As a newbie, I can't tell you the invaluable information and knowledge I have acquire from this forum, and vendor reviews good or bad should be permitted. I do not go to a new restaurant without reading the reviews and ratings on Yelp, I do not buy a product on Amazon without reading ratings and reviews, I do not stay in a hotel without reading the ratings and reviews on Tripadvisor, yet if I am going to spend thousands or 100s of thousands dollars I cannot read ratings or reviews on the most centalized forum for craft distilling?
I am more than surprised that the forum is not run by the ADI, compensated by the ADI and what appears to be managed by one individual. Seems unfair, and a little deceptive with the ADI banner across the top of the forum sight. If ADI is to be the voice and advocate for the industry, I agree with Blackheart on his long term solution proposal.
In the short run, I am sure there are several advanced members who would more than volunteer their time to act as moderators, relieving the sole burden of Guy. In fact, I am sure that if a dedicated area was put on the forum just for vendor reviews, a couple two three moderators could more than police just that section. Also, it would make it easy for those vendors who care to monitor their performance and respond to the reviews posted.
I would be the first to contribute to the overhead cost of managing this growing forum. A simply donate now paypal button on the forum might make sense. While the longer term direction is addressed.