If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Receive Free Samples or Not?

In the past week, I've been offered free beer samples by two international breweries. The first I didn't bother to capitalize on--Newcastle Brown. (They were offering half-racks, which tells you something about the beer.) But today I got an email from Warsteiner. Now, I don't have a moral problem with taking samples--it's understood that such a small transaction doesn't constitute anything more than an opportunity to be reviewed.

But the bigger question is whether you care about random foreign breweries. I want to keep the focus of the blog on local beer, and I assume that's where your interest is, as well. On the other hand, you know what they say about assuming...

So should I make it a habit of turning these down? That's where I'm leaning.

12 comments:

DOSiR said...

Great points, and I think it's fair to not accept them. But on the other hand, it's something entirely different to let your readers know where many good imported brews can be found in the greater Portland area... on-tap and not. I think it's great that I can go into a German restaurant like the Rheinlander and get a sampler of German beers etc...

iggir said...

you should snam 'em. if you decide to review them, just disclose the fact that they were free samples.

man, free beer...i should start a blog.

the gazelle said...

I think you should forward all free beer samples to me.

Mark said...

I recall you reviewed Inedit. I think it would be interesting to read your reviews of non-local beer whether that is from Iowa or Iona. Beervana, in my mind, is about what we do here with beer, which certainly includes drinking non-local stuff.

Bill said...

Would you accept free Portland beers at a local pub? If so, why not accept any beer someone offers, as long as they know you might decline to review it.

I trust you to keep your content interesting. If you eventually get to the point of posting nothing but namby-pamby reviews of InBev beers, I'll just stop reading, no hard feelings.

Anonymous said...

Drink up. Never refuse a free (good) beer.

Just continue to write up local beers. As long as they know they'll gain no benefit, you're free and clear.

Did I mention FUH-REE?

Angelo De Ieso II said...

I wouldn't refuse free beer samples from any brewery. If the beer is no good, then saying so in a review might mean that you will be cut off from beer you don't like, which seems appropriate.

Jeff Alworth said...

Thanks, all. I have no particular moral code against accepting free samples (local breweries take note!), but I was wondering how much interest you all had on what I thought of foreign beers. But it sounds like there may be some interest. Maybe I could see how it develops, and you can let me know if it gets tedious.

dr wort said...

I would have to say, If you except the beer, you should review them. If you're not going to review them, it's just beer schlepping, Unless you are/were Michael Jackson. If the beer isn't worthy of reviewing, I would not except the sample.

iggir said...

another point: even though your focus is local, you've been reviewing international beers here and there (unless Guiness is somehow local).

so, you might as well continue to branch out. i like Belgians and wouldn't mind reviews on these beers. also, i haven't had many German beers and wouldn't mind some seeing some reviews of some of their best.

Anonymous said...

I think DOSiR makes a good point. I'm particularly interested in seeing a review of a beer from farther away if the beer is available here in PDX. Bottled at least, but preferably on tap. If I can't get it here, it might be a little less interesting. But maybe people won't send you free beer unless they've got it available here anyway...?

jake said...

I think so long as the primary focus of the blog tends toward locally-produced beer and related issues, than the occasional review of a foreign beer seems fine. I don't live in the Northwest, so a big part of the appeal for me in reading the blog is to learn about the beer scene specifically happening there.

Of course, this also makes me sad I don't live there, so reviews of some international brews I can get a hold of are also welcome...

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