Dayton’s Eudora Brewery runs afoul of Hindu community over Lord Ganesh image on one of its beers

Upset Hindus urge Ohio brewery to remove image it deems “highly inappropriate” and brewery complies, issuing apology

DAYTON – Eudora Brewing Company (EBC) moved quickly this morning to react to the concerns of the Hindu community after it called for the brewery to apologize and not use Hindu deity Lord Ganesh’s image for its “Samsara Imperial Rye IPA” beer.

 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada Monday, said that the “highly inappropriate” usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

 

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

 

“Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought; and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled”, Rajan Zed noted in a prepared press release.

“Samsara Imperial Rye IPA” (100+ IBUs, ABV 9.5%) is described by the brewey as being “brewed with rye malt, which gives it a sharp, slightly spicy malt character. A unique blend of four American hop varieties boost the bitterness levels and make for truly unique hop flavor and aroma profiles”. The beer label portrays what appears to be a hop flower on Lord Ganesh’s head and in one hand, a rye bunch in another hand, and mash brewing paddles in the other two hands; Zed called the image “deeply trivializing of the immensely venerated Hindu deity Lord Ganesh”.

 

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.

 

Eudora, for its part, moved quickly when it learned of the concern. Brewery spokesperson Abby Hofrichter, when reached by email by NEOCBN, said “We are taking this call to action from our neighbors seriously and appreciate the opportunity to respond with intention, so that we may learn and grow as a business from this.” Hofrichter included a statement of apology from founder and owner Neil Chabut and the entire Eudora Brewing team, which we’ve included below in its entirety:

 

“Our first response is one of apology to the Hindu community, especially our neighbors in Dayton, for any hurt we may have caused. Upon approving the design of this beer, our intent was not one of frivolity or marginalization. As a brewery, we strive to create a welcoming environment for all guests who walk through our doors or encounter our beers in public. We aim to be responsible, growth-minded members of the craft beer community. We realize now that there was a much wider audience that needed to be considered in regards to this design, and all designs, and apologize for our lapse in judgement. We appreciate the opportunity to be called into the important conversation of how we, as members of the craft beer community and as citizens of the world, can be more inclusive in all aspects of our business. We will be removing the existing Samsara label from our portfolio and have already begun the process of designing a new label void of any usage of Hindu deities, concepts or symbols. Furthermore, we welcome any and all opportunities to continue this conversation on how we can continue to create a more inclusive environment at Eudora and in the Dayton beer industry. Our goal, as always, remains to “brew goodness” both in our beer and in our community. We can be reached directly at info@eudorabrewing.com with ideas or to set up an opportunity for dialogue and education.”

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