Two New York breweries have discontinued their collaboration beer named Aqua Shiva – named after Hindu deity – following a Hindu protest.

Pressure Drop Brewing and Big Ditch Brewing Company issued an apology to the Hindu community, who called the beer “highly inappropriate”. 

“We very recently became aware that our collaborative beer, Aqua Shiva, was offensive to Hindus,” said Matt Kahn, President & Co-Founder of Big Ditch Brewing Company.

“We deeply apologise to the Hindu community for this poor choice of our beer name and artwork.

“We simply did not put enough time into thinking about this beer name and artwork and what the use of the name Shiva means to the Hindu community. This beer is discontinued and will never be made again… we meant no harm.”

Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, says that companies should be trained in religious and cultural sensitivity before introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns. 

“Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu symbols or deities or concepts or icons for commercial or other agenda [is] not okay as it hurts the devotees,” he says.

According to Zed, Lord Shiva – one of the great triad of Hindu deities – is highly revered in Hinduism and is only meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines.

He says linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage is very disrespectful.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion in the world, with approximately 1.1 billion followers.

Aqua Shiva (8.5% ABV) was described as “a hazy NE-style double IPA… with strong citrus, passion fruit and pineapple flavor and aroma, with a touch of underlying dank and a soft mouthfeel”.

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