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Brewery Apologises After Accidentally Calling Beer 'Pubic Hair'

Brewery Apologises After Accidentally Calling Beer 'Pubic Hair'

A brewery has apologised after accidentally naming its beer 'pubic hair' in Māori.

Hell's Basement in Alberta, Canada, claimed it was an innocent mistake and that the company thought that its new pale ale, called Huruhuru, translated to 'feather'.

But the firm's bosses were mistaken, as was a leather store in Wellington, New Zealand, which had also branded itself as Huruhuru.

The pretty sizable faux-pas was pointed out by TV personality Te Hamua Nikora, who is Māori himself. He hit out at both the leather store and Hell's Basement for using the word.

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In a video posted to Facebook, he said: "Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation.

"It's that entitlement disease they've got. Stop it. Use your own language."

Mr Nikora then explained how the Maori often use the word 'huruhuru' when referring to pubic hair in the Te Reo language.

Hell's Basement has confirmed that it will be rebranding its 'huruhuru' pale ale. Credit: Instagram/Hell's Basement
Hell's Basement has confirmed that it will be rebranding its 'huruhuru' pale ale. Credit: Instagram/Hell's Basement
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Following the controversy, Hell's Basement Brewery's co-founder Mike Patriquin said the company would be rebranding the variety of pale ale.

Speaking to CBC, he said: "We acknowledge that we did not consider the commonplace use of the term huruhuru... and that consultation with a Māori representative would have been a better reference than online dictionaries.

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"We wish to make especially clear that it was not our intent to infringe upon, appropriate or offend the Māori culture or people in any way; 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."

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Ercan Karakoch, the owner of the leather store, told the media that when he chose the name the business had, in fact, sought approval through the Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) of a Māori advisory committee.

He later said that he had taken down the company's Facebook page after receiving a raft of 'humiliating' and 'insulting' comments.

The brewery and the leather store were called out by TV personality Te Hamua Nikora. Credit: Facebook
The brewery and the leather store were called out by TV personality Te Hamua Nikora. Credit: Facebook

However, Mr Karakoch said there were no plans to remove the name and that no offence was meant by using the word, which he felt represented his product's origins.

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He said: "We trusted the Māori officials and IPONZ. We have done everything legally. This is not a banana republic. There are rules and we followed the rules.

"Nobody wants to invest money into a business to get harassed and insulted."

In relation to the leather store's application for its rebranding, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment told the New Zealand Herald: "In this instance, the applicant had applied to register a logo comprising the word huruhuru and an image of a sheep as a trade mark in relation to goods and services such as clothing, carpets, retail of dairy products, luggage and business cards.

"Taking into account the trade mark in its entirely (including the image of a sheep) and the goods and services in relation to which the trade mark was to be used, the Committee did not consider the trade mark was likely to offend Māori."

Featured Image Credit: Hell's Basement

Topics: World News

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Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]