A Response to James Watt’s Apology

11th June 2021 (Published on behalf of former BrewDog staff)

Dear James,

First off, thank you for your most recent statement, in which you apologised and broadly laid out what you intend to do in response to our letter, which now has over two hundred and fifty signatures including some current, anonymous staff members (we’re working through adding them to the letter). Contrary to what some people are suggesting, it is not our aim to destroy BrewDog – many of us still have friends working for you, and we have no intentions of impacting on their livelihoods. It is our aim to instigate serious and lasting change at BrewDog, in whatever way that needs to be achieved – but absolutely not at the expense of your employees.

We are glad to see that you found our comments hard to read, because they were indeed hard to write – but please realise that they alluded to merely a fraction of the stories we have shared together as a group, during the process of helping the worst-affected of us to move on, mentally. Many of the things that ground us down at BrewDog will never be proved, because they happened in person, and thus we felt we had to remain vague – citing specific examples could expose people to repercussions. We have already had other former members of staff sharing further examples of bad practice with us, in the hope we can bring their stories to light. It’s not our intention to share more stories at this moment, but make no mistake – we hear these people, we believe and support them, and if the right circumstances arise, we will help amplify their voices too.

We would also like to address the statement made yesterday, in which you said:

“It is fair to say that this type of fast paced and intense environment is definitely not for everyone, but many of our fantastic long term team members have thrived in our culture. Our culture is built on rewarding and developing great people and focussing on growing our business.”

While we accept that you admitted you should have given it more consideration, we want you to know that we categorically refute everything suggested in this statement. Many of our signatories worked for BrewDog for years, and were extremely high-performing. To suggest that those who apparently couldn’t hack it are somehow less worthy in your eyes is grotesque; we believe this shows your true feelings of disregard for your staff, both former and current.

We are not going away. We want to see the evidence of the change you have publicly committed to. Many of us worked for you long enough to have heard you apologise and promise change several times already, so you’ll have to forgive us if we seem skeptical.

Perhaps a useful first step would be to stop writing fiction on LinkedIn about sitting on the same orange Ikea chair for fourteen years.


Former BrewDog staff.