As a relatively small concern with a handful of pubs you wouldn't think that the big pubco's would be that scared of them would you? After all, Diageo make Guinness which sells something like 1.5 billion pints a year worldwide. Brewdog's total output is about six hundred times less. They own seven pubs. Diageo own, well probably none actually, I don't think they have a subsidiary pubco, although I'm sure they used to- but then again they don't need to- their products are available in almost every bar in the UK. Talisker, Gordon's, Pimm's, Jose Cuervo, they have their fingers in a lot of pies.
So do they really have anything to fear from Brewdog? Really?
Seems like they do. At the British Institute of Innkeeping Scotland Awards, Brewdog had heard through the grapevine, that they might do rather well in a particular category.- Bar Operator of the Year- voted for by an independent panel. Sadly they didn't win. Oh well, these things happen, better luck next time and all that..
However, the winners refused to accept the award. Because someone had already engraved "Brewdog" on it.
Turns out that some Diageo reps strongarmed the BII into changing the winner at the last minute, stating that they'd refuse to sponsor the awards ever again if Brewdog won.
You may as well go here and read Brewdog's account of the evening, and the aftermath. I don't have much more to add other than "Jesus Christ!"
I'm not sure what explanation there is for Diageo's admitted "serious misjudgement". I don't know what was being served at the dinner, but not even Brewdog advise drinking a bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin in one go.