JD Wetherspoon has been awarded £50,000 in costs after the company was acquitted of charges relating to the "watering-down" of spirits.
Exeter Crown Court ruled that charges brought against Wetherspoon by Torbay trading standards were unfounded.
The local authority had already taken two managers at the Vigilance pub in Brixham, Devon, to court, for watering down vodka, whisky and Irish whiskey in October 1999. This latest case was brought because officers also felt that the company should take some of the responsibility.
But this month the court found that trading standards did not have a case against the company.
Wetherspoon spokesman Tim Martin told thepublican.com that the company had stringent checks in place to make sure that spirits were not watered down and expressed bitterness that the case against Wetherspoon had ever been brought to court.
"We believe that the case against Wetherspoon should never have been brought in the first place," Mr Martin said. "Over the last 18 months a lot of taxpayers' money has been spent on a case which we feel was never justified," he added.
This follows news at the beginning of the year that trade leaders feared a growing number of licensees were attempting to pass off lower-grade or watered-down spirits as top brands, in an attempt to drive up profits.
As a result, trading standard officials are warning that they will be carrying out spot checks at premises up and down the country.