According to BrewDog (the Scottish company brewing many fine beers, such as the Punk IPA and the Trashy Blonde), Diageo (the multinational company which owns Guinness, Smirnoff, Gordon’s, Baileys and many other well-known alcoholic drinks) prevented them from getting an award that was rightfully theirs:
[...] 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, [we] 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 [given] the award to BrewDog.
Diageo [...] 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.’
I don’t think Diageo’s apology should be accepted. Just like many other multinational companies, they clearly have lost any sense of morality a long time ago, and the best course of action is for all of us to stop buying Diageo’s products.