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Virginia brewery apologizes for beer sharing name with Hindu deity

The brewery says it was unaware of the religious connotation and would work to find a solution.

SALEM, Va. — A Virginia brewery has apologized for a beer that shares its name with a Hindu deity.

Olde Salem Brewing Company said in a statement to WSLS-TV that it was making a musical reference when it named its Spanish milk stout "Hanuman." The brewery says it was unaware of the religious connotation, and would work to find a solution.

Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed had drawn attention to the name, saying linking alcohol with Lord Hanuman was disrespectful.

A mask maker wears a mask of Hindu monkey god Hanuman at Samaguri Satra, a Vaishnavite monastery, in Majuli, India, on Aug. 7, 2018.Anupam Nath / AP file

As a central character in the Ramayana epic, Hanuman is known for his strength and appearance as a monkey.

Olde Salem's website says the stout is meant to evoke "flamenco on the radio." The Mexican flamenco fusion duo Rodrigo y Gabriela has a song called "Hanuman" that's dedicated to Carlos Santana.