Rogue Ales' latest beer is catching flak for cultural appropriation.
The Newport-based brewer has a reputation for releasing beers with unique flavors, including a Sriracha Stout and an homage to Voodoo Donut's famed bacon-studded maple bar, and branding them with flamboyant names and labels to match.
The organization's president, Rajan Zed, is urging Rogue to rename the beer and apologize, calling the use of Hindu concepts or symbols for commercial gain "highly inappropriate."
Shavasana—also known as the "corpse pose" in yoga, in which the subject lies face-up with arms and legs spread—is part of the Hindu meditation process. In a release about the ale, Rogue president Dharma Tamm said, "Life is a balancing act and we're all about honoring that balance. So we brewed a beer to do just that."
The golden blonde ale "can help you relax and restore after the twists and turns of life," the press materials claim.
"Yoga, an integral part of Hinduism, was considered Union with God and was a means for transforming consciousness and attaining liberation," Zed said in a press release. "It found mention in ancient Hindu scriptures Upanishads and took many forms in sacred Bhagavad-Gita. Using yoga to push beer was highly insensitive and trivializing of the immensely revered body of sacred and serious knowledge."
This isn't the first time Zed has targeted a business, or even a brewery, for employing a Hindu term or imagery for a product. Most recently, he called out Three Hills Brewing for the England company's Veda IPA—the Vedas are religious texts that originated in ancient India.
A representative for Rogue told WW the company is discussing the matter internally, but "have nothing to share at this time."