On January 24 , BBC Disclosure (think 60 Minutes but with a British accent) debuted a documentary entitled The Truth About BrewDog, which as the title hints at, was a less than flattering portrait of the Scotland-headquartered and now global craft brewer.
The BBC had already been leaking some findings from the expose’ like that BrewDog had skirted US import laws to get its beer into the country six years ago. But it’s the accusations against co-founder James Watt accusing him of “inappropriate behavior towards female staff and abuse of power in the workplace”, that are getting the most attention now.
The new documentary alleges that 15 female bartenders who no longer with BrewDog were made to feel “uncomfortable” and “powerless” by Mr Watt’s behavior.
Katelynn Ising spoke to Disclosure about her experiences while working at DogTap, BrewDog’s flagship US bar and brewery in Ohio. She said that female members of staff would purposefully avoid doing their hair and makeup if they knew that Mr Watt was visiting, to avoid “his attention.”
“We would make a point to warn new girls – like, ‘Hey, just so you know, James Watt’s coming to town. Just, kind of, leave after your shift, don’t really hang around [and] don’t always do your hair and makeup that day, like don’t catch his attention.”
She also stated that she had witnessed Mr Watt taking female customers on tours of the brewery.
“Sometimes there would be one woman, sometimes there would be a gaggle of women,” she told the BBC. “They were always intoxicated, they were in their twenties usually. They were very pretty, and he would say he’s taking them on a private tour of the brewer.”
A lawyer for James Watt told the BBC that the allegation was false reports the Drinks Business. “Mr Watt regularly takes both women and men, friends and customers on evening tours of the brewery. It is not true to say that those who accompany him are intoxicated.”
In a tweet, James Watt responded to the BBC documentary with a threat of legal action…
“The BBC published claims which are totally false & they published them despite the extensive evidence we provided to demonstrate that they were false.’
“Reluctantly, I am now forced to take legal action against the BBC to protect my reputation.”
The story in full was originally broken by the BBC, ahead of Disclosure: The Truth About BrewDog.