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May-11-2012 19:51printcomments

Portland Brewery Apologizes & Will Rename 'Kali-Ma' Beer After Hindus' Protest

Portland brewery does the right thing...

Portland Brewing Company
We tip our hat to the Portland Brewing Company for doing the right thing and being decent. Learn more about them: newschoolbeer.com

(PORTLAND, OR) - Portland, Oregon based Burnside Brewing Company, which earlier announced to release its “Kali-Ma” beer on May 15; has apologized, postponed the release and would rename it.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed

In an announcement published on their Facebook page today, the Company wrote: 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 anyone we have offended we sincerely apologize.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, calling identifying of the beer with Goddess Kali as “inappropriate”, has thanked and commended the Company for showing responsibility, respect and maturity by taking quick action and for having an understanding for the hurt feelings of Hindu community. It was a step in the right direction, he added in a statement in Nevada today.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stresses that Goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism and is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda is not okay.

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 lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed argued.

Zed further said that such trivialization of Goddess Kali was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more, but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the devotees, Zed pointed out and added that businesses should be respectful to various faith traditions.

“Kali-Ma” the beer was earlier announced as spiced wheat ale involving cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, India dandicut peppers, etc., and showed the picture of Goddess with four arms and three severed heads. Jason McAdam is the brew-master at the Company which is also organizing Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival on June 9-10.

Goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. She is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.





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Douglas Benson May 12, 2012 6:49 am (Pacific time)

I just lost respect for the Hindus and the brewery.


Anonymous May 11, 2012 9:43 pm (Pacific time)

My apologies, its not the article from salem-news that is propaganda, I believe they should give many different opinions and views. I meant more the PC stuff that is going on and why they do it. And I appreciate salem-news for posting comments. I cant imagine how difficult it is to run a website such as this, and all that goes along with it. I thought about it today. If I am so cool, then why dont I start a website? my answer? Its too difficult and engulfs your life. I should be a bit more respectful. I suppose we all grow together if we try. We live in a precarious world, but if we keep our hearts into truth, maybe we will get thru this. Night all, its my wife;s birthday, and taking her out, just had a minute while she is getting ready :-)


Anonymous May 11, 2012 8:31 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Lord..this is out of control now. This PC stuff is out of control. What ever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"? This is ridiculous. This is propaganda, and what the hindu's should be really worrying about is the bankers/globalist/elites that want to enslave them in a debt based society. This article is nothing more than a distraction to keep the banker/globalists/elite in stealth.

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