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: