Hell’s Basement, a Canadian craft brewery in Alberta, has raised eyebrows across the world after unwittingly using the te reo Māori word for ‘pubic hair’ to name a pale ale they brew with New Zealand hops.
But the beer’s name, Huruhuru, which the brewers correctly understood as a Māori word for feather, also has another and very different connotation…pubic hair.
And the brewery, along with a Wellington, New Zealand leather shop named Huruhuru, were called out by te reo Māori TV personality Te Hamua Nikora
In his Facebook video, Nikora explained the mistake as yet another case of cultural appropriation.
“You need to know when the Māori look at the name…they’re going to see pubes…that’s what they’re going to see, pubes.”
“When I’m drinking will it get stuck in my teeth? Do I need a breath freshener afterwards?”
“Some call it appreciation, I call it appropriation. They hear about us, the coolest people on earth…then they want a piece of that ass so they just help themselves because of their entitlement. ”
“I’m sick of this appropriation carry-on, just stop it.”
“Don’t call it pubic hairs unless you make it out of pubic hairs, that’s my advice.”
Responding to Te Hamua Nikora’s outrage, Mike Patriquin, the co-founder of the Canadian brewery said his team did not realize the full implications of the name. They were using the word as “feather,” a reference to the 5% ABV pale ale’s light body, rather than referencing pubic hair…adding that he would consider re-branding the beer in future.
And as The Independent reports the full name of the beer is “Huruhuru (the Feather) New Zealand Hopped Pale Ale”.
“We did not realize the potential to offend through our artistic interpretation, and given the response we will attempt to do better in the future,” Patriquin said…
“We wish to make especially clear that it was not our intent to infringe upon, appropriate, or offend the Māori culture or people in any way; to those who feel disrespected, we apologize.”
“We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer. We are all human after all!”
Thankfully Hell’s Basement’s pale ale isn’t brewed with pubic hair or feathers…both would be a bad idea…
Unfortunately brewers have a rich history of bad ideas…