Good Customer Care Tales

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beergoot, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (4,262) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Premium Trader

    Any good stories about breweries or beer stores that go above and beyond with customer service?

    Two recent ones for me were Oskar Blues and Four Fathers.

    With Oskar Blues, it was having their head of brewing operations personally call and have a great 30-minute conversation about their reformulation of Mama's Lil' Yella Pils. All I did was send an email to OB asking about the changes because it was a popular forum thread on BA. The fact that Tim Matthews would call (on a Sunday afternoon) and talk with an old beer hound like me based on a simple inquiry was (in my opinion) quite astonishing.

    And now, Jason Lacny from Four Fathers, is sending me a replacement beer because of a mystery chunks floating in their bottle of Viking Funeral that I opened the other night. All I did was send them pictures and ask what they thought it would be. No histrionics from me about infections or total disgust (well, I did say I drain poured the beer even though I did taste it - flavor was okay, but the visuals -- oh, man!). Anyway, I wasn't asking for anything other than their opinion about what happened. Now it seems that I have FedEx package coming from Four Fathers with a replacement beer and then some. And some decent email conversation back-and-forth between Four Fathers and me. Fantastic customer appreciation!

    So, anyone else have tales about beer businesses taking their customer support to serious levels?
    cjgiant, EMH73, Glider and 19 others like this.
  2. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,264) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I had an off bottle of apis V from elevation brewing, they sent me a box of swag and a replacement bottle. Those dudes rule. I had a similar issue with a bottle of red poppy from lost Abby, they didn't even respond to my email.
    Harrison8, Glider, denver10 and 4 others like this.
  3. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,327) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Trader

    Sixpoint customer service is absolutely world class for breweries and for that matter any business.
    KentT, EMH73, Glider and 24 others like this.
  4. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (678) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Shane of Sixpoint went way over and above.

    I made a comment about Bengali Tiger not being so great back when it was a 16x4.

    Shane contacted me and said he would send me fresh tiger.

    A box showed up with 4 different fresh 4 packs and a few homebrews.

    I have continued to buy and try all of the sixpoint beers I find since then.

    Other great service

    Philadelphia brewing
    Sierra Nevada

    Not good at all

    Bruery ......put all blame on Whole Foods. A sub $10 bottle of Uncarbonated non dated beer cost them any future purchase for over 6 years already.

    Founders....would not even answer why my mix case was packed on x date but the beer inside was much older and the pale ale and IPA were not fresh at all. I only buy the occasional 15 pack when it's on sale for $12-15.

    EMH73, Glider, jcos and 11 others like this.
  5. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (130) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    I’m gonna go ahead and third Shane from Sixpoint. I sent an email about my undying love for jammer, and he showed all the love right back at me. Great guy, great company, and it only heightened my respect for them; that they truly appreciate and acknowledge their customers’ feedback. They are always a go-to for me now.

    Also great service/responsiveness from:
    Knee Deep Brewing
    The White Hag (Ireland)
    #5 mambossa, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  6. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (324) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    Clown Shoes. I has a BBA stout that tasted thin and sour. I mentioned it on the forum here and they hand delivered me a box of brewery swag and replacement beer. Great guys.

    Also sixpoint. I emailed just to give them can info on a batch of beer I had bought that had a buttery peppery twang to it. I wanted nothing more than to just inform them. They sent me a ridiculously generous box even after I told them it wasn't needed.
    EMH73, Glider, Axtimusprime and 7 others like this.
  7. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,181) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    Almost three years ago, I had just gotten into craft. I had no glassware so had my first few craft at home out of coffee mugs or *shudder* the bottle. I went into a local craft shop and found a bomber of Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Belgian Ale. Upon checkout, I mentioned to the owner that I needed to find some decent glassware. She had me follow her back to the office, rummaged around, and came up with a sample glass which she gave me. It was the coolest Kasteel glass. This has been my favorite shop since.

  8. Junior

    Junior Disciple (343) May 23, 2015 Michigan

    I went to the first or second Boss Tweed release release at Old Nation about a year ago. The guy in front of me snagged the last four pack.

    The bartender offered me one of the 4 packs that she had purchased for herself earlier in the day.
  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,660) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Oskar Blues for sure, I commented on old stock and they contacted me and it hold them what was around. They sent a 4 pk of GKnight which in never ever available here for whatever reason.

    Old Mecklenburg. Same thing with old stock on the shelf, they are meticulous about the care of their product, and they sent a rep out who pulled the old stock and replaced it. Offered up some beers at the brewery by the sales rep, but Charlotte is 2 hours away. Sadly then retracted to Charlotte only distro because of the NC distro laws.

    Thers some really top notch breweries out there that really care about the product and their customers.the only brewery that I've contacted that came to nothing was NoDa in Charlotte. Hop,Drop and Roll used to be a tremendous beer, I traded it can for can for Heady back in the day Heady was dominating the Ipa world. Then they upped production and went to a centrifuge, and the beer just collapsed, not just off but truly terrible. I sent them an e mail and nothing but crickets. It's been years and thst beer still isn't worth a damn, surely you would think in 3-4 years the Brewer would be able to dial it back in, but that's not the case.
  10. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Sam Adams and Victory brewing have given me great customer service and attention that was commensurate with my concern. I got flat beer once form sam adams who promptly refunded my money and victory sent me a t shirt, if I rememberfor, a beer that was off. My local beer store and I tried to do an "email me if this comes in" but that did not work for me. No fault of theirs. I find the stories about free beer and schwag for complaining about beer do not apply to me. I decided that bad beer was part of the shelf experience and have since tasted infected beer. In fact that is how I learned what infection is. Boos to hitachino nest for not even responding to my concerns over expired beer that was infected.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,770) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Permit me to provide another 'shout out' for Sixpoint brewing.

    A number of years ago I had an 'issue' with a 4-pack of Crisp that was contract brewed at the Lion Brewery (Wilkes-Barre, PA). I sent an generic e-mail to Sixpoint and Shane himself responded. We exchanged a number of e-mails and the wold became 'right'.

    I have recently interacted with the Sixpoint team on some sensory evaluations of beer exercise. Everybody I have dealt with has been polite and professional.

    Cheers to the Sixpoint Brewing team!!!!!

    EMH73, Glider, Mvsmvs92 and 11 others like this.
  12. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Meyvn (1,139) Oct 4, 2017 Germany

    Stone Berlin sent me three cans of Ruination and some stickers in the mail after I told them about 5-month old IPAs of theirs sitting on a supermarket shelve here. They also asked for the address of the supermarket so that they could do something about it. Although they later backtracked on that after I offered to report other cases of old beer on the shelves, saying that they could only sort this out at the distributor level and once beers hit the shelves it was out of their control. Also, two of the cans they sent me were three and a half months old as well...

    I once contacted Siren simply to ask how long they set their best by dates for, there wasn't even an actual freshness issue at all and they offered to send me a bottle of factory-fresh beer just like that, *if* I lived in the UK. I obviously don't, but I do have trade partner there that offered to send it over in our next trade. Once I told Siren about that, things got really sluggish and it took quite a while and various reminders for them to actually send the beer. Kind of left me with the impression that they only made that offer because they thought that I couldn't pick them up on it anyway, even though they did eventually come around and sent a very nice box with four beers and a glass.

    When I told Braufactum about 1-year old Firestone Walker IPAs, which they distribute in Germany, sitting in various supermarkets, I got a very condescending reply from them explaining to me that that beer was still fine and fresh because it's being kept refridgerated. While I'm not arguing that cold storage extends the freshness of beer, obviously, I really though it was quite excessive to argue that it will keep IPAs fresh for a year. Also, I actually had two of those beers because I didn't pay attention to the dating and they did taste really old and faded, refridgerated or not. I wrote to Firestone Walker as well and never got a reply from them, even after I sent them a friendly reminder after my original mail.

    So yeah, some good and some bad experiences, although even the good ones kind of have a somewhat bitter aftertaste...
  13. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,523) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Ditto here, pretty much exactly the same thing.
    GuyFawkes, rozzom and jrnyc like this.
  14. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,660) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Mostly it's the Cali IPAs that are taking a major hit here, great beers like FW, Knee Deep are getting crushed, behind that most Victory are 4-6 months old too. Have to say Mickkeller SD is just killing it on the ipas, but their special releases that move pretty well. Still you have to watch there's still some full price, but I saw some Drinko De Mayo out there too, and the last one I had weeks ago was already a malty mess. Total wine cut the price in half weeks ago and it wasn't worth drinking then. Not so sure I understand the tolerance for 3 month old IPAs on the shelf, for the most part this style isn't really compatible with a lot of age on it, it's intended to be consumed fresh. I like drinking NEIPAS at Resident Culture right out of their bright tanks.
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,660) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Sometimes the bad beer experience is painful, but I did learn not to buy German Imports from Total Wine after a dreadful experience with a St Pauli Girl that was evidently brewed using cabbage instead of malt. My house stunk for hours after popping the cap on hat one.
    beergoot, Junior and TonyLema1 like this.
  16. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (137) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    Read and love all the positive stories about our favorite breweries! I have no story to share, but wanted to convey how nice it is to hear about positive experiences rather than the opposite. Good folks out there. Thank you for caring about the consumer!
  17. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,181) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    Yes, it's all too easy to get hung up on the negative. The OP asked for positive, but some negative/bad experiences crept in.
    beergoot likes this.
  18. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,265) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I went into Total Wine, their website said they had some Logsdon Seizone Bretta available. I go there specifically for this beer and there is none on the shelf. I call a manager over and tell him that despite what the website says, I didn’t see any of the beer on the shelf. He looked up and down the aisle even looked in the back for the stuff to no avail. He proceeded to give me a $25 gift card as an apology for their website being inaccurate, which I thought was polite as I was not looking for any sort of compensation for the situation.
  19. WhiteHart

    WhiteHart Initiate (35) Apr 16, 2018 North Carolina

    Good customer care to me is listening to a problem or concern, addressing the concern, issuing a refund if applicable, staying in touch about what was done, inviting the customer back, that sort of thing. I don't consider 'customer service' to be overloading a complainant with 4x the beer that they had an issue with and then throwing in loads of swag and t-shirts on top of that. That, to me, is 1) a payoff not to damage a reputation on social media, and 2) a great source of free advertising (your car now carries our bumper sticker and you're wearing our shirt!).
    Why do some people want something for nothing?
    mickyge, brutalfarce and beertunes like this.
  20. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (678) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Forgot this one

    I was sent a check for the cost of a six pack of Rebel IPA along with a hand written note from Jim Koch. He signed the check as well.

    I still try their beers when I see them.

  21. Budlum

    Budlum Savant (924) Mar 23, 2006 Maryland

    Allagash. Their staff is always tremendous. My last visit was on a particularly nice Saturday afternoon. The tasting area was packed and the staff checking IDs had to hold the line due to fire code restrictions. I think my wife and I waited 4-5 minutes for a few guests to leave...on a perfectly pleasant spring day, mind you. An hour later I was checking out with some bottled goodies and the staff member that had checked our IDs handed me a 4 pack gratis. Even after insisting that it was not necessary, she apologized that we had to wait.

    That is one of many stories of how the staff at Allagash have gone above and beyond. They are top notch.
  22. Mitchster

    Mitchster Poo-Bah (2,522) Dec 25, 2002 Michigan

    I bought a 6 pack of a stout from Shorts and it was very clearly infected. I posted a review here. I didn't call them or email them, but someone from Shorts read it and sent me a message saying they were sorry to hear I had a bad beer and they found out that they had shipped out some bad beer by accident so they sent me a voucher for a free 6-pack.
  23. Dan411

    Dan411 Initiate (88) Mar 20, 2017 Missouri

    Another vote for Samuel Adams. Early in my craft career I bought a six of Boston Lager. One bottle's neck was cracked and two were flat. They sent me a rebate, a t-shirt, and a nice bottle opener.
  24. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,469) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Not in the same vein as others, but at my local bev. store I'm always available and happy to help answer customer questions while I shop. I get employee discount at this store. Kinda customer service I like.

    Best from a brewery was from Duck Rabbit who couldn't send me beer, but sent me about 75.00 of swag to make up for some infected beer. Paul Philippon contacted me and took care of the whole deal quick and easy. Not only best customer service for beer, but best customer service for anything I've experienced.
  25. WSchmidt

    WSchmidt Initiate (75) Jul 3, 2011 Virginia

    Great topic! I've had plenty of positive experiences with breweries, but the one that comes to mind recently is Jack's Abby. I bought two bottles of their "Brewery Maker" and was looking forward to cracking them a year later. Regrettably, they were both tart and sour--not what you're looking for in a barley wine. I let them know that the batch might be infected and sent them pics of the bottles so they knew the bottling dates, but didn't expect anything in return. Instead, they immediately apologized and hooked me up with a gift card that was slightly more than what I paid for the original bottles. Needless to say, I spent it on more Jack's Abby beer!
  26. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Defender (669) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    I bought a four-pack of Boulevard The Sixth Glass and the bottles all gushed, I contacted them and they sent a check in the mail.
    I thought that a couple of bottles of High-Westified were off, so I contacted Lagunitas, they were really nice about it. They sent me a box of schwag, and an empty bottle shipper to send back the bottles I had. Once they recieved the beers, they got back to me with their findings (not infected).
    I have a couple others as well, but these are the ones that stand out.
  27. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,349) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    Will absolutely second this. Well said.

    Will add a combination of Mystic, their distributor, and Muckey's Liquors as well.

    Nikki's in Providence, RI - hear some complaints about that store, but they have always treated me right. Owner is on point when it comes to beer.

    Julio's in Westboro, MA. Although it is a haul or a drive, we do try to get there a couple times a year. No matter who is working in the beer section, they are always polite and super-courteous. And they listen so they can make some very solid recommendations.

    Honorable mention - Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA. While it is more or less self-serve, they have rearranged the store completely. The renovation not only looks good, but the beer section is showing a higher degree of attention and much improved "curation" - well done. The whole shopping experience is significantly improved.
    mickyge and beergoot like this.
  28. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (547) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    @Sixpoint went above and beyond for me recently when a distributor in my area dropped the ball on their beer.

    A few years ago I reported to Long Trail what I thought were off flavors in one of the beers in a mix 12-pack (a Summer Survival pack I think). I wasn't upset and didn't ask for or expect anything. I just wanted to give them the info in case it helped them pinpoint a QA issue. They thanked me for the information and then I got a check in the mail a few days later reimbursing me for the 12-pack, which I put to another Long Trail purchase later.
    beergoot likes this.
  29. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (577) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium Trader

    What JR said. The entire group there is beyond fantastic.

    Additionally, there's something in the water in NYC. Had a bottle of Double Negative from Grimm where some trub got into the bottle, so I let @Grimm_Artisanal_Ales know, and Joe stoop-bombed me with a replacement and another of their stouts that I had missed out on and never expected to try. I was very grateful and am very excited to head to their new space in the coming weeks.
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  30. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,660) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I agree they were great, and I got caught up in their infection problem, had some Duck Rabitt and Milk Stout that were cherry juice. Got some swag, hey it happens.
    cavedave and beergoot like this.
  31. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,429) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    Giving a shout out to Tombstone, Mother Road, and Arizona Wilderness. Class acts and they appreciate their customers. Cheers guys!
    beergoot likes this.
  32. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,469) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    I still have four bottles of infected Rabid Duck. We pull one out for each of our "Bring Out Your Dead" tastings of old and awful beers we do about once a year. It truly is one of the most horrible things possible to put into your mouth.
  33. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,759) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    I frequent one of our local breweries called Triple C. I pretty much try every beer they release. I think I'm up to 200+. Anyway, every Wednesday, they have a one-off brew called "The Wednesday Pilot Batch". Due to my frequent patronage, they are brewing a Pilot Batch in my name. I got to come up with the style and adjuncts to use in it, so I chose a stout with hazelnuts, coffee and toasted coconut. Can't wait to try it!
  34. JayWhitson

    JayWhitson Crusader (717) Feb 25, 2015 Montana
    Premium Trader

    Ordered a CBS glass from Founder’s this year and it had a blister in it. Contacted the brewery and all I had to do was send a picture and they sent a replacement glass. Was relieved I didn’t have to pay to send it back.
  35. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (4,262) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Premium Trader

    Now that's a beer honor!
    Beer_Economicus and dvmin98 like this.
  36. hyndmanevan

    hyndmanevan Initiate (88) Mar 2, 2007 Indiana

    Sixpoint again. A couple weeks ago I reached out about when Alpenflo would be available nearby. Within hours Shane responded and connected me with employee knowledgeable of where they were in distribution while another employee reached out, asked my address, and sent me some cool Alpenflo gear.
  37. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Meyvn (1,139) Oct 4, 2017 Germany

    I just tried to contact German craft brewers Frau Gruber about something and they don't have an email address... Like, the only contact info on their facebook page is a postal address. Did I fall through a black hole and end up back in the eighties? I'm sorry, this may be slightly off-topic, but I'm honestly completely gobsmacked right now...
    cavedave and Beer_Economicus like this.
  38. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (1,652) Dec 11, 2006 California

    Bought some glassware and a shirt from Firestone; somehow the order got doubled and I ended up with 6 Teku’s and two shirts. I offered to ship the extras back, but they told me to keep them.
  39. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,759) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    A buddy brought me a 4 pack of Heady Topper while he was in VT. 3 of the 4 were flat. Emailed Alchemist and they told me they had a new canning line and there were a lot of flat cans that came out of it. They overnighted me another 4 pack (in a cooled box) with some swag. Wow
  40. 7irondave

    7irondave Disciple (398) Jun 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    @beergoot sounds like you can update us on your initial post
    beergoot likes this.