Absolutely the greatest thing about beer blogging is nice people sending you an email and wanting to send you some free beer. It’s great. It’s the single greatest thing bar none. Well, apart from the beer arriving. That's even better. Free beer is more than just a free bottle of grog. It informs you the world is a wonderful place of wonderful people. You cannot maintain a cynical or pessimistic view of the world whilst there are nice people from nice breweries wanting to give you some free grog.
I understand that not all my fellow bloggers feel the same about this. Some may feel it impinges on impartiality or integrity, and some in this example here obviously have an issue with the marketing of a particular beer, namely Spitfire. With its arguably jingoistic approach to promoting a traditional English Ale. My own opinions on the Spitfire marketing attempts are thus. I suspect it may appeal to a certain demographic of the UK. Daily Mail reactionaries that vote UKIP. Daily Star readers and people that think Freddie Starr’s impression of Hitler is the height of comedy. It doesn’t appeal to me, though it doesn’t offend me. I’m not the type to be offended on behalf of others. I would guess it is up to our German cousins to decide whether they are offended by jingoistic references to an historical war.
I have to be honest. Whether offended or not by the actions of a brewer, if they were kind enough to offer me free grog I’d say “How lovely, how kind, thank you very much”. If Spitfire were to torture kittens in there adverts and offer drinkers a free sack to drown unwanted kittens in a river with, I’d still say “How lovely, how kind, thank you very much” to the offer of free beer. Not that I’m in favour of torturing kittens. In fact I’m quite against it. I just wouldn’t let my moral standpoint on the torturing of kittens to stand in my way of some free beer. Both are distinct, mutually exclusive occurrences and quite unrelated. I could separate the two enough to enjoy the free beer.
Thankfully Badger Brewery are not involved in either torturing kittens or for that matter insulting Germans. They are just a nice group of people that make some lovely beer and wanted to send me a free sample. And did they. Take a look at that load. Crikey, that’s corking. 12 bottles. An example I would guess of the whole range. In a posh presentation box with descriptions of everything. What lovely lovely people.
If you don’t beer blog. Start straight away. You don’t have to be any good at it. I mean, look at this load of tripe I knock up. Barely literate, inarticulate tosh. But still nice people want to give you grog. It’s win win.
The trick in part is to understand subjective morality and whether it imprisons or frees the human soul, but also to understand that for everything there is a price. If you set the price too high it may not be met. The only way to actually ensure you get an opportunity to sell out is by setting your price low. Set your price at a free beer and you can guarantee you'll get the opportunity to sell out. Thus what we have here is not pongy old man's ale, but fine craft beer, from a fine traditional brewery making modern ales for the modern discerning palate.
I appreciate there is a marketing purpose to this. Whilst under no obligation to be nice about the grog, I’ve no reason to not like it. It looks lovely. As the grog is top stuff I’m bound to be nice about it. Whether that reflects well on the brewery is another matter. I haven’t developed a reputation as a discerning connoisseur and I’m sure for some, me saying how nice the grog is would have the opposite effect as intended. Luckily this rubbish is barely read, and only by people who obviously need to find something better to do, so I guess they figured it is fairly low risk that anyone would be put off by me saying the beer was nice. There isn’t much by way of consumer reach to this tosh.
And at the end of the day, would you rather have breweries spending money on tosspot advertising companies creating duff adverts about Germans, or companies instead spending the marketing budget sending out free beer to those that love free beer?
I really don’t know where to start with this lot though. I guess sticking it the fridge is a good place to start, and necking it one bottle at a time. The lady Squeeze is a little incredulous at my assertion that I got it for free and wanted to know the name of the blog I write. I told her I write Pencil and Spoon. Any suggestions, geekery or otherwise, on how to enjoy it are welcome. Whether its food that suits, the correct size of wine glass to neck it from, or simply that I ought not to neck ‘em all at once are welcome in usual comments block. The world is a wonderful place.