Sam Adams Offers Personal Note, Refund For Gross Spoiled Beer

Ryan writes that he bought some Samuel Adams beer, but it wasn’t up to his expectations. That is to say that it tasted so bad, it made everyone who tried it physically ill. The grocery store wouldn’t offer a refund, so he decided to contact the company, receiving a refund and an unexpected personal reply.

I have never written to you guys before, but I have been reading the website for years. I recently have gotten into the habit of informing companies of poor service due to your website, and I have a great story to share with you guys.

A few months ago my family purchased a 12-pack of Samuel Adams Summer Ale from a local Albertsons. We have always enjoyed the Samuel Adams brand, and we once tried the Summer Ale in a Brewmaster’s collection a year or so before this purchase. We really liked it and felt a 12-pack would be awesome. Unfortunately this was not the case (pun intended only if you found it funny). The brew was bitter and flat, and it made us all feel slightly ill by drinking it. We tried to return it to Albertsons but they would not take it back. We had to throw away 9 bottles of beer, which made us all sad. I decided to send an email to Sam Adams Brewery to see if they would help, but I did not receive a response for months.

That is until tonight when I came home to a letter on my desk, hand-signed by Jim Koch, the lead Brewer of Samuel Adams himself. He wrote:

Dear Ryan,

I was sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the Samuel Adams Summer Ale you purchased. You mentioned that you were displeased with the flavor. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Perhaps I can offer some explanations. As far as the flavor is concerned, variations in the treatment of the beer in the market can easily change the character of all-natural beer like Samuel Adams. It may have been stored incorrectly at the distributer; heat accelerates the aging process in my beer in the absence of preservatives. Because I am vitally concerned with the freshness of my beer, it is rare to find old Samuel Adams brews on the shelves. I have my brewery reps check dates constantly, and I buy back and destroy over $1,000,000 worth of outdated beer every year.

I want to thank you again for bringing this matter to my attention. Along with my apologies, I am sending you a refund. I hope that you will give my Samuel Adams beer another chance.

Jim Koch

This letter was hand-signed and included a check, which was also hand-written. I will always buy Samuel Adams beer, and I encourage all of you to support a company that cares about its customers like this.

This letter fits in nicely with the company’s recent commercials touting the company’s smallness and attention to quality in its beers. Maybe it’s part of an overall marketing campaign when handling complaints…or maybe Samuel Adams is just that awesome.

Now we’ve made you all think about beer on a Friday morning. You’re welcome.

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