Free beer-conflicted

Dear Abbey (Belgian Style Ale),

I’ve been wrestling with this issue periodically, and while it’s not as big a deal as, say, rising sea levels or prescription drug addiction, it’s something that weighs on my mind.

As a beer blogger, I’m sometimes approached by brewery-professionals of some stripe to try something they’re selling… but for free. Sometimes it’s in the form of a pint, but I’ve been given a six-pack or even more just for being me. Twice I’ve been mailed beer by a major brewery. This is an awesome event, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I just feel uneasy with it.

I’ve never advertised myself as a reviewer, so it’s not as if I’m a kingmaker or anything like that. I have a small following at best, but I do have a writing platform that extends to people who crave recommendations. I’m a craft beer advocate, and my job is to bring out what’s interesting and trending in the beer world.

When I get a free box of beer, I feel beholden to the brewer. At no time will the rep say, “So, maybe you’ll put us in your next newspaper column? Huh? Huuuuh?” I’m just a guy who’s prone to guilt, and I feel a little guilty taking something that’s free and not promoting it. Continue reading “Free beer-conflicted”