Bear Republic Asks RateBeer To Remove Them From Their Site

07 June 2017

imageHere’s the 2nd of what I think will be many to come….this from Bear Republic:

Founded over twenty years ago, Bear Republic is an independent and family-owned brewery located in the heart of Northern California’s Sonoma County. We pride ourselves on heritage and our love for quality craft beers.

On a daily basis, we strive to educate and inspire the consumption of great beer. We support publications and forums that we feel are share our enthusiasm for the craft brewing industry.

Bear Republic has been part of the RateBeer.com network for many years now. RateBeer, along with BeerAdvocate, All About Beer, Draft Magazine, Celebrator, Ale Street News, Brewing News, and numerous others have advocated for the craft beer community in ways that are accordant with journalistic principles.

With the announcement that ZX Ventures, which is owned by the global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev, has purchased a portion of RateBeer, we feel that we can no longer endorse the publication.

We believe this is a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics and, as Independent Family Brewers, an unquestionable conflict of interest. The SPJ’s Code of Ethics includes a section called “Act Independently” that includes:

• Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

• Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.

• Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.

• Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.

• Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.

We have concluded that ABI’s partnership with RateBeer conflicts with those guidelines.

Along with other independently owned breweries, we have respectfully asked RateBeer to remove anything pertaining to Bear Republic from their website effective immediately.

We don’t want our consumers to feel like they are being deceived or misinformed in any way and do not want to be a part of something that allows us as a brewery to manipulate what is being said about our company and our beers, when it’s supposed to be a 100% consumer based and user-generated platform.

We fully support our fellow independently-owned craft brewers and invite you all to join us in this venture to ensure consumers continue to get first-rate information about their brewery’s beers.

For everyone who shares our belief, we hope that you will consider utilizing another platform to share your beer opinions and reviews.

Cheers,
The Bear Republic Team

For more information on the Society of Professional Journalism, please visit their website:
https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp.

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