Free as in Beer

 I love how a beer blogger is worried about receiving beer.  All over the Internet, beer bloggers are getting free beer. But not me. In all the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve received one beer: A HeBrew Hop Manna. That’s it. One. I wrote a nice review for it and thought: the free beer will be rolling in soon enough! After reading my great insights into Hop Mamma, breweries all over America will desire my reviews, and they will send the beers to spark such reviews. That was over a year ago. Nothing since.

Whatever secret mailing list a beer blogger has to get on in order to get free beer, I am unaware of it. I have a blog. I drink beer. I write about beer. I take photographs of beer. Is this not enough to qualify for a sample every now and then?

Some people object to free stuff. Some people worry over disclosure or conflict of interest. Not me. I used to write for a newspaper. I know that free shit is pouring into offices and homes all over this country. I was also trained in the Humanities. We pretend we are ethical, but we’re not.

I am not against free beer at all. If Tired Hands or Hill Farmstead want to send samples of their saisons and IPAs, I strongly encourage such action. Never mind that neither brewery has a need to be reviewed by a writing professor in Kentucky whose claim to fame among 200 other academics is a book about cool and a book about Detroit. I still encourage these breweries to send some growlers for review. I also offer the same advice to Toppling Goliath whose IPAs I enjoyed the other day. And I offer this advice to Flat 12, Perennial, 4 Hands, and Pipeworks, breweries who should distribute to Kentucky but don’t.

I see my Twitter friend Daily Beer Review is getting free beer from New Belgium. New Belgium! I had to pay for New Belgium beers last time I was in Asheville. And my daughter – when she was about two – had a poop accident at the brewery! Don’t I deserve some free New Belgium? My daughter has pooped at the brewery. That should be worth some street cred.

I’m not a greedy man. A free beer here. A free glass here. Maybe even a t-shirt? I am still intending on doing a beer t-shirt post one day. I had the idea that I’d line up all my beer shirts, take a picture, and include the photograph in the last chapter of the beer book I’m writing. If anything says obsession, t-shirts do. Kids are so obsessed over music that the first thing they do when they go to a concert is buy a shirt. At least, that’s what I did when I was a kid.

I’m good at reviews by the way. Check out my Ratebeer reviews (“750 thanks to X. Malty. Hoppy. Tasty”) or my Yelp reviews (“The Happy Falafel wasn’t happy the day we visited”). I write for a living! I teach writing for a living! I know not to split infinitives.

I deserve at least a t-shirt to review.  I send enough encouraging emails and tweets to breweries to come to Kentucky. Well, the emails are encouraging if you think shaming breweries to finish distributing to our state first before going elsewhere is encouraging. I’m looking at you Upland and Oskar Blues. And by the way, feel free to send me beer before you finish distributing to the rest of our state. I’ll post a lovely review. First I’ll drink the beer. Then I’ll take a photograph. Then I’ll pretend I’m Calvin Trillin. Then, only then, I’ll write a lovely review.

2 thoughts on “Free as in Beer

  1. Oh trust me, this was not a complaint about receiving free beer. It was an answer to a question I have been asked recently. I love when a box is on my desk because I know that 95 percent of the time it’s beer. For the record, I have never requested free beer.

    Norman Miller
    The Beer Nut

  2. The post is just tongue in cheek. Though – I really only have received one free beer. That part is true.

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