Reality Check: Shiva IPA Controversy
Hindus are expressing concern over a popular beer brewed in Asheville. The leader of a Hindu organization in Reno, Nevada wants Asheville Brewing to stop marketing its Shiva India Pale Ale and apologize for using their god on its beer cans. Rajan Zed is President of the Universal Society of Hinduism and says it's "highly inappropriate."
The owners of Asheville Brewing say they never intended to offend anyone when they chose the name of their most popular craft brew 15 years ago. Lord Shiva is one of three Hindu gods and one of the most highly revered symbols of their faith. Brewery co-owner Mike Rangel says local Hindus raised concern with the name about a year ago. He says they met at that time and apologized if they offended anyone but walked away from the meeting feeling better about using the name. He says he assured them they were not doing anything to disrespect the deity.
Zed says he's plans to ask them to withdraw the beer cans from the market and apologize. But Rangel says they've invested 15 years of marketing their product and it's too late to turn back now.