Canadian Brewery apologises for naming beer after Maori word for pubic hair

Men drinking beer from glass cups
Emeh Joy

A Canadian brewery has apologised for unwittingly naming one of its beer products after the Maori word for pubic hair, "huruhuru".

The Hell's Basement brewery located in Alberta, western Canada had named its "New Zealand hopped pale ale", "huruhuru", a Maori word which means pubic hair.

However, the brewery's co-founder, Mike Patriquin had apologised saying he thought huruhuru meant "feather" and didn't know it refers to pubic hair.

He said this via a statement to the New Zealand news site, RNZ where he said;

"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.

"To those who feel disrespected, we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.

New Zealand hopped ale, a product of the Canadian brewery, The Hell's Basement

Meanwhile, a leather store in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington has also apologized for naming its store after the Maori word.

A spokesperson from the Wellington leather store, Aynur Karakoc also told RNZ that they hadn't meant to be offensive.

Karakoc said the company used the word thinking that it meant wool, feather or fur and that the business cannot afford to undergo a rebrand.

The spokesperson added that the company did obtain approval for the name from the Intellectual Property Office's Maori advisory committee.

However, TV personality Te Hamau Nikora, who is from the Maori community in New Zealand, had criticized the companies for using the word.

He wrote on Facebook, "Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation". He explained that most Maori people used the word, "huruhuru" to refer to pubic hair. He said he contacted both the store and the brewery to inform them of their mistake.

"If you are selling leather, call it leather, don't call it pubic hair unless you are selling pubic hair. Don't call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair", he said.

He further said that non-Maori businesses should use their language to promote their own products.

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