The Scotland based craft brewery, BrewDog, recently posted a blog on its website alleging that the world’s largest producer of spirits, Diageo, threatened to pull sponsorship of the annual BII Scotland awards if BrewDog were awarded the prize for “Bar Operator of the Year.”
BrewDog co-founder, James Watt, writes in the blog that Diageo representatives attending the ceremony on Saturday May 6th approached judges and said that “under no circumstances could the award be given to BrewDog.”
I guess Diageo didn’t consider that “BrewDog” had already been engraved into the award and that the awards “winners” would refuse to accept.
Now the corporate giant is formally apologizing:
“There was a serious misjudgement by Diageo staff at the awards dinner on Sunday evening in relation to the Bar Operator of the Year Award, which does not reflect in any way Diageo’s corporate values and behavior. We would like to apologise unreservedly to BrewDog and to the British Institute of Innkeeping for this error of judgement and we will be contacting both organisations imminently to express our regret for this unfortunate incident.”
But the damage is done. A backlash in the craft beer blogosphere and across social media ensued and at one point the story, coupled with the hastag #andthewinnerisnot, trended worldwide.
BrewDog, known for its high-alcohol craft offerings owns and operates three bars in Nottingham, Newcastle and Manchester and plans to open 10 more in 2012.