Yorkshire brewery blasted over "highly inappropriate" Hindu god beer

The head brewer of a Keighley brewery says he "doesn't name beers to call offence."

Every year millions of devout Hindus immerse Ganesh idols into oceans and rivers in a 10-day festival in Mumbai, India

It came after Keighley-based Wishbone Brewery unwittingly called a beer called Ganesh after a Hindu God back in August.

Head brewer Adrian Chapman explained: "Two weeks later someone said it might be cultural appropriation. I made myself aware of what that meant, and did a lot of reading about Hinduism and Ganesh and realised it was not a good idea to call a beer after Ganesh.

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"It may cause offence and we don't name beers to cause offence."

It seemed the story had gone away, but it resurfaced on Friday when Hindu leader Rajan Zed, based in Nevada, USA, issued a press statement, complaining of the "highly inappropriate" name.

Mr Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism as a god of wisdom and "not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed."

He added: "Moreover, linking Lord Ganesh with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful where he seemed to be in the company of beers named “Rascal”, “Bandit”, etc."

"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."

Mr Chapman said around 500 pints of the beer were made for a festival in Manchester in August.

He said: "Obviously it wasn't appropriate and we said we would happily rename it.

"On the flip side there's quite a number of breweries that use the name Jesus. One not too far away from us did one called Black Jesus.

"Somehow this has raised its head again. like a storm in a teacup. We thought it was finished with.

"Obviously this guy in America has his beliefs and reacts to things he thinks are inappropriate.

"It's just a shame he didn't get in touch with us first, rather than releasing multiple press releases.

"Mr Zed would be very welcome to come and have a look round, or give us a telephone call and we would love to speak to him."