The Burnside Brewing Company in Portland is postponing the launch of its new beer after an outburst of criticism from Hindus. The beer was named “Kali-ma,” and its label featured the four-armed goddess Kali
, whom Hindus worship with devotion, standing among three severed heads. The advertisement for the beer read: “Come worship ‘the black one’ Kali as the ultimate reality or Brahman this Tuesday!”
‘Kali-Ma' the beer was earlier publicized as spiced wheat ale that included variety of Indian spices like cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, India dandicut peppers, etc.
The protest was spearheaded by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed from Nevada, president of Universal Society of Hinduism saying “Such trivialization of Goddess Kali is disturbing to Hindus world over. Goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism and is not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed,” reported Hindustan Times
The owners of Burnside Brewing Co. said they had no intentions to offend anyone. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” where Jones is forced to drink a potion that puts him into a trance potion called “the black sleep of Kali Ma” had triggered off the idea to name their new beer as ‘Kali-Ma’.
The Indian Parliament objected strongly to the issue, and urged the US Ambassador to India to be summoned for and be asked to apologize for the same.
Burnside Brewing co. released its statement on its Facebook page
“In response to pleas from the Hindu community we have decided to postpone the limited release of “Kali-ma” our imperial wheat ale flavored with Indian spices and Scotch-Bonnet peppers. It is NEVER our intention at Burnside to offend or alienate any race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The inspiration for the beer label simply came from a favorite childhood movie in the “Indiana Jones” series and we were unaware that it could be offensive to anyone. We are currently scrambling to re-name the beer and intend to release it soon afterwards. To those who have been patiently waiting, we humbly ask that you wait just a little longer and to anyone we have offended we sincerely apologize.”