BREWDOG’S chief executive will take legal action against the BBC, claiming the corporation broadcast “totally false” claims about him.

CEO James Watt announced the action on Twitter as the BBC put out a one-hour special Disclosure episode claiming to reveal “the truth behind the beer company’s marketing and financial hype”.

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

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

Ahead of its broadcast, Watt wrote on Twitter: “The BBC published claims which are totally false and 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.”

Also ahead of the broadcast, BBC Scotland tweeted a clip of the programme in which one former BrewDog employee said it was “genuinely astonishing” that Watt owned shares in rival beer firm Heineken.

The clip shows how Watt had previously called out other craft beer firms for working with such international alcohol giants, and showed BrewDog marketing where they blew up Heineken products.

Responding to the video, Watt wrote: “These were held breifly [sic] as a show of good faith when we were trying to do a distribution deal with them. The deal fell through and I sold the shares.

“Although we do not want to be owned by big beer, we are happy to work with them on distribution, like in Japan.”

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 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 CEO 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”.

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 more than 2000 staff members.