The Ibosim Brewhouse, which claims to be the first microbrewery on the Balearic island of Ibiza, has seemingly upset some in the Hindu faith with its Indian IPA inspired range.
The four beers named after Shiva, Kali, Ganesha and Hanuman have labels depicting the Hindu deities.
Rajan Zed, a self-proclaimed “Hindu statesman” and head of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism has complained to the brewery for “disrespecting” the ancient faith by linking it to alcohol and commercialism.
“Lord Shiva, goddess Kali, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman are highly revered in Hinduism and they are meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed,” said Zed in a statement sent to The Local.
Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism. Photo: Rajanzed.org
“Moreover, linking these deities with an alcoholic beverage is very disrespectful.”
“The inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees,” he complained.
Zed said “Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one 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 (@rajanzed) November 28, 2016
The brewery in Ibiza responded on Tuesday with an apology explaining that it had not been their intention “to offend in any way any religious sensitivities and, if that has been the case, we offer our most sincere apologies.”
In a statement sent to The Local, the brewery explained that the range was inspired by “a historical type of beer called 'Indian Pale Ale'” and the design reflected “the respect to and gratitude for, the influences of Hindu culture.”
“The labels and their denomination evoke the culture of the named country and it’s close bond with the island of Ibiza, where the use of references to different cultures and religions is commonplace,” said the statement.
The brewery also explained that the beers had not been on sale “for several months.”
“The beers of this very short limited edition, crafted in 2015, are no longer in distribution.”
It is not the first time Zed has taken issue with the “misappropriation” of Hindu gods.
He has previously called for the withdrawal of clothing ranges and yoga mats that included Hindu deities.
He also lodged a protest against London Fashion Week organisers for “trivializing” his religion after depictions of Hindu dieties were used on the catwalk.
Zed won an apology from Belgium brewery The Musketeers, for using Lord Ganesha as an icon representing its Jack’s Precious IPA beer.