Upset Hindus are urging Salem (Virginia) based Olde Salem Brewing Company to apologize and withdraw its “Hanuman” ((Spanish Milk Stout) beer; calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Hanuman was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile intent. Moreover, linking Lord Hanuman with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
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, Rajan Zed noted.
In Hinduism, Lord Hanuman is known for incredible strength and was perfect grammarian. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Goal of Olde Salem Brewing Company, “located at the very heart” of Salem’s “Historic Main Street District”, is “to make thoughtfully crafted beer worth sharing and enjoying with others”. It claims to craft “every beer in house with full-flavored and innovative tastes”. Sean Turk is the owner, while Kevin Campbell is the brewmaster.
“Hanuman” (6% ABV, 32 IBU), listed under “Dark Side (Dark and Dangerous)” category of its “beers on tap”, sells from $2.50 (4oz) to $18.00 (Growler). It uses a variety of roasted malts combined with lactose; and adds vanilla, cinnamon, and dried peppers. It is organizing an event "Hanuman through cinnamon toast crunch" on March three.