News Portland brewery apologizes over Hindu reference to beer

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by BeerSingh, May 14, 2012.

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  1. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

  2. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    I wish someone from the Hindu community would explain what, if anything, Kali-ma means. I bet if the brewery just redid the art to something more generic/closer to the actual movie reference that the name wouldn't be that much of an issue. As it stands they might as well change it all though.

    Not to make light of anyone's convictions, but the whole thing reminds me a bit of the South Park episode where Terence and Phillip want to show the image of Mohamed.
    seanluvsbeer likes this.
  3. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    "Kali ma" literally means "Black Mother" - she is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This particular incarnation is a symbol of power, destruction of evil and woman power. Kali Ma is highly revered in India, including me.
  4. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    Including by you??

    Anyways, gotcha. The article only mentions "Kali" I believe so I wasn't sure if there was a difference or if there was a chance that the phrase in its entirety was meaningless.
  5. IpeeA

    IpeeA Zealot (514) Jan 22, 2010 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Ridiculous. Yet another example of people being overly sensitive to every little thing. I guess Lost Abbey has a lot of apologizing and name/label changing to do as well!? Maybe they should just disband their whole brewery and start over to make sure no one is offended and they don't continue "selling beer for mercantile greed." God forbid... Oops, I better apologize for that one. :astonished:
    Horbar, ZX6Chris and oreo like this.
  6. mikeincharleston

    mikeincharleston Defender (643) May 1, 2009 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Im not up on my religions but what about Shiva IPA? That's been around for a while with no problems?
  7. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Celebrate Diversity, Just Don't Point Out The Differences.
    Horbar, Mavajoo and ZX6Chris like this.
  8. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,586) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Some years ago, Lost Coast ran into some controversy over their "Indica" label, but since we no longer had access to their brands in Minneapolis I forget what happened next.

    File it all Under: "Craft Beer and the Global Market", eh?
  9. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,453) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    While agree there is a lot of over-sensitivity out there, including in the beer community, there is more to this than the name. While the brewery was referencing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, they overlooked (or didn't know) what Kali Ma is/represents. The image on the label certainly doesn't portray it accurately.

    Does this mean people should get bent all out of shape? I don't think so. But it also doesn't cleanse the brewery of being ignorant. It happens. Apologize (for the right reason). Accept apology. Move on. Have a beer.
    We'll see how far the Bharatiya Janata Party pushes this...for votes, I'd assume.
    ZX6Chris and BeerSingh like this.
  10. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (289) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    On the one hand Rajan Zed strikes me as a Hindu version of Jesse Jackson in the sense that he's just looking for things to be outraged about. On the other hand, there's no point in offending potential customers, so I can see why Burnside is acquiescing.

    Frankly, I bet there are now hundreds (or thousands) of people that have now heard about this beer (and brewery) due to this controversy, and Burnside handled it well, so if anything this was a good dose of PR for them.
    Horbar and ZX6Chris like this.
  11. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    edit: Eh, nevermind. I don't really feel like having this debate again.
    ZX6Chris and halo21 like this.
  12. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2011 Maine

    Release super limited release unannounced- irritate the ultra sensative, pull from shelves..... BOOM insta whale.
  13. jpmclaug

    jpmclaug Zealot (560) Jun 6, 2008 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Classy response by Burnside.

    Dumb response by those people who are demanding an apology from the US Ambassador. Yes, we can make fun of your god and all of the other religions gods and characters in this country, get over it. I do find Rajeev Shukla's comment interesting though and believe that it really shows that this is just a political game for the other political party.
  14. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,136) Mar 18, 2010 California

    They still sell this with the same label so I guess nothing happened.
  15. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    the right way to respond to things like this. they meant no harm, and when they found out they were trivializing someone's religion, they pulled it. everything working as it should.
    halo21, Sneers, NWer and 1 other person like this.
  16. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    Nobody has mentioned it yet, but Burnside did send a keg last weekend to the Breakside Brewery 2nd Anniversary; the beer formerly known as "Kali-Ma" was redubbed "Bad Karma"... :slight_smile:

    Regardless of what they called it I thought it was pretty awesome, a super-strength version of their pepper/apricot favorite of mine, "Sweet Heat".
  17. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    It's not just the use of that deity for a label, it shows a revered deity surrounded by the heads of her victims. As Beer Singh states, the deity represents feminine power and destruction of evil. I can see it being disrespectful portraying her as an evil cartoonish figure committing violent acts. What if instead of a Hindu figure they had Jesus with a machine gun mowing down people covered in blood? If they did, Christian groups would be angry, and no one would fault them.
    ZX6Chris and buffs9 like this.
  18. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    I agree that the label (esp the art) was in poor taste. And I think the brewery has done a stand-up job in dealing with the initial backlash that came out of it. But things are getting phenomenally out of control now that they are demanding a formal national apology from a political official. No one has said that the Hindu followers are at fault or in some way not entitled to be offended - that's a given.

    This would be like the Republican Party asking India to force its US Ambassador to apologize to the US because the "offensive" Jesus label you describe was being used at some tiny unknown local business. Does that make the use of the label ok? No. Does it make the request for a State apology an insane overreaction? Hell yes.

    I mean, if we really tried we could likely find some similar situation going on in virtually any country that we could claim was offensive. Let's start asking every nation to waste their valuable time and money on public apologies for the largely unknown (and fully innocent) actions of small segments of their population.
  19. Keith238

    Keith238 Initiate (188) Jul 31, 2007 New Jersey

    That is the issue and the point that should have been made Rajan Med. Free speech is one thing, being disrespectful simply because you can is quite another. It was the right move to change things up.
  20. IpeeA

    IpeeA Zealot (514) Jan 22, 2010 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    ISO: the beer with this label!!!!!
    suspect likes this.
  21. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    The normal rendition of kali - ma is


    That is kali ma with severed demon head(s) in hand and around neck, with weapon, and accidentally stepping on Lord Shiva her husband. This portrayal of Kali Ma is the most common, as I pointed out before signifying feminine power, destruction of evil and power. The Burnside rendition, although animated seems to be pretty ok.
  22. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    LOL now I am even more confused about the situation...
    IpeeA likes this.
  23. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    Well thats just normal Hindu "intolerance"....I think i should not write more. Need to stick to beer on these forums.
  24. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    Good idea.

    I still get that the use of Religious symbols by non-believers to sell beer could easily offend the right people (the article on the apology mentions the conservative party). Hopefully this just blows over before starting some sort of unnecessary rift between governments.

    But no one has even mentioned the most important part in this whole story yet - what happens to all those bottled beers?!? Please think of the beer! If the brewery had to re-label hundreds of bottles at expense or if the issue delayed the beer past its freshness tolerance then that would truly be a sad day! :wink:
    ZX6Chris and BeerSingh like this.
  25. PhilLesh

    PhilLesh Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2007 Massachusetts

    Either way, that is a cool label.
    IpeeA likes this.
  26. IpeeA

    IpeeA Zealot (514) Jan 22, 2010 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I actually really appreciate you putting up this image. It's quite informative for those of us who are completely ignorant on the subject. And I appreciate you saying that the Burnside rendition is "pretty ok."
    So now my even more invigorated response to this whole thing is just as it was before: SO IT REALLY DOESN'T EVEN MATTER!!!???
    ZX6Chris likes this.
  27. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    It actually doesn't matter at all.
    ZX6Chris likes this.
  28. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    Nor has Avery had any issues with their Maharaja IPA. The world of political correctness allows you to pick and choose what offends you.
    I'm Buddhist and this doesn't offend me in the slightest. Then again, I have nothing to gain by it offending me.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  29. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    Maharaja is not a religious figure, it just means "great king".
  30. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    Thank you Google, but I'm well aware of what the term means. I was pointing out that Maharaja (name and label picture) is taken from Hindu culture and used for commercial use without any backlash.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  31. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (978) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    But you seem to fail to appreciate that there is a difference. This would be like the difference between them depicting an image of Jesus vs depicting an image of George Washington. Even the conservatives wouldn't likely blink an eye at the GW image, but the Jesus one would likely ruffle a few feathers.

    You could always argue that the opposers of this label are unaware of the others like Maharaja, but either way, I think there is enough of an appreciable difference to explain away this comparison.
  32. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I find it fascinating that this subject has been broached so rationally on this forum. Color me shocked. That said...if the most recently depicted image is an actual portrayal, I really don't see why there'd be such a fuss over the label.

    People need to cease taking life so seriously. It's way too short to go apeshit because someone depicts your idea of god in a manner not according to Hoyle. That's all this world has become. Figuring out how to successfully navigate your day without pissing in someone else's Cheerios. The world is so insanely sensitive, I'm surprised people don't get upset when you say the sky is blue.
    ZX6Chris, AnchorBaby, IpeeA and 2 others like this.
  33. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (1,579) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Best beer label ever?
  34. Hands22

    Hands22 Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

  35. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (955) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Lol this picture should've been the label, it's hilarious. She's got her tongue sticking out, a necklace made out of all the Mario Bros, while standing on top of Shiva who looks like he's having a pretty good time down there.
    ZX6Chris, ShogoKawada and vkv822 like this.
  36. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    You really think the brewery was "being disrespectful simply because [they] can"? Don't you think that notion is kinda debunked by the fact they changed it?

    Furthermore just because a Christian group tends to protest because IMHO they're crazies, doesn't mean we all subscribe to such ill sighted outrage. The Westboro Baptist Church, nuff said. I'm constantly reminded not to judge Islam as a whole every time someone explodes something in the name of Islam. . . it makes sense, so shouldn't that rationale apply otherwise as well?

    I've never heard any recalls or outrage over, nor would I support any of the Helen Lovejoy "Won't someone think of the children/people's feelings" when it comes to:

    Ten Commandments, Serpent's Stout, Back Hand of God, The Reverend (and about a dozen more God, Christian or Jesus named beers). . . much less that label with the priest getting blown by the kid.
    teal, bushycook and glitchedmind like this.
  37. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    Oh I agree, but then again I'm not Christian or religious at all.
  38. Kwatt99

    Kwatt99 Initiate (149) Mar 27, 2010 Louisiana

    This label is pretty badass! I think it silly that burnside gave in and changed their label. Such a delicate situation in this country which is ridiculous IMO. I find Halloween offensive, we should have Jolly Pumpkin (and all others) change their label to, and so on.
  39. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    South Park should do a short clip about this.
    ZX6Chris, Dunkelhund and Spider889 like this.
  40. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Aspirant (237) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    You mean the label, or the beer experts on the Internet pretending they know what someone should or shouldnt be offended about?
    Chaz likes this.
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