BrewDog’s chief executive has denied any inappropriate behaviour following allegations in a BBC documentary which accused him of abusing his power in the workplace by behaving inappropriately with female employees.

Several staff members working at the craft brewer’s outlets in the US alleged they had seen company boss James Watt give private late-night tours to female customers and his conduct often made female bartenders feel “uncomfortable”.

In the BBC Disclosures programme which aired on Monday night, more than 15 former BrewDog employees spoke out against the CEO.

Mr Watt has strongly denied all allegations, adding that the BBC claims are “totally false”

Katelynn Ising, a former employee at BrewDog’s flagship bar and brewery in Canal Winchester, Ohio - DogTap - told Disclosure that female staff would dress down to avoid unwelcome attention from Watt.

She told the programme: “We would make a point to warn new girls — like, ‘Hey, just so you know, James Watt’s coming to town.

“‘Just, kind of, leave after your shift, don’t really hang around [and] don’t always do your hair and makeup that day, like don’t catch his attention’.”


She also claimed that she saw Mr Watt take intoxicated female customers in their twenties on a private tour of the brewery.

Watt’s lawyer has fiercely denied this allegation, saying that the Scot regularly took male and female friends as well as customers on evening tours of the brewery, and that they were not intoxicated.

The lawyer added that a claim of such behaviour made in 2021 had been “fully investigated” and “not substantiated.

He said: “Mr Watt regularly takes both women and men, friends and customers, on evening tours of the brewery.

“It is not true to say that those who accompany him are intoxicated.

The claim that he did, was made by an employee in June 2021.

“It was fully investigated – the claims were not substantiated – no further action was warranted by Brewdog USA HR.”

The craft beer firm, which was founded in Ellon, Aberdeenshire in 2007, has expanded across the UK, Europe and into the US.

It now owns more than 100 bars worldwide employing over 2,000 staff members.

While Mr Watt declined to be interviewed for the documentary, ahead of it airing on Monday night, he took to Twitter to make a statement.

He said: “The BBC published claims which are totally false & they published them despite the extensive evidence we provided to demonstrate that they were false.

“Reluctantly, I am now forced to take legal action against the BBC to protect my reputation.”