US Brewery agrees to rename 'Gandhi-Bot' beer

A US brewery that drew flak over its use of Mahatma Gandhi's name and images on beer cans on Saturday agreed to drop them from its bottles, terming it as the "right move" in the wake of complaints by the Indian-American community.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 25, 2015, 00:48 AM IST

Washington: A US brewery that drew flak over its use of Mahatma Gandhi's name and images on beer cans on Saturday agreed to drop them from its bottles, terming it as the "right move" in the wake of complaints by the Indian-American community.

The Connecticut-based brewery - New England Brewing Company - said it would rename and rebrand the 'Gandhi-Bot' beer.

The renaming process could take as long as three months, it said and assured customers that the recipe for the beer will not change.

The company had been using a robotic image of Gandhi, who favoured prohibition, to sell its beer.

The controversial beer had been distributed for about five years, and was promoted on the brewery's website as "fully vegetarian" and "an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love".

Meanwhile, Indian-American lawmaker and Connecticut State Representative Prasad Srinivasan welcomed the decision, saying, "I am very glad that New England Brewing Co. Heard the concerns of the Indian-American community. Our sensitivity on this important issue has been addressed and I am looking forward to the early release of their re-branded product."

Over the course of the last few weeks, New England Brewing had met with local Indo-American business owners, temple and community leaders, as well as with Srinivasan and other state leaders.

"We learned of their support for our small business as well as some of their concerns regarding our Gandhi-Bot beer name and label. After careful consideration we feel that renaming Gandhi-Bot is the right move," the company said in a statement.

The company had last month apologised to the Indian public and Indian-Americans in the US for naming its beer after Gandhi. The apology came after a case was filed against the company in India.

"Taking these steps will allow us to express our support for the Indian-American community while also limiting any economic losses," the company said.