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Springfield Brewing Co. apologizes for use of Hindu deity

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Springfield Brewing Co. issued an apology for the “inappropriate usage” of a Hindu deity for the branding of an in-house beer.

SBC’s Scott Wellever emailed a statement indicating the beer, dubbed Bombay Brown IPA, was sold inside the Springfield restaurant from June 2013 to May 2015. SBC used an image of Lord Ganesha to advertise the beer, though Wellever said a beer label was never produced and the beverage was not distributed outside of the 305 S. Market Ave. restaurant.

“It was never our intention to offend any person with the artwork used for this brand,” the statement from Wellever reads. “Our Bombay Brown is a retired brand that was only used in-house and was never distributed into the Springfield, (Missouri), market or the surrounding southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas markets.”

SBC’s apology followed a news release sent over the weekend to Springfield Business Journal by the Universal Society of Hinduism and its president, Rajan Zed.

“Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed,” Zed said in the release. “Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.”

The Universal Society of Hinduism included an image of the SBC brand, which shows Ganesha holding a beer glass. Wellever confirmed to SBJ the image was used in-house at SBC. A June 28 Google Alert brought the request from the Universal Society of Hinduism to SBC officials’ attention, when they removed Bombay Brown artwork from the company’s website. According to the statement, the website was the only place the image still was used.

“We have received no communication from Rajan Zed or the Universal Society of Hinduism on this issue,” the statement from Wellever reads. “We take matters like this very seriously and humbly apologize to Rajan Zed and the entire Universal Society of Hinduism.”

The Universal Society of Hinduism, according to its website, is based out of Reno, Nevada, and is designed to represent Hindus across the world.

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