An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The best things in life are free


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.

And so is Sid Boggle, possibly one of the finest examples of humanity you are likely to find beer blogging and a more decent man there are few.

20 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Hmm, apart from blagging 3 bottles of Tokyo* from BrewDog I've never got anything free from blogging. Perhaps I should stop saying everything's shite and not a patch on what it was in the old days (although I was very nice about Greene King's Old Crafty Hen the other day).

Brian said...

You're a king amongst men cookie.

Tandleman said...

I'm like Mudgie. I rarely get anything free either. Certainly no Tokyo, but I did get some stuff from Williams Brothers about a year ago and from Freedom recently.

I do say bad things about some beers though these are usually micros.

Fortunately I am very happy to pay for my own beer, but don't let that stop anyone from sending me any. Or not.

And to Cooking. Well done mate. They clearly don't get you in some ways, but in others they couldn't lose. And nor could you.

Cooking Lager said...

@Mudge & Tand. Why not consider a public image that is less on the integrity and more on the moral flexibility. That I think is the key.

Sid Boggle said...

You could have given me a name-check for recommending you. And a link. I don't care about the beer, but I'm a traffic junkie. 8-)

Curmudgeon said...

Ah, that reminds me, Cookie has been nominated as guest blogger for the Badger Sett ale club, which must account for the freebies.

Incidentally, if the lady squeeze ever actually looks at Pencil & Spoon it should rapidly dawn on her that you don't live anywhere near Tonbridge :P

Velky Al said...

I have had my fair share of freebies, and who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Cooking Lager said...

Apologies Sid. Corrected. I toast your good health Sir.

Tandleman said...

Cookie - The older I get, the less flexible my morals are in some ways at least. Now integrity a horse of a different colour.

Looks like I am paying for my own beer then. Hoist by my own petard.

Paul Bailey said...

Some tips, please. Not a single free bottle of grog, lout or even finest craft-brewed ale has passed my way.
What am I doing wrong?

BeerReviewsAndy said...

Nice one! that really does look like an impressive box o beer!

would make a great pressie for someone, shame i couldnt find it on their website, must be a special thing!!

in regards to the spitfire thing, i dont think i was upset on behalf of anyone, it just wound me up a bit as free beer or no free beer its just one of those things that gets to me - maybe it shouldn't!

Dominic, Marble Brewery said...

'I mean, look at this load of tripe I knock up. Barely literate, inarticulate tosh'.

On the contrary - I find you tend to have the most cohesive and well thought-out arguments of all those in the blogosphere. Your spelling and grammar never offend me in the slightest. And if I ever sent free beer to anyone, you'd be first on my list.

Andy Mogg, for instance, frequently lets himself down with poor spelling, bad grammar and a shoddy turn of phrase.

Richard said...

Mr Lager, I'm quite surprised that you hadn't commented on the fact that Hall & Woodhouse also brew some lovely lout:
http://www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk/beers/hofbrau/index.asp

So they're not just a pongy ale vendor.

BMK said...

@Richard, I think you've got him wrong... it doesnt matter if its ponhey as long as its free....

ps... refill the box with lidl specials and send it back telling them it impinges on your journalistic integrity!!

Barry M said...

My (probably imaginary) heightened sense of integrity doesn't mean I won't accept free beer. On the contrary, how else can you test your integrity to be sure it's still intact?

Most of the free beer I get for "sampling purposes" comes from friends and colleagues. I get the feeling that, for them, it's a bit like feeding an odd animal in a zoo :/ But I've been very glad to get freebies from BrewDog and Williams Bros.

First Stater said...

What is a Postcode and how do I get one? Badger Sett Ale Club require one. Can I use yours Cookie?

BeerReviewsAndy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sid Boggle said...

Cheers Cookie, yer a prince... ;-)

BeerReviewsAndy said...

Thanks Dom you are so kind, just you wait until twissup ;oP

Reluctant Scooper said...

If you pass yourself off as Dredge, your other half will expect you to start cooking. And I don't mean tripe on toast. Cooking that uses pans. And that way, madness lies.