Diageo Screw BrewDog
The 2012 BII Scotland Annual Awards: Celebrating success in the license trade in Scotland. BII are an organisation (www.bii.org) whose mission is to raise standards in licensed retail. The awards on Sunday 6th May were a huge glitzy affair held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.
Kerry, Mark, Neil S and Neil T attended the award ceremony. We had heard that BrewDog were expected to do quite well in the ‘Bar Operator of the Year’ category and the members of the bar team were suitable excited to see if our hard work would be recognised by this most prestigious and illustrious award.
Neil Taylor and Kerry on the night of the awards. They scrubbed up well!
However we were not announced as winners of the award. This disappointment was further compounded when one of the judges (seated at our table) told us in disbelief ‘this simply cannot be, the independent judging panel voted for BrewDog as clear winners of the award’.
Events took a further twist when the people who got given the award refused to accept it as it clearly had ‘BrewDog’ engraved on the trophy as winners.
On Tuesday, 2 days after the award, I (James) took a phone call from Kenny Mitchell, Chairman of the BII in Scotland and Chairman of the Award Committee explaining the situation. To directly quote Kenny:
‘We are all ashamed and embarrassed about what happened. The awards have to be an independent process and BrewDog were the clear winner’
‘Diageo (the main sponsor) approached us at the start of the meal and said under no circumstances could the award be given to BrewDog. They said if this happened they would pull their sponsorship from all future BII events and their representatives would not present any of the awards on the evening.’
We were as gobsmacked as you by Diageo’s behaviour. We made the wrong decision under extreme pressure. We should have stuck to our guns and gave the award to BrewDog.‘
We would like to thank Kenny Mitchell and the BII for their refreshing honesty here and for initially giving the award to BrewDog before their overbearing and blackmailing sponsor undermined the independent judging process completely by bullying them at the last minute to deny BrewDog of an award they rightfully won.
Update 16.30 on 9/5/12: Diageo have admitted guilt have now issued the following statement:
'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. We would like to apologise to BrewDog and to the British Institute of Innkeeping for this error of judgement.'
As for Diageo, once you cut through the glam veneer of pseudo corporate responsibility this incident shows them to be a band of dishonest hammerheads and dumb ass corporate freaks. No soul and no morals, with the integrity of a rabid dog and the style of a wart hog.
Perhaps more tellingly it is an unwitting microcosm for just how the beer industry is changing and just how scared and jealous the gimp-like establishment are of the craft beer revolutionaries.
We would advise them to drink some craft beer. To taste the hops and live the dream. It is hard to be a judas goat when you are drinking a Punk IPA.
Walk tall, kick ass and learn to speak craft beer.
You can buy some BrewDog craft beer http://www.brewdog.com/shop