Part of the problem with this idea of trying to find the exact correct legal answer is that having the answer doesn't protect us. If there is the appearance of impropriety, that could be enough for us to face serious problems. If it came down to it and the club was fined/cited, maybe we could fight it, but what might that defense cost us? Could we bring the kind of negative attention that would cause event organizers (including Heritage or Micro) to reconsider involving us at all?
That's all hypothetical. How about the true and tangible:
Having helped with a demo, I can definitely say that we do get the word out. I chatted with several people who were interested in us and what we do. Some were experienced and wanted to know all about us, some had no idea you could brew your own beer. Several were curious about the club. So I have no doubt that it's worth having a presence.
Having poured the beer, I can say that our beers went over well with a lot of people. Before we started pouring like crazy, people were coming back for more, asking to try different things, and seemed to enjoy our oasis of new flavors. They were tasting styles they'd never heard of, and liked them. So I have no doubt it's worth sharing our beer.
Having seen the long lines of people waiting for our beer, and some of those people already drunk (and keep in mind, there are laws about serving alcohol to someone visibly intoxicated), and later seen people throwing up nearby, I think we have to draw the line somewhere. So I have no reason to think we have anything to gain by giving strangers a full liter (or half liter, or pint) of anything. Not for free and not for a "suggested donation." If the goal is for people to have a chance to taste our beer, then they don't need 32 ounces to know if they like it or not. I don't have a problem with a tip jar and I don't have a problem giving people samples. I don't even have a problem giving people multiple samples or even *gasp* samples of more than 3oz! Does anyone have a good reason we should give people half liter pours? Make your case if you do. Otherwise, let's go pour beer on behalf of MoBev or UCBC or whoever asks us to this year, collect tips on behalf of the club, do a demo or two, and RESPONSIBLY share some of our homebrews with the general public.
Jew #1 of Two Jews Brews