Former Brewdog employees have alleged a “culture of fear” in the brewing company with a “toxic attitude” towards junior employees.
In an open letter, the signatories said a “significant number” of former employees had “suffered from mental illness as a result of their work at BrewDog.”
They claimed the business was built around a “personality cult” of founders James Watt and Martin Dickie.
Mr Watt said Brewdog was “sorry” and that he would not dispute the letter, but “listen, learn and act”.
The Scottish brewer is credited with helping bring craft beer into mainstream after large supermarkets started stocking it in 2008. But it has also sparked controversy for its marketing and business decisions.
In the open letter, which was posted anonymously on Twitter, former staff made a number of allegations, including a culture where staff were afraid to speak out about their concerns.
He said Mr. Watt and Mr. Dickie had exploited advertising, “both good and bad” to pursue their own business goals and pursued “growth, at all costs”.
He added: “You spent years pretending you wanted to be the best employer in the world, probably to help you recruit the best talent, but ask former employees what they think of those demands, and you you will probably laugh at yourself.
“Being treated like a human being was unfortunately not always easy for those who work at BrewDog.”
According to the letter, toxic attitudes towards junior staff had “trickled down” throughout the company “until they were simply an integral part of the company.”
“Frankly speaking, the greatest shared experience of former staff members is a residual sense of fear. The fear of talking about the atmosphere we were in and the fear of repercussions even after we left,” he said. he adds.
Along with many breweries and other sectors of the hospitality industry, it has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Watt said: “At Brewdog we are focused on building the best possible business, which is why the open letter we saw on Twitter was so upsetting, but so important.
“Our goal now is not to contradict or dispute the details of this letter, but to listen, learn and take action.”