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Brewery apologizes for Gandhi-themed craft beer

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A can of Gandhi-bot beer. (New England Brewing Company)

New England Brewing Company, a Connecticut based craft beer company, has apologized for released a Gandhi-themed brew but has not said if it plans to recall the product, reports Drinks Business.

“Gandhi-bot” is an “intensely-hopped double India pale ale. According to the New England Brewing Company’s website the beer is “aromatic and fully vegetarian” and an ideal choice those looking to self purify and seek out “truth and love.”

The packaging depicts an animated, robot-stylized Gandhi-like figure, holding his hand up in a blessing pose.

Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesmen, has condemned the product and stated that Mahatma Gandhi “abhorred drinking” and trying to sell a beer named after the icon is “highly damaging to his legacy.”

A petition was recently filed in Hyderabad that branded the beer’s offensive image as punishable under Indian law, reports the BBC.

Matt Westfall, the head brewer at New England Brewing Company, has apologized, issuing the following statement to the Press Trust of India news agency:

"We do apologize if the good people of India find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a great man who we respect greatly.”

However, the company has made no indication that it plans to remove the beer from its line-up.

Westfall added that “So many Indian people here in America love our tribute to the great man. We hope that you understand our true intent and respect the method and the freedom we have to show our reverence for Gandhi.”

The company claims that Gandhi's "granddaughter and grandson have seen the label and have expressed their admiration" for the product but Westfall did not specifically name any relatives of the late activist.