James Watt BrewDog is a misogynist and a predator who used his position of power to sexually harass his female staffers.
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Furthermore, he has even defrauded multiple customers through deceptive marketing and advertising.
The following article explores his criminal history, controversies as well as his marketing claims:
What James Watt BrewDog Claims to Be:
As a fully qualified deep sea Captain, having earlier completed an honors degree in Law & Economics, he traded in being a salty sea dog to become a BrewDog in 2007, pursuing a passion for great craft beer by setting up the company with my best friend, Martin Dickie.
Scotland’s Ellon is home to the international brewery and pub chain known as BrewDog. BrewDog calls itself the “#1 Craft Brewer in Europe” with a production of more than 800,000 hectolitres. James Watt and Martin Dickie, who together hold 46% of the company, launched it in 2007. There have been several disputes involving the corporation. Complaints have centered on how it treats its employees, how it engages in unethical business methods, and how it acts hypocritically when it promotes an anti-establishment image.
Products include BrewDog multiple types of ales and lagers and several kinds of spirits
James Watt BrewDog- History of BrewDog
In Fraserburgh, James Watt and Martin Dickie created BrewDog in 2007. Dickie had previously worked for Thornbridge Brewery, where he had contributed to the creation of Jaipur, their signature brew. BrewDog bought its first establishment in the adjacent city of Aberdeen in 2009. As of the end of 2018, the business and its franchisees ran 78 bars internationally.
BrewDog was cited as “one of the major movers”, in the campaign that amended the legislation in Britain in order to permit new beer measures in 2011. 2011 also saw the company offering crowdfunding shares totaling £2 million, the equivalent of 8% of the capital of the company. The shares were sold at £23.75 and accompanied several benefits such as discounts in its bars and online purchase of its beers, and the opportunity to attend its annual shareholders’ meeting.
In Brisbane, Australia’s Metroplex complex at Murarrie, BrewDog announced in February 2018 that it intended to construct a $30 million brewery and tap room on an 11,000 square meter greenfield property. The business declared in November 2019 that a new distillery would increase its presence in the United States.
BrewDog debuted its first bar without alcohol in London in January 2020. This was shut off in 2022. BrewDog unveiled a new visual identity in February 2021. It was created by the London and New York-based creative agency Made Thinking.
BrewDog switched its distillery output during the COVID-19 outbreak to producing free hand sanitizer for nearby hospitals and NGOs. BrewDog announced cooperation with Budweiser China in February 2023 and an expansion into this market.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Treating others in an abusive manner through harassment and bullying is unacceptable. Individuals who engage in such behavior use cruel comments, gestures, threats, or actions to insult, demean, exclude, shame, or hurt others. In some cases, sexual comments or actions are used, which is known as sexual harassment or sexual bullying.
James Watt BrewDog- Sexually Harassing Staff, Defrauding Customers
The UK beverages industry watchdog, the Portman Group, accused James Watt BrewDog of aggressive promotion in 2008, and the company ran the possibility of having its goods pulled from British stores. BrewDog refuted these claims and argued that Portman was obstructing the growth of smaller brewing businesses.
When Portman criticized the availability of a beer with that strength in 330 ml bottles with typical crown caps in 2009, it sparked controversy for its Tokyo* brew, which had an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 18.2%. Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a 32% ABV beer that BrewDog also introduced, was touted as the strongest beer ever produced.
In 2010, BrewDog announced Sink The Bismarck, an apparent 41% ABV to reclaim the world’s strongest beer title from German brewery Schorschbräu, which had produced a 40% ABV version of its Schorschbock.
BrewDog was accused by Portman in 2014 of violating the company’s code of conduct by labeling its Dead Pony Club IPA in a way that “unduly emphasizes the intensity and intoxicating effect of the alcohol in the product,” which it claimed “encourages both anti-social behavior and quick drinking.”
In September 2015, an advert branded as transphobic caused a petition against BrewDog of 7000 people.
In March 2017, BrewDog threatened legal action against an independent pub based in Birmingham called Lone Wolf, a trademark owned by them.
James Watt BrewDog was accused of stealing marketing ideas from Manifest London, a public relations business, and from job applicants in May 2019 via phony interviews and other dishonest methods.
A group of more than 100 former BrewDog employees wrote an open letter in June 2021 in which they criticized the company’s business methods and the way in which its employees were treated. The organization was allegedly “based on a cult of personality,” according to the letter, which also referenced a “culture of fear” and singled out founder and CEO Watt for specific criticism.
BrewDog’s declared in November 2022 that it will “anti-sponsor” the 2022 FIFA World Cup in response to Qatar’s treatment of migrant labor and criminalization of homosexuality. Also, the firm said that throughout the tournament, Lost Lager sales revenues would be donated to organizations that work to prevent violations of human rights.
James Watt BrewDog was accused of hypocrisy by the Unite union, who also brought out the firm’s own problems with its treatment of workers. However, some news organizations noted that BrewDog still intended to broadcast the event in their bars and that their beer was still being sold in Qatar despite their stance.
James Watt BrewDog- When James Harassed His Female Staff
Following his visits to the Scottish craft beer maker’s American brewery and taprooms, BrewDog co-founder and CEO James Watt BrewDog is under fire for allegedly acting inappropriately towards female staff and visitors, according to a BBC expose that aired on Monday.
Some former workers said Watt took two female customers and one worker on after-hours tours of the facilities or to the rooftops of BrewDog taprooms with romantic intentions. Watt claimed that of all the fraudulent accusations made in the program, being accused of “inappropriate behavior” was “the most distressing and harmful” in a post on the company’s site for its public shareholders.
James Watt BrewDog- Other Allegation made
The BBC also cited the following allegations:
- James Watt Brewdog workers were under pressure to get beer from the Ellon, Scotland-based brewery to the U.S. quickly and provided wrong information to import partners for the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB);
- BrewDog applied for a government grant to pay for trees to repopulate a forest in Scotland after implying the purchase of their Lost Lager would trigger the purchase of a tree;
- Watt owns approximately £500,000 in Heineken stock, after years of taking aim at the Dutch beer maker and banning the products of its subsidiaries from BrewDog bars.
The BBC documentary follows a turbulent time for James Watt BrewDog, which began in March 2021 with the termination of three women and one non-binary employee who were all part of the LGBTQ community from its Indianapolis bar.
The fired staff claimed they were informed that their dismissal was the result of the new manager’s desire for “a shift in culture at BrewDog.” BrewDog expressed regret to those ex-employees and launched an internal investigation, which turned up “inconsistencies in the handling of their dismissals” but “no proof of prejudice.
James Watt BrewDog – THE TRUTH about BrewDog
The documentary The Truth about Brewdog features interviews with 12 former James Watt Brewdog USA staff who have alleged inappropriate behavior and abuse of power in the workplace by Mr. Watt.
The documentary features claim that:
- Mr. Watt was witnessed by staff kissing an intoxicated customer on a roof terrace bar
- Female bartenders were advised how to avoid unwelcome attention from Mr. Watt
- Managers would try to schedule certain female staff to be off to avoid Mr. Watt’s visits
- One bartender said she felt “powerless” to prevent unwelcome attention from Mr. Watt
- Mr. Watt, while on trips to his US bars, took women on late-night private brewery tours, leaving staff feeling uncomfortable
- Mr. Watt flirted with a staff member before taking her to the roof of a Brewdog building in view of other staff.
Brewdog boss James Watt is forced to pay out nearly £500,000 to furious customers who won ‘solid gold’ beer cans in competition before finding they were only gold plated. The CEO of Brewdog has paid out nearly £500,000 to winners of a competition that misleadingly offered drinkers beer cans made of ‘solid gold’.
Clearly, James Watt BrewDog is not as reliable as he markets himself to be. Ignore his PR claims.