Hello there, Internet adventurer. If you landed on this page on purpose, then I’m glad you’re curious about what happens to your information. Here’s a list, that I’ll probably add to as I go along, about stuff you might want to know about when you visit CraftBru.com.
In a nutshell: as far as it’s under my control, I will never use your information, or willingly let it be used, for anything other than CraftBru.com related stuff.
At the time of writing this (23 Aug 2016, last updated 7 May 2017), CraftBru.com, the site, generates a few cookies. Essentially a cookie is a bit of information stored in your browser that most sites, this one and virtually every other, uses to do a few things. WordPress (my site’s content management system) creates some, Google Analytics creates at least 1, and another one is created for the newsletter pop-up.
The WordPress Cookie(s) – as far as I know, these cookies persist only for logged in users and then only to remember if you’re logged in or not, and settings related to being logged in. If you didn’t log in, the cookie disappears when you leave the site.
The Craftbru_monthly Cookie – this cookie is used for only 1 thing and that’s to answer this question: show the pop-up or nah? The cookie is set to disappear after 30 days. When you visit CraftBru.com, the site checks to see if that cookie is there, and if it is, it doesn’t show the pop-up. If it isn’t, it shows the popup once, and sets the cookie for (another) 30 days. That way you should only see the pop-up once a month. There’s no human involvement here and the outcome isn’t sent anywhere, nor otherwise kept track of.
The Google _ga Cookie – Cookies can be evil and Google proves why. I use Google Analytics on this website. It’s an app that shows me anonymised data about all my visitors like how many people visited, where they came from (Facebook, search, etc.) and specs like which browser was used, was it desktop or mobile, things like that. There’s nothing in there that could tell me any hint of you personally.
However, when you go from my site to another site that also has Analytics on it (very many other sites), your cookie’s data is cross-referenced. Google can, and does, use that cookie data to put together a pretty thorough profile of you and your surfing habits on their servers (ever noticed how that 1 Google ad follows you around the web?). Here’s how Google supposedly uses your data and it contains instructions for how to stop them tracking you from site to site.
Mind you, the Facebook Like button does pretty much the same thing, so if you’re really worried about having your online movements tracked, consider using Tor, or Opera browser, the latter of which comes with a built in VPN. If you’re at that level of concern however, a simple cookie is probably the least of your worries.
When you sign up to the CraftBru Monthly newsletter, you hand over your email address and at least your first name. You can also complete your newsletter profile, which include more details about you, like your surname and even your address. I promise not to visit you at home, ever (unless you lure me with beer and a braai). Instead I aggregate the towns and/or cities, which helps me partner with newsletter sponsors that are relevant to as many subscribers as possible. No point in arranging a giveaway in De Aar when most subscribers are from Cape Town. No offense, De Aar.
The newsletter’s related info is stored off-site, at the newsletter service I use. I will only ever use that info to send you the CraftBru Monthly, and only once a month (if that is what you subscribed to, in future, who knows, there might also be a weekly you can subscribe to). The system I use sends out certain additional admin confirmation emails, like when you update your info, or you unsubscribe.
There is always a link in each email that will allow you to unsubscribe from the email list, so, heavens forbid, if you ever get bored by it, you can unsubscribe with, I think, 2 clicks (one in the email, and a button on the unsubscribe page). You can leave a reason if you want, that would be helpful, but it’s optional.
The service also allows me to gain “rewards” in the form of credits. At the bottom of each email you’ll see the service’s logo. If you click that logo, sign up yourself and maybe one day down the line decide to pay for something they offer, I will get credits that I can use for advanced features, or to pay for sending out my own emails. That would require some form of tracking, I guess, so be aware of that. The service I use (and this link would earn me those rewards if you clicked it and signed up for a paid product) is MailChimp.
Competitions & Giveaways
Ah, so after all that talk about never giving your details to 3rd parties here comes the “BUT”.
I will never give your details to a 3rd party, BUT if you participate in any of the competitions or giveaways I run from time to time, and you happen to win, then I have no choice but to hand your name, email and/or phone number, or delivery address, over to the sponsor of said competition / giveaway. Otherwise anybody can claim your prize, no?
So, by participating in anything from CraftBru.com where the winner receives something tangible, you agree that if you are that winner, I can give your required details to the provider of the prize.
I do, to the best of my knowledge, partner with reputable and scrupulous organisations, but once I’ve given your details to them, what they use it for is beyond my control. That’s something to consider before participating in a competition or giveaway, on CraftBru.com and everywhere else.
I (the website and the person) am not sponsored by any brewery, festival or brand. Should this situation change, I will duly note that in a prominent area on CraftBru.com so as to remove any doubt.
I really do run & maintain CraftBru.com for the love of beer. However, there’s over 200 breweries in various states of dress, and not all their information is in one obvious place, so curating all the info does take some time and effort.
Which is why I do have a few ways in which I try to generate some sort of income to at least cover the time of my efforts. I currently offer expanded brewery and festival listings, a sponsorship opportunity for my newsletters and advertorials (as far as they are complementary to the purpose of the site).
Expanded Listings are easy to distinguish by the fact that they are highlighted on both the brewery and festival listings page, and advertorials are marked as such.
Brewers / event organisers pay for what you see when you click on such a highlighted listing: an expanded, detailed set of information. In the case of the newsletter it’s the sponsor’s box, and for advertorials it’s the article supplied by the advertiser (which I may or may not paraphrase to prevent duplicate content issues).
A paid listing or advertorial does not buy me or my opinions, it’s not an endorsement, I do not become their representative, and I do not like them less or more than before they paid for one of these things.
The rest of the listings are free, but basic. It’s still beneficial to the brewery or festival, and it still achieves CraftBru.com’s current goal of sharing my craft beer adventures and discoveries. But things change, you know? You might know now, but in future you might not. I will be sure to let you know.
So, if you see CraftBru mention a brewery or festival on social media, it’s not because they paid me or gave me free beer / merch / invites to a launch / festival, although that does happen sometimes.
When I do mention a brewery, festival or Cristy from that equipment company in China, It’s either because I have complete, verified information from them (like #MapMonday or #FestivalFridays on Twitter), they’ve sent me an interesting press release or news, I contacted them because I was curious and wanted to Meet the Brewer, or they interacted and/or posted something interesting on social media.
So every now and then I do receive a few bits of unsolicited merchandise, which I like to think doesn’t really sway my opinion about their product either way. When, on occcasion, I haven received stuff, exposure in exchange was not implied, expected or requested. However, like so many people on social media, we just can’t shut up about getting stuff, so there were pictures.
I also run Google Adsense ads on my site, which explains the banners you see at the bottom of the page. Those ads are more relevant to you than they are to this site (refer to the Google Analytics bit above), and I don’t know, or have much control over, what is being showed to you. Should you find an ad that is of interest to you, and you click it, I would get a penny or 2 from that. At the end of the year all these income streams add up, and if I’m lucky, hopefully I have enough to cover at least the domain name and hosting charges.
Credit & Copyright
Most – I dare to say all – of the writing on CraftBru.com is written or, in the case of press releases and other listings, paraphrased by my own hand. The photos are a mix of my own photos, of course, and the official logos and formal media provided by breweries and festivals, and pics sourced from online services that allows reuse.
Whenever I use images from breweries or festivals, they are used exclusively in connection with the relevant brand and products, so I honestly believe it falls within the DMCA’s Fair Use Policy (Commentary / Criticism / News / Education).
All the text and images used on this website, and CraftBru’s social media channels, are the copyright of the creator, which exists without it having to be mentioned or registered anywhere.
To enquire about using the text or graphic resources found on this site, please contact me. In all instances copyright is reserved, which means you can’t copy it for your own use, commercial or not.
Phew, that’s a lot of text. If you read this far, we should totally meet up for a beer*. Not sure if this makes you feel better or worse though, but at least you know where you stand. When you’re in my neck of the woods (currently Franschhoek), let’s catch up for a beer.