Beer Buzz: Shakti Beer Upsets Hindu Community, Craft Breweries Revitalizing Ohio Neighborhoods

The beer biz never sleeps at American Craft Beer. And here’s some more of what’s been happening in the beer world while many of you were rehabbing from last week’s Craft Brewers Conference.

Craft Breweries Revitalizing Ohio Neighborhoods (Cleveland, OH) – Craft breweries in Ohio are revitalizing forgotten urban neighborhoods and it all began decades ago with Great Lakes Brewing.

When Great Lakes Brewing (now the 20th largest craft brewery in the country) moved into Cleveland’s west side Ohio City neighborhood it was a dead zone more accustomed to crime and rubbish than it was to business and beer.

Flash forward to today and Crain’s Cleveland Business reports that the view outside Great Lakes Brewing has a more European aesthetic. “The surrounding neighborhood features a bustling mix of retail and residential property, offices, tech companies, hotels and restaurants.”


Words To Drink By (Cleveland, OH) – “If you look at these brewery spaces, most of them sat empty for a while until the breweries started showing up.” John Wagner, founder of Green Bridge Real Estate.


Hindus and Don’ts (Amsterdam) – It’s getting tougher and tougher for breweries around the world to name themselves and/or their beers without getting into trouble with someone somewhere. And now a craft brewery north of Amsterdam has enraged the region’s Hindu community who are urging the brewery to withdraw the beer and apologize.

Walhalla Craft Beer, a small brewery based in in the Netherland’s is feeling the heat from upset Hindus over Shakti, a double IPA which also features the goddess on its label. Walhalla describes year-round extra-strong Shakti as “the beloved beer of the mother goddess Shakti” … “mysteriously smooth…with seductive hop aromas”

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, an activist who is no stranger to these beer meets divinity conflicts, has said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agendas was NOT OKAY with devotees. In a statement, Zed, the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, explained that Shakti (or Devi—a general term for the Goddess) is highly venerated in Hinduism and not meant to be used in selling beer.

Banner image credit: Great Lakes Brewing

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