Hindu leader asks New York breweries to withdraw Lord Shiva beer and apologise

Washoe County Board, Hindu Mantras, County Commissioners

New Delhi, August 23, 2020: Upset Hindu leader Rajan Zed is urging Buffalo (New York) based breweries— Pressure Drop Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing Company—to apologize and withdraw their collaboration beer “Aqua Shiva” named after Hindu deity; calling it highly inappropriate.

Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu symbols or deities or concepts or icons 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 Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in a re-imagined version for pushing beer or to adorn beer cans. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

Breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of divine Hindu deity to be displayed on a beer can, Rajan Zed emphasized.

Hinduism was 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, Zed noted.

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

“Aqua Shiva” (8.5% ABV), both on tap and in cans, is described as “a hazy NE-style double IPA…with strong citrus, passion fruit and pineapple flavor and aroma, with a touch of underlying dank and a soft mouthfeel”.

Awards-winning Pressure Drop Brewing, opened 2017, claims to be a “West coast inspired brewery”; and Karl Kolbe is its CEO and Head Brewer. Big Ditch Brewing Company, a craft beer microbrewery opened in 2014 and whose tagline is “The spirit of the Erie Canal”; claims that its “beers are innovative, flavorful and drinkable…glass after glass”.

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