U.S. beer-maker to pull 'Gandhi-Bot' brand after complaints

Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:21pm EST
 
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By Richard Weizel

MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A U.S. microbrewery said on Friday it will stop using the name and image of the late Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers after complaints it was offensive to the Indian community.

New England Brewing Company of Connecticut had been marketing its India pale ale under the name “Gandhi-Bot,” with a label and cartoon image depicting a robot version of Gandhi. Gandhi, known as Mahatma or "great soul," is widely revered around the globe for leading India to independence from Britain through non-violent resistance.

"After careful consideration we feel that renaming Gandhi-Bot is the right move (the beer will remain the same)," the brewing company said in a statement. "Taking these steps will allow us to express our support for the Indian-American community while also limiting any economic losses."

The company said it made the decision to rebrand the beer following meetings with Indian-American business owners, temple leaders and state officials, including Glastonbury State Representative Prasad Srinivasan.

The company had apologized earlier this month after complaints the beer label was offensive.

Srinivasan said he was glad that brewer was rebranding the ale.

"Our sensitivity on this important issue has been addressed and I am looking forward to the early release of their renamed and re-branded product,” he said.

(Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Andre Grenon)