Scandal at the 2012 BII Scotland Annual Awards, Diageo allegedly fixes awards, Brewdog denied

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Jason, May 9, 2012.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,474) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Update: Diageo officially says sorry.

    From BrewDog's blog:
  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,888) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    From James Watt's (@BrewDogJames) Twitter account:
    And from BrewDog Dispatch:
  3. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Wow. What is the world coming to? That is one of the craziest things I've read in some time.
  4. emannths

    emannths Aspirant (231) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    Sounds more like BII fixed the award under pressure from Diageo. They should be held equally accountable. But of course, since the first rule of BA is 'vilify the corporation,' I'm not surprised this distinction is glossed-over.

    If the head of BII is so regretful, why don't they just reissue the award?
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Savant (954) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Geez the name was already etched in?? Did they think no one would notice or make a stink?
  6. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (176) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Oh, dear. Nevermind.
  7. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Initiate (0) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Diageo, ya dun goofed. Never give Brewdog ammunition like this unless you wanna feel the sting.
  8. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This is sort of where I come down on this, too. I get that they were under pressure, but they were under no obligation to go along with Diageo on this; at that moment, the sponsorship was worth more than the integrity of the awards. Of course, the chairman does apparently recognize it was the wrong call to have made.
  9. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Sounds like another BrewDog stunt, if you ask me. When Brewdog stuffs the overpriced beer they make into dead squirrels, and all the other "look at me look at me" media-shenanigans hyping of their mediocre products, then, Brewdog,
    -Who believes you when you act this way? When petulance is shown on the face of a clown, it can only be considered to be mock petulance.
    -Pardon me if I don't care if you win or lose anything, be it rightly or wrongly done?

    That said, if this is true, Diageo just is doing what all corporate bullies routinely do in every business every day of the week. They got caught at it? On no, guess they will have to wait 30 seconds for everyone to forget about it and it will be back to BAU.
    beertunes likes this.
  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,888) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

  11. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    This whole thing just seems so... laughable. BII (whatever that is) should have obviously told Diageo where they could stick their sponsorship money. Plus, what kind of awards ceremony notifies the winners in advance?

    Also, wouldn't good journalism require attempting to get a statement directly from BII and Diageo? (Not secondhand quotes attributed to BII but not verified.) Not that I expect good journalism from a press release, just saying that we're only getting one side of the story here.
    Kopfschuss likes this.
  12. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Champion (874) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia

    I don't really think this is a common business practice, though I have never been involved in the alcoholic beverage business. Despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of Brewdog's products and I find their marketing strategies in poor taste (yet fairly effective), this is dirty business practice on the part of Diageo. It should be exposed.
  13. dvelcich

    dvelcich Initiate (102) Feb 6, 2008 Illinois

    I agree that their "stunts" are a little crazy, but I gotta wonder what being a craft brewer is like on the other side of the pond. Over here craft beer seems to be a pretty accepted medium. We're at around what, 2000 breweries? How many do you think are over there? I would argue that even some of the ones we might consider craft, like Cantillon or 3F, don't get any of the same backlash that these guys do because their styles are traditional and have been used for hundreds of years. These guys come in making beer stronger than vodka and so hoppy it makes your tongue fall off... That's gonna scare some people! So I try to cut them some slack.

    As far as the corporate bullying, hopefully they messed with someone who won't forget about it in 30 seconds, and from what I've seen of them, they probably won't let us forget either. :wink:
  14. GregoryVII

    GregoryVII Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2006 Michigan

    Are there sources for this that aren't Brewdog's blog and twitter accounts?
  15. mmcgrath

    mmcgrath Devotee (445) Mar 3, 2003 Massachusetts

    a photo of the engraved plaque would have been most enlightening.
  16. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,888) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Not yet, however BrewDog just announced that "someone" from Diageo issued the following statement (posted on the BrewDog blog):
  17. emannths

    emannths Aspirant (231) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  18. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Perhaps I did get a little flowery in the characterizations. Let's put it more tersely. BrewDog revels in making itself the outsider, the rabble rouser, both in advertising stunts and in well discussed fights with CAMRA. They delight in being the wall breakers of traditional thinking. Now they complain at not getting some mainstream award from a mainstream event bought and paid for by the same people upon whose "toes" they've made a name for themselves by stamping. I don't care, I don't believe they care. IMHO, it is just more of their same much ado about nothing, and a stance that BrewDog have calculated will bring them more attention than winning some stupid award ever would, or could, have done.
    beertunes likes this.
  19. dvelcich

    dvelcich Initiate (102) Feb 6, 2008 Illinois

    I completely agree with everything you said there, I just don't think of it in what appears to be the negative light you're shining on it. They probably don't care about the award, but they do care about the principle. If someone isn't out there making much ado (love that term) about things like this and other corporate bullying, which is far from nothing, why would they stop?
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  20. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,888) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    From the actual source, Diageo officially says sorry.

  21. NJOssie

    NJOssie Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012 New Jersey

    this story and thread bring a few truths to light...

    1. many in the craft beer community do not take BrewDog seriously
    2. big beer companies are shady and scared of craft breweries

    The award committee was bullied into doing something they shouldn't have and they share fault as they could have stepped up. I understand why some people want the onus to be on them and want to fade away from big beer companies being the issue all the time. Unfortunately, when a lot of these issues constantly involve big beer companies, one tends to see the common issue. Much like many wrote of BrewDog in this instance for their constant shenanigans.
    VonZipper likes this.
  22. NitroGen

    NitroGen Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2007 Arizona

    I find that the best part is that if you look at Diageo’s website just below today's "Statement regarding the 2012 BII Scotland Annual Awards" is this post from yesteday, May 8th:
    Paul Walsh key note speech at Responsible Business Summit
    "Paul Walsh, CEO Diageo plc gave the keynote speech in the opening session of Ethical Corporation’s two day Responsible Business Summit in London. In his speech, Paul shares his perspective on sustainability for business – how this can give businesses a competitive edge and how collaboration in sustainability can work for all partners.”
    This is just another example of a Goliath making up the rules and expecting others to step in line and abide by them. The biggest corporate sin is that instead of the usual nod and a wink and business as usual this became public only because a few had the marbles and spoke the truth.

  23. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,556) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    So, who was awarded the prize? And why would Big D do this to BrewDog (was there animosity between the two?)

    Regardless, when international conglomerates stand to lose market share to smaller dudes, they will resort to "alternative" tactics. Crap like this happens in capitalism, when those involved don't like competition (how ironic)

    But the attention needn't be on Brew Dog. Yes, they got screwed, but supporting them won't highlight the wrongdoing/ers. Focus should be on Diageo.
    "...does not reflect in any way Diageo’s corporate values and behaviour"

    Yeah, right
    omnigrits and cavedave like this.
  24. avenuepub

    avenuepub Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2009 Louisiana

    I've read most of what's posted here and can't find a reason for Diageos action. Does anyone know or have an idea? Just wondering if it's a particular hatred of Brew Dog specifically or if Diageos brands ( like Guiness) are tied to houses that were also up for the award.
  25. Nupappa

    Nupappa Initiate (0) May 16, 2012

    I sent a message to Diageo corporate and received the same response that they posted online: "... does not reflect our corporate values and behavior..." yadayadayada. This is from Here is my response:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for the response, however I highly question your statement that this event "does not reflect in any way Diageo's corporate values and behavior". SOMEONE from your company made a stink about this award and prevented it from being given to the rightful winner. That SOMEONE works for your company. That SOMEONE reflects your corporate values and behavior in the decisions they make while on the job. The ONLY solution to prove otherwise is to immediately fire EVERYONE involved in the incident. If that does not happen, then this event ABSOLUTELY represents your corporate values.

    You cannot just throw rhetoric at situations like this and say that an individual was acting on their own. You hired that person(s), you trained them, you entrusted them with this event and with your reputation. Either you made a serious error in judgement, or you didn't.
    foobula likes this.
  26. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    I agree, for the most part. Firing EVERYONE might be heavy-handed and unfair, but firing the main asshat who decided to fix the awards seems appropriate.
    Mavajoo and ant880 like this.
  27. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The fact that they have not seen fit to give the award to Brew Dog, since that who it was clearly supposed to go to, is also complete garbage.
  28. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,556) May 19, 2005 Colorado

  29. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    This is why prior bad acts/character evidence is generally not admissible in our legal system.

    People using events not relevant to the issue at hand that are more prejudicial than their actual probative effect are distractions from getting to the truth of the matter at hand.

    I think analysis of this situation should focus on what the parties involved did in this instance, not how they marketed their beers/identity in prior years, or how some vague notion of unidentified 'corporate bullies' act in unidentified ways 'every day of the year' or whatnot.
    woosterbill likes this.
  30. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,454) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    hah, this.

    lol at doing this to brewdog of all people. those guys are liable to print up t-shirts about the incident and brew a line of "diageo is the evil empire!" beers in response. hilarious.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Since there was no provable loss of money, loss of reputation is all BrewDog could claim IIRC. What reputation?

    Big companies routinely use their muscle in many ways. If I hurt your feelings with my characterization of it as bullying please accept my apology
  32. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Uh, my comment wasn't that there would be an actual case and proving damages, it was to illustrate why a system built on fact and truth finding doesn't allow thoughts like yours to pollute the process.

    Hurt feelings, that's good, I'm always a big fan of unintentional humor.
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Yeah, whatever, if it makes you happy the humor indeed was not intended, nor the ironic note you failed to mention, but probably noted.

    You take yourself much too seriously, as do the majority of the plague of lawyers my family is "blessed" with. Any conversation, though beer never has been popular subject, becomes fodder for some self congratulatorily astute yet abstruse observation of how it relates to the minutiae of trial law.
  34. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    That Natalie Merchant song "Jealousy" never gets old.

    But I have to thank you, I learned a new word today: "abstruse"
    I'll prolly keep using obtuse, but its nice to have a backup when a thesaurus isn't available.
  35. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    And add to that I prefer the misinterpretation of Shakespeare's edict.
  36. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Both sides say the other side misinterprets it, so your comment reveals nothing to me other than familiarity with said quote/edict.
  37. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    The context of the quote is obvious. Stick to law.
  38. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    But hey, since I have you here, I might as well make you useful (jokingly):

    Is Sixpoint Resin any good (its the next NY beer I'm after)?. . . and I'm trying to add to my Dick's Picks Dead catalog (I think I have Tampa, Oakland, Cow Palace, Hartford). . .you have a fave of those that would make for a nice wind down evening after work while I crack open some Resin (maybe two kinds)? I'm interested in the Lake Tahoe one, but have never gotten any feedback about it.
  39. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    I'm pretty sure interpreting things is part of the law. . . stick to not the law if you can't see how one thing is subject to two interpretations.
  40. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,606) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Resin is pretty fine, not a big Sixpoint fan, many better, especially out your way, I'd pass it by. And though I still have a soft spot in my heart for JG, RIP, and always will, I have been a classical music fan for a number of years, and do not own any Dicks Picks, though the wife does, and my last show of approx. 200 was in '92. My wind down lately has been the Philadelphia Orchestra under Muti doing some righteous Tchaikovsky.
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