Quick Recipes and Easy

The Blaggers Guide to the Internet- Brewriana

Booze and Pub related stuff nobody tells you about, until now!

For years, me and the wife had had dreams of setting up a bar in our house, obviously not a real bar, but one that we could prop up and to entertain our guests when we had a celebration or party. The first attempts were dismal failures. We had nearly given up, when one day we managed to get a nice teak home bar for £50 from Ebay. Finally, maybe the gods of beer were smiling upon us. When we place it in our front room, we learned that even so we had this nice looking teak home bar, it kind of looked like a shop counter, not the boozy bar we had always desired. How could we get the corner of our room looking the part? Would this cost us an arm and a leg? From some searches of the web, we found that some of the much needed dressing was quite expensive. Was there another way?

Of course there was, and as the saying goes, where theres a will, theres a way! I questioned about to all and sundry, did they know where I could buy the stuff I was after? All anyone ever said was question in your local Pubs to see if they had any surplus or ancient stuff going begging they no longer needed, or “borrow” items, like pub ashtrays, glasses, beer mats and so on (We do not condone stealing anything from any public house, this method is not acquiring free stuff, its theft, plain and simple) While these methods might get you a few items, it wasn’t going to net you any fantastic stuff in a small time.

I needed to populate my bar with brewriana as soon a I could as Christmas was quick approaching, so I came up with this tried and tested way of my new leisure activity of being a brewriana collector. (As you probably know all things beer, drink, pub and bar related collectibles is known as brewriana)

THE BLAG

It was simple, I would politely question as many drinks manufacturers, breweries and pub suppliers for anything that they may have that they could send me! Yup, you read it, I would question nicely. Simple as it was, I then looked to the net for the details of as many as I could. There were hundreds!
If I had had to send letters to question, the postage alone would have cost me in excess of £100 easily, so I opted for the cheaper and simpler way. Email. So I figured, it wouldn’t cost a penny to email them as opposed to sending loads of letters through the royal mail, but I then realised, I would have to write hundreds of emails instead! Time consuming or what?

No, not at all, here’s how I did it.
I wrote a catch all message on notepad basically saying that I had a new home bar, and that I want to question if they could send me anything that would make it more pub like. I never personalised the message to target any one type of manufacturer, or company, just kept it nice and generic. Any how, here’s my original message, Although, you could use the same one that I did, try and be a bit original and make your own, you don’t know how many others before you may have used mine (Not to mention, me!) so make your own as if its been used a lot, it will certainly ruin your chances of getting anything.

Hi there, I’d just like to make an enquiry, I am currently making a home bar in my house and are trying to find some drinks advertising posters/beer mats/advertising to add to it just to make it feel like a real pub (Its only small though!) I was wondering if I could request some such advertising from you about your products, or anything else you could spare to help me make my home pub dream come right! I know it is a bit cheeky asking, but hopefully you could help me fulfill my dream! If it possible, my details are: (Your details go here) Thanks, all the best, (Your name here)

This is what I used for 95% of all the email enquiries I made to the 300 places I enquired to, sometimes changing the text slightly to personalise it to the particular place. I advise you, if you are going to use this method to blog, make sure that you save the original text in a simple notepad type program in a place you can find it, so you can copy and paste the text to the body of your email. Of course you will have to type the subject line each time you send one, mine usually said “An enquiry?” (How else do you question without sounding brash and undeserving?)

FIND YOUR TARGETS!
Next, to find the possible targets to canvas for your blog campaign. If you were to search for each and everyone of the breweries and drinks firms in your geographic region, you would take months. So look for sites that list as many of the ones you need, save the sites in your faves so you can come back to it regularly. I am in the UK, so I went primarily to UK companies, but this method of blog will work where ever you are, just use target companies in your country or near abouts, as if you contact other ones in different countries, you probably will have small or no luck (trust me, I tried quite a few European ones and had hardly any response) Make sure the ones your contacting have an office or contact address in your own country, as they will be more likely to respond with what you are after. Some of the sites that I used are: beerme.com, which has fantastic global brewery links, thepublican.com , a fantastic UK one, for people in the trade, outside of the UK though, it may be limited of use, and this fantastic one for real ale & micro breweries, quaffale.org.uk/php/brewery_links.php again, more for the UK, but with a bit of searching around for similar listing sites in your own country, I’m sure you will dig up loads of similar sites that will suit your purpose. Also search out the printing companies who print the bar runners and drip mats for the companies, more than often they will send you a load of random samples if you question nice!

RESULT
Within a few days of contacting the first few, I was surprised at the response, soon enough sets of pint glasses were arriving, tons of beer mats, bar runners, posters, flyers, point of sale advertising stuff and much much more started to flood through my door each day. I can say it kept the postie busy! I had very few that turned me down, and those who did tended to be the larger companies who you would have thought would be able to spare a bit of the advertising crap they sell their products with (Not to name names, Coca-cola, Pepsi, Coors, Fosters and some other huge firms told me that if I wanted stuff, to visit their online shop. Skinflints!) It would be ridiculous to assume that every single one would oblige, but I estimate at least 65-75% of all I contacted, sent me something or offered to if I sent a SAE. That is why, the amount of places you must contact is as many as you can find. This may take a few days to contact the most companies (It took me 3-4 days to canvas 300 ) but this way will ensure that you will receive plenty of stuff. I can assure you, this does work 100%, follow my method and you will not fail.

THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
Many breweries and companies now will not give some items away (Such as pump clips) this is because of greedy collectors in the past, taking advantage of blogs like mine, but instead of keeping the stuff, they sold on the things they got for inflated prices to other collectors. After catching on to this, the companies stopped giving stuff like that away and many now sell pump clips instead. If you are attempting this blog, make sure that you don’t get greedy and try to get more than you really need, if too many people get greedy then they probably will not give stuff out anymore, and we don’t want that. Also make sure from your emails, you don’t sound like a professional collector, or even worse, a private dealer. If they suspect this, then you will be refused. Always remember too that manners cost nothing. Always be polite in your dealings, as many of the companies keep your details on their mailing lists and sometimes send parcels of new promotional items when a new one is released or new drink is launched. Please bear in mind that patience is a virtue, and it may take a long time for some to get back to you, some you may reckon have ignored your message and will not be sending a thing, only to learn two months later a parcel at your door from said company. Do not feel the need to send repeated mailings to blag further. Once is plenty, if they say no, go to the next. So, there you go, a really tried and tested method to getting free Brewriana goodies, try it for your self and see for yourself, and remember, mines a pint!

Will is a self taught artist and craftsman, as well as a part time writer (When inspired!) he enjoys many weird and weird pastimes, including the paranormal and the occult! His weird tales, schemes and thoughts have entertained many through the years. Read his blog grim-the-reaper.blogspot.com/ grim-the-reaper.blogspot.com/ or take a look at some samples of his online portfolio here dark-arts.teach-nology.com/ dark-arts.teach-nology.com/



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