Mavericks no more? BrewDog has found itself in the unusual position of being described as a corporate bully. The north east brewer, normally in the news for standing up to the big boys, has been forced to back down after a pub in the Midlands accused it of acting like a ‘multinational corporate machine’.
It has been caught up in a row with the owners of a family-run pub who wanted to call it “Lone Wolf”. It just happens to be the name of a spirit launched by BrewDog.
The brother-and-sister team behind the pub in Birmingham have been forced to change the name to “The Wolf” after receiving letters from the brewer’s lawyer.
But BrewDog founder James Watt has backed down and accused his firm’s legal advisers of being “a bit trigger happy”.
As a goodwill gesture he has offered to send the pub some samples of the brewer’s new spirits range.
In a statement, he added: “Although they wear suits and are mostly sensible folks, lawyers can sometimes go a bit crazy and forget the kind of business we are and how we behave. They are sorry for their actions and we have put them on washing up duty for a week.”
He has also agreed to cover all costs incurred by the McFadyens after their supporters urged the brewer to reimburse them for changing their signage and web page.
The dispute represents a reversal for BrewDog which normally likes to cast itself as David to the corporate world’s Goliath.
Last year it challenged a trademarking claim from the estate of Elvis Presley, which took issue with BrewDog’s Elvis Juice beer.
It recently announced that it is looking to raise more funding and is considering a stock market flotation, another move that would see it adopt a more traditional corporate strategy.