO! “Can I buy a Bali Hai T-shirt?”, I queried plaintively down the phone. Can you what! They even through in a hat.

It is not the best beer ‘T’ I have seen. Nor the best designed. But it is the hardest to find and I love it. I just need to wear it back to Bali where I am sure to stand out.