UPS Shatters Precious Sam Adams Utopia Bottle, Dreams

Z. bought a wonderful gift for his sister while in New England: a bottle of Sam Adams Utopia, a strong, expensive specialty brew that you can’t exactly buy at the corner liquor store in California, where she lives. To Z’s dismay, the package seemed to make the cross-country journey just fine, only to have the bottle break shortly before reaching Z’s doorstep.

Recently I packaged a bottle of Sam Adams Utopia (~$150 at time of purchase, limited run, individually numbered), to be shipped from Connecticut to California. It was going to be a gift to my sister and her boyfriend. Mind you, this isn’t something that can be just picked up at any retail liquor store. Utopia’s are a limited run, specialty brew, and change year after year. Anyway, the shipment made it all the way to the doorstep, at which point the driver was quick enough to drop (literally it looks like) off the package, ring the door bell, then scurry back to his truck and take off all before I could actually get to the door and open it. Buy the time I opened the door, I saw the tail end of his truck as it was driving away. I pick up my package (which has the Utopia, boxed, as well as a hard drive, and a bottle of homemade maple syrup, all wrapped), and immediately notice it leaking, so I rushed it over to the sink, setting it down, the bottom of the package immediately gets soaked, and open cutting open the tape, the rest of the utopia drains into the sink.

I am not a happy camper at this point.

As you can see by the pictures, the bottle itself was broken completely in half. Now given that all of the Utopia spilled out upon setting it down on the sink, i’m lead to believe that it didn’t start leaking until the entire package was actually delivered, which means the UPS delivery driver “set it down” hard enough to break in half a hard ceramic bottle.

UPS has already been called, claim has been filed, but I wish there was some way to get a current market value, instead of what I paid for it. The item itself is irreplaceable, as no stores around me in California (that I’ve checked anyway, I don’t want to call every liquor store in southern California) all don’t have any, which is to be expected as it usually sells out by mid February.

If it was just an ever day item, i wouldn’t be so pissed, but the rarity of the item, combined with the force necessary to break said item, just absolutely flabbergasts me how the driver managed to break it.

Lesson Learned. Never ship anything that cannot be replaced locally. Find some way to bring it with me next time.

Z’s story is sad, and a cautionary tale: some things just can’t be replaced by an insurance claim.


Edit Your Comment

  1. The cake is a lie! says:

    You could always contact Sam Adams directly for a location which has a bottle. They have a locator on their website. I wish it had more than a 10 mile radius, but it may work if you want to let your fingers do the walking…

    • gopena says:

      Or at the very least I would think that Sam adams, a company which likes to tout how small and caring it is in comparison to the larger companies would help do some good for OP in the way of another utopia bottle or some swag :)

    • parliboy says:

      It does have more than a 10 mile radius. Distance is effectively unlimited if you want to manually edit the search string. That said, no Utopias anywhere according to the search. At least, not within 30000 miles of me.

  2. dbeahn says:

    “current market value”? Good luck with that.

    How much was the package insured for? With something like this, you’d want to be sure to buy he extra insurance.

    • pop top says:

      The drivers shouldn’t be smashing packages in the first place.

      • BannedInBrittan says:

        You do realize UPS stands for United Package Smashers right? ;)

      • dbeahn says:

        And people should be wrecking cars. Or getting hurt. Or making mistakes. Or having accidents. But that isn’t the world we live in, is it?

        The driver may have been all sorts of extra careful and had the package slip out of his hand (not saying that’s what happened, just that it’s possible). Accidents happen, therefore you buy the insurance. If you don’t, that’s on you.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Right. Therefore UPS has insurance.

          (That’s how my car insurance works.)

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Right. Therefore UPS has insurance.

          (That’s how my car insurance works.)

          • dbeahn says:

            So you have liability only insurance, and your car insurance only pays out to other people when you screw up, and you get nothing in the event that it’s no-fault or your fault? That’s awfully trusting of you. Good luck with that.

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              No I have comprehensive insurance, but remember- I never explicitly place my car under the care of other drivers unless I loan it to them.

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              Also, see subrogation. Fault is fault, and it’s not like UPS has no ability to pay.

              • dbeahn says:

                OK, so drive your car intentionally at a wall at high speeds, then file a claim and see what your insurance company says.

                After all, UPS said “do not use our service to ship booze” and this guy did it anyway.

      • Gramin says:

        Dropping is not the same as smashing. Fragile stickers are made for a reason. I’m not saying the driver isn’t at fault, but, in his defense, most packages are ok to drop a bit.

        Another quick question… how did he insure this, if he did? I don’t think UPS permits the shipping of alcohol.

        OP might be a bit screwed, even with insurance. He violated their policies.

        • Shadowfax says:


          “Note: UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees.”

          So, you weren’t supposed to be shipping it with them anyway.

          • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

            I’m curious who he bought from that decided it was cool to not only ship UPS, but without requiring a signature.

            Every internet spirit place I’ve used ships FedEx with the appropriate “liquor” labeling and the requirement of an adult signature.

            • Gramin says:

              He shipped it himself. I don’t know too many places that ship alcohol and hard drives together. Additionally, if you would have read his first line, it says “I recently packaged a bottle…” I’m assuming this means that he packaged it… but I could be wrong.

              • dadelus says:

                “I don’t know too many places that ship alcohol and hard drives together. “

                –I think you’ve just help me come up with my new business model!!

                • Cicadymn says:

                  Oh god.

                  It’s genius. Well, maybe include some caffeinated bacon, and energy drinks.

                  The internet must never find out.

            • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

              He bought it and then shipped it himself…hence his dilemma.

            • hills says:

              Sounds like he shipped it himself….

            • domcolosi says:

              Sounds like he bought it in person, then shipped it to his house back in CA

          • cosmic.charlie says:

            It wasn’t beer or wine. It was a shipment of live yeast cultures.

      • Portlandia says:

        it should have been packaged better in the first place. If it was just in the box and shipped like that UPS will deny the claim. It should have been inside a bigger box with foam or something to absorb the shock.

        If it was so “Priceless” then you should have taken more care shipping it.

        • Difdi says:

          If the package made it all the way across the country intact, then obviously the packaging is not to blame. If the bottle had broken sooner, the box would have been soaked, which it wasn’t according to the OP — it only started leaking right then.

          There literally is no method of packaging anything that will make it impervious to all forms of negligence and/or malice. It simply cannot be done without the package being larger than some trucks.

    • Robert Nagel says:

      Good luck on getting UPS to get their UPS owned “insurance” company to pay off. Mostly, they just tell you that is was packed wrong. They won’t tell you how it was packed wrong however. I stopped using it to eliminate the aggravation of trying to get what I paid for. Since then I have saved enough to cover any conceivable claim.

  3. Thebestdudeeverr says:

    Aww. its a sad day indeed when good booze are wasted.

    • Gramin says:

      And I have to fault the OP for that. He knew what was leaking and chose to open it over the sink instead of over his mouth. Bad bad OP. I’m utterly disgusted that you chose to let this bottle of alcohol go to waste. Next time, use common sense and open the leaking package over your mouth or at least some other receptacle that would have captured the alcohol.

  4. ZenMasterKel says:

    Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just bring it back with you on the plane? Nevertheless, I believe that UPS give you $100.00 free insurance and additional insurance is $1-$2 per $100.00. Though Utopia exists, we don’t live in a perfect world, and this stuff happens.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      It is more than 3 ounces, so no luck carrying it on. And do you seriously think it would have fared better in checked luggage? It would have been broken before it even made it to the plane. Shipping things like that is really the only option. I would have shipped anything in a glass bottle in a wooden box wrapped in six inches of bubble wrap. That is what UPS will tell him. They’ll say he didn’t pack it properly and it is his fault. It isn’t his fault, but UPS will say that.

      • Gramin says:

        No, they won’t. They’ll say “You shipped alcohol?” He’ll say “yes.” They’ll say “That violates our terms of service, therefore, your claim is denied. Pacaging is irrelevant.”

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        broken, or stolen

        • Sian says:

          pack it in custom-cut foam with a firearm or starter pistol, then put three of the most intimidating-looking puck-locks on the thing. Nobody’s getting inside without explosives.

      • jeepguy57 says:

        Absoutely. Wrap it in some clothes and than pack it in the middle of the suitcase, surrounded in clothes. It would have fared much better than shipping via UPS.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      First, he didn’t actually visit his sister and her boyfriend, he just sent them a gift. And secondly, I don’t think you can take alcohol (or other high volumes of liquid) with you on the plane.

      • Silverhawk says:

        Actually, before the 3oz liquid limit, you could. I used to bring back ales from the UK in my carry-on. I remember seeing people carrying on CASES of Fat Tire in the Denver airport before it was widely distributed.

        Ah, those were the days.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        Now now.
        Not TRUE!

        I have shipped a bottle of Absinthe on a plane.
        I crated the bottle within a foam packing shipper designed specifically for bottles, and put into the checked luggage.
        They will ask you about it in the scan, and then label the luggage appropriately.
        Went from California to Washington with no trouble.

      • ZenMasterKel says:

        He didn’t send them a gift. He mailed it to himself. The fact that it was a gift to his sister was actually irrelevant to the story.

  5. tidomonkey says:

    This is why you buy the insurance.

    • hills says:

      UPS comes with automatic $100 insurance, but it’s a moot point if they decide he didn’t pack it correctly or if they deny just based on the fact that it’s alcohol.

  6. Osagasu says:

    Sam Adams Utopia?

    …I think I may cry.

  7. Not a Fan Boy says:

    Spilling any Sam is a capital offense in my book but this is just a tragic waste of good beer and a ruined gift. UPS should be compelled to replace the item rather than reimbursing it or perhaps both.

  8. sirwired says:

    A picture of the outside package would make it easy to tell if this was inadequate packaging, or a UPS problem.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      In the picture provided, it looks like a large corner of the Utopia box (which would have had to have been inside of another box to contain the other items) is smashed. I would have to say anything that did that kind of damage to both boxes was excessively rough handling.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Just the simple fact it was in its UTOIPIAS box I can tell you it was inadequately packed.
      That box is thin, more or less just to protect the copper finish on the bottle.

      I would have wrapped the bottle in plastic, then wrapped the individual bottle in AT LEAST 3 in. of bubble wrap. Then I would have put THAT in a box, and packed the box heavily in paper or bubble wrap (NEVER PEANUTS) to prevent shifting. Then, flatten the UTOPIAS box and slip it in with the packaging.

      at $150 a bottle you BETTER pack that thing like your life depended on it.

  9. Hoss says:

    Send a link of this article to Jim Koch (owner). He’ll appreciate the free advertising and may help you out

  10. Chmeeee says:

    I don’t know how the whole “trust” thing would work out on the internet, but I’d be glad to pick one up and ship it to the OP at his cost. Of course, that doesn’t help with the whole UPS insurance mess, but…

  11. lehrdude says:

    That’s alcohol abuse!

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Is it even legal to ship alcohol via UPS? A quick look at their website showed this:

    UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.

    • Package Man says:

      The legality depends on the state. In some states such as Georgia, it is illegal to ship wine like the submitter did which is why many web sites that sell wine won’t sell to customers in Georgia.

      • RandomHookup says:

        I think all the various liquor laws are why UPS doesn’t even want to be involved in the business of shipping booze.

        • kenj0418 says:

          Next time OP should do the smart thing and hire “Bandit” and “Snowman” for his illegal, interstate alcohol transportation needs.

    • 3skr1mad0r says:

      You have to be licensed to ship alcohol through UPS. Individuals cannot ship nor receive alcohol via UPS. It gets even stickier when shipping it across states which they did. Unfortunately filing a claim was just an admission to guilt in possibly breaking the laws of (at least) 2 different states.

      • Trollez says:

        Actually many items get around this as being considered a collectible. Even though there is alcohol content in it, various items like this and other nostalgia is permitted.

        • wadewood says:

          “Actually many items get around this as being considered a collectible. Even though there is alcohol content in it, various items like this and other nostalgia is permitted.”

          Wrong. There is no exception for collectibles. I know Ebay uses this as way that people auction off spirits- as long as they say item is sold for bottle as a collectible. Ebay likes making money and they are wrong. One of these days, the ATF is going to crack down on this hard.

          I collect bourbon and I’m part of group of others across the country. Perhaps….bottles do get shipped all over the country via UPS or Fedex. From what I’m told…..if a bottle gets broke and discovered, Fedex or UPS will do nothing for reimbursement or insurance. You are taking your own chance by shipping alcohol as an individual –Pack Well. Hypothetically, I would use a Styrofoam container designed to ship wine and double box.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        There are *very* few states which disallow the *private* shipment of alcohol. The majority of states which disallow alcohol shipments to a private residence only disallow such shipments if the shipper is a business. If Bob wants to send Jim a bottle, no one cares; if Bob’s Package Store wants to send it, there’s a problem.

        The legal failing was the lack of an Adult Signature requirement.

    • MustWarnOthers says:

      This is off topic, but noting your Newcastle avatar, have you ever tried the Rogue Ales Hazlenut Brown Nectar?


      • RandomHookup says:

        Consider it added to my wish list. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • TacomaRogue says:

        Anything by Rogue is delish. Dead Guy Ale and Shakespear Stout along with the Hazlenut Brown are my faves.

        To the OP: if Sam Adam’s is as awesome as they claim to be, contacting them may do you a lot of good. It may not get you a bottle of the same brew, but it my produce something.

      • Hank Scorpio says:

        I just bought the official Rogue home-brew kit, with their special strain of yeast, of the Hazelnut Brown. Probably be brewing this weekend!

  13. DanRydell says:

    Pics of the packing materials and box?

  14. Gauge says:

    Unfortunately you won’t get anything. UPS has very clear rules on the shipment of alcohol.
    “UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.”

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      Not only a UPS thing, it’s an interstate liquor shipment thing. In order to send alcohol you must be a licensed distributor and declare that the contents are indeed liquor. There must also be an adult signature required (over 21). The shipper isn’t licensed or didn’t have the adult signature option if the driver just dropped it off.

  15. APCO25guy says:

    UPS=United Package Smashers

  16. dgm says:

    Looks like the OP may be out of luck here. I can’t see how UPS would honor an insurance claim for alcohol which was likely not shipped according to UPS’s rules.

    Who can ship wine via UPS services?

    UPS only accepts packages containing wine from shippers who are licensed under applicable law and who have signed and entered into a contract with UPS for the transportation of wine.

    Note: UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.

    • Gramin says:

      I was about to post that same thing. OP is screwed. While it isn’t his fault that the bottle broke, he did violate the shipping policy of UPS. He has no recourse here. Sure, file a claim. My bet is that they deny it because he shipped an item that is explicitly forbidden unless he’s licensed and has a contract with them.

      Sorry OP. Next time, do your research.

      • Hoss says:

        I would call it a collectible bottle since the contents is not what he insured

        • Gramin says:

          Sarcasm? Or are you being serious? It contains alcohol. He’s SOL.

          • aka_mich says:

            Pretty sure he’s being serious. Bottles of booze like this that are limited run and rare a lot of times don’t get opened and appreciate value. It may be hard to argue considering what was in the bottle but it’s a good place to start if he wants his money.

            • Hoss says:

              I actually though this was a limited bottle meant to be a collectible. But in reading their web page, I’m wrong – it’s the beer that is special not the bottle.

  17. Package Man says:

    You need to talk to whoever packaged it, they didn’t do a very good job probably. I recently shipped a bottle of liquor for a customer who said it held a lot of monetary as well as sentimental value. It was a small bottle but we shipped it in a 18x12x11 box wrapped in bubble wrap and surrounded by packing peanuts. It made it to it’s destination just fine.

    On a side note, what is said about how the UPS driver delivered it is sadly the norm for UPS and FedEx. I even go so far as to advise customers AGAINST putting “Fragile” stickers on boxes.

  18. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I’ve shipped two computers via UPS with FRAGILE written on both boxes.

    Each time the counter service clerks have eyed me warily and stated “We don’t do fragile shipping.”

    No problems in my experience, but its something to be aware of, policy wise.

    I’d say contact Sam Adams, maybe they’ll reach out with some good PR.

  19. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Unfortunately the OP may be SOL, because it sounds like they didn’t mention that the box contained alcohol, and UPS will claim they violated their terms and conditions when they shipped alcohol without telling them. UPS doesn’t say anything about beer, but this stuff (which I’m now dying to try) has an alcohol content closer to wine, and UPS will not ship wine into or out of MA. On top of that, it may be illegal to ship alcohol consumer-to-consumer.

    (If that pisses you off too, check out the Free the Grapes campaign. They’re fighting all kinds of shipping restrictions that affect beer and spirits, too, not just wine.)

    • katstermonster says:

      It’s pretty damn tasty, definitely worth a try. My friends and I all went in on a bottle, that’s really the only way to do it. It worked out to about 8 bucks an ounce, I think, so it was easy to split into drinks for anyone who wanted in.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Wow, good idea…I hadn’t looked at the pricing until after I posted! Maybe I’ll split one with my friends for NYE.

  20. lupis42 says:

    I would recommend NEVER shipping valuable or fragile items through UPS. The Teamsters make sure that the individual employees never suffer any consequences for breakages, so your package will *not* be handled carefully.

    If you need to ship something UPS, make sure it’s packed securely enough that you could drop it onto concrete from 6-10 feet up, and don’t worry about it.

  21. KittensRCute! says:

    Sadly i think the buyer is SOL on this. according to UPS that shipment might not even have been legal

    also i want to see how this was packaged. carefully wrapped package should have been able to survive that.

    in most cases you can not legally ship alcohol yourself, usually the retailer has to do it.

  22. BeerMeBeerMan says:

    This is why I have a camera at my front door using Zoneminder (free linux based program). It records when someone drops off a package and I can see how they treat it. Heck, just put a fake camera at your door and I bet they treat your packages with a little more respect.

  23. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Call Sam Adams, find out who their distributor for your area of California is. Call the distributor directly and find out if you can get Utopia straight from them, or what stores carry it. You don’t have to call every liquor store in California.

    For shipping alcohol, there are specially made boxes. When it comes to something as delicate as the Utopia bottle, I would recommend getting extra insurance.

  24. katstermonster says:

    That reminds me, I still have a partial bottle of that somewhere around here. Hmmm…lunchtime! Muahaha.

  25. nffcnnr says:

    “I am not a happy camper at this point.”
    1990 called. They want their stupid phrase back.

  26. zack says:

    It’s illegal, under -any- circumstances to ship alcohol of -any- kind via UPS. The OPs claim will be denied.

    • Gramin says:

      Wrong. A, you must have a license. B, you cannot use USPS.

      UPS will ship alcohol as long as you have the license to do so and a contract with them.

      Now, this doesn’t apply to the OP, but your -any- statements are -completely- false. Do your research next time… or at least read what other commenters have wrote.

  27. guspaz says:

    If the driver dropping the package on your doorstep broke your package, then you packaged it incorrectly and this is *your* fault. From UPS’ guidelines on packaging:

    “Fragile objects such as electronics, glass, ceramics, and artwork, require special packaging for safe shipment. Packages containing these and similar items may require added cushioning or a double (over) box.”

    It’s also pretty common knowledge (and people claim it’s on the UPS website, though I couldn’t find it) that all UPS packages need to survive up to a 6-foot drop.

    If your package didn’t survive the 2-3 foot drop to your doorstep when you should have packaged it to survive a 6-foot drop, that’s not really UPS’ fault.

    • KyBash says:

      I once got my hands on a great double box — sturdy cardboard carton surrounded by two inches of styrofoam and a super-heavy outer carton.

      I reused it several times using FedEx and everything inside arrived perfect.

      I wrapped a ceramic pot in bubble wrap, used air-cushions to position it in a box, dumped a good two inches of peanuts into the double box, surrounded the box with more peanuts.

      Shipped UPS less than 100 miles.

      Pot arrived in six pieces. Two corners of out box were crushed so badly I could not reproduce damage with a six-pound sledgehammer on the undamaged corners.

      UPS sucks. Always has, always will.

  28. 3skr1mad0r says:

    Aside from the legality, how was it packaged? I can see the Utopias box in the background but no peanuts, foam, or bubblewrap. If shipping something that valuable and filled with liquid, I would have made sure it was protected to a point of absurdity.

  29. hills says:

    This sucks for the OP, but in defense of UPS I’ve had nothing but good things with UPS and I get a few packages a month – recently something arrived broken, and the UPS guy told me it sounded broken and advised me to refuse delivery – he didn’t drop it & drive off…. Guess I’m lucky, but my UPS guys are great!

  30. beer4me says:

    ummm… shipping beer is not allowed by UPS. Good luck getting your money back for shipping, let alone the $150 you paid for the beer. Next time you ship something that you highly value you should check if it is allowed.

  31. framitz says:

    Sounds like inadequate packaging.. Need a photo

  32. ellemdee says:

    This doesn’t suprise me. I had a UPS driver literally throw a package at my door without even getting out of the truck. I’m not even sure he stopped the truck, I think he just slowed down and chucked it at the door.

  33. tweeder82o says:

    sealed carbonation + 3000 miles of air (?) travel + changes in altitude/air pressure = broken bottle

    • minjche says:

      That seems unlikely to me based on the description.

    • Rudiger says:

      I’ve brought a bottle of champagne on an international flight stowed in baggage and there were no issues with breakage. Much more carbonation than a beer as well.

  34. minjche says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but the OP’s description seems like he shipped and received the package.

    “Recently I packaged a bottle of Sam Adams Utopia … to be shipped from Connecticut to California.”

    “Buy the time I opened the door, I saw the tail end of his truck as it was driving away. I pick up my package … and immediately notice it leaking”

    Can anyone shed light on this?

  35. Klay says:

    How was it packed? Most people don’t pack very well and then are dismayed when (whatever) it arrives broken. I’ve shipped worldwide for decades and unless you treat it like nitroglycerine, you are ofttimes SOL. Claim is usually denied due to inadequate packing. Carriers don’t care and a “fragile” sticker is the kiss of death.

  36. dush says:

    Yep, UPS sucks.

  37. Savari says:

    Sam Adams is known for making things right…even when they aren’t expected to. I would contact the company with your woe, and see if there is something they can do for you. They might be willing to send you one they’ve been holding on to.

  38. CarlWilliams says:

    I shipped a box with UPS recently with a lot of glassware from IL to NJ. Despite the box being marked fragile all over with stickers, and being packed appropriately with padding inside, the box was delivered completely destroyed. It appeared as if someone had just jumped up and down on the box as it was half flattened and torn on the sides. Needless to say everything inside was crushed.

    All UPS boxes are automatically insured for $100 unless you opt to buy more insurance. Go to the ups website to file a claim at their website

    You will need the tracking number for the package (it is located on the UPS sticker on the box itself. Also contact the actual store from where it was sent so they are aware of the problem as well. They will be the ones who will send you reimbursement.

    Within a week someone from UPS had contacted me and apologized for the damage. They asked me to send over approximate costs of what was in box to the store from where the package was sent (pictures and prices from were sufficient for them) and within another 2 weeks they sent me a check for $115, which actually exceeded their own insurance policy.

    Sorry to hear about your beer, I’ve been meaning to try the Utopia – but UPS was very good to me in getting things taken care of and I am sure they will for you too.

  39. jefeloco says:

    As others have have said, it is called “Utopias”, not Utopia.

    This makes me sad since it is prohibited in Idaho.


  40. common_sense84 says:

    They owe you 150, and you can go buy another bottle.

    What is the problem here?

  41. ap0 says:

    I worked for UPS in college, and I’d have to see how the bottle was packaged prior to saying whether or not the OP was to blame. When you ship with any common carrier, you need to package it VERY WELL. Not a thin layer of bubble wrap — at least a couple inches of padded packaging material. I slung boxes for three years and broke a lot of stuff (a poorly packaged toilet comes to mind), but never on purpose. Despite what you may think, almost no one there damages stuff intentionally (there are always exceptions). I have to imagine that this box was poorly packaged to begin with, and unfortunately them’s the breaks when you ship fragile, poorly-packaged goods through UPS.

  42. jaredwilliams says:

    that shit goes for like 250 right now since it’s out until 2012

  43. BoneThugg77 says:

    As others have noted, it is against policy to ship booze via UPS (or FedEx, or DHL, etc) unless you are a licensed alcohol distributor. Which you are not. If you try to use the US postal service, it’s illegal.

    I trade homebrew and rare beers, typically via UPS. I’ve never had a single bottle break. Nor has a nosy employee bothered me about the contents, so I haven’t had to use the “collectible glassware” lie. If you apply yourself, you can smother a 22oz. bottle in bubblewrap until it will bounce off the floor. It looks ridiculous, and you’ll use a honking f^^kton of tape and wrap, but if you’re sending a rare $100+ bottle it’s worth it.

    If it breaks, though, you will not get reimbursed no matter how much insurance you bought.

  44. DH405 says:

    You can usually buy them on eBay. It’s expensive, but it works. A sealed ’09 seems to go for starting at $400.

  45. Penn20 says:

    It obviously wasn’t wrapped very well if it broke. People are amazing – it’s not like packages and freight are beamed from coast to coast or around the world. To read these stories it seems people expect items to be delivered on a silk pillow and only have to pay $5.00 for that to occur.

    • Britt says:

      Anything shipped UPS Ground goes through miles of bumpy road and conveyor-belts. Packages are dropped and tossed. If it can’t survive the treatment, pay extra and ship air.

  46. doobiewondersmoke says:

    UPS is notorious for this. My wife ordered 2 champagne flukes for our wedding. They were sent out just fine, but then the delivery got obliterated them (UPS description, not mine) right before he/she was supposed to deliver the package. I try to avoid UPS like the plague for the simple fact they seem to just kick and throw their boxes around. What can brown do for you?

  47. Tank Fuzzbutt says:

    Warehouse manager here. We receive packages all day long through multiple carriers but ship out primarily through UPS. I don’t need to go into details but when I order for myself I always choose Fed-ex. Never UPS.

  48. Penn20 says:

    This is a bottle of beer we are talking about, right ?

  49. mblitch says:

    The commenters are correct in that you will have no claim. You violated probably at minimum state law for shipping alcohol but also the rules of the carrier.

    Another issue is that you should have foreseen the potential for breakage and should have taken steps to ensure that is was packed properly (usually more expensive), but in the least it should have been in something that could have contained the liquid in case of breakage.

    I am glad that if this had to have happened that it was at the very end on your doorstep. If it had happened in transit, then the poor packing job could have ruined or destroyed a lot of different packages or some very, very expensive sorting machines, at which point the carrier may have had the potential for going after the responsible party. You expensive bottle of luxury beer could have destroyed important document, someone’s wedding dress, or any number of actually irreplaceable items. before complaining to others, make sure your hands are a bit more clean next time.

  50. bosshogVSdukes says:

    UPS is by far the worst shipping company when it comes to paying claims and they’re also the worst when it comes to package handling. They have delivered hundreds of packages to my business beat to absolute hell. If you file a claim expect a song and dance, contract terms and packaging specs to be questioned. Even if you jump through all their hoops and met all their shipping criteria they will still deny a valid claim. There is no doubt they will deny your claim.

  51. Britt says:

    I work at a store that packs and ships through UPS. When I was in training, my boss would stand on every box I packaged before it left the store, including two boxes of antique figurines destined for Egypt. I figure, if you can’t stand on it, it shouldn’t be shipped ground.

    If it made it that far without breaking, I can’t believe it was the driver who broke it. If setting it down hard was all it took to break it, it should have died way back at the depot.

  52. sparc says:

    Pretty much comes down to poor packaging for a valuable item. I don’t care for UPS either, but if you value something…… make sure it’s packed twice as well as it should have been if you plan on going with UPS.

    Same goes for heavy items. UPS is notorious for destroying anything that is heavy.

  53. Destron says:

    I once ordered a computer case that was shipped to me by UPS, and the OP’s statement sounds EXACTLY what happened to me. I was in the living room, the doorbell rang, I heard a massive thud on the step and I opened the door in time to see the truck pulling away. The plastic bezel on the front of the case was destroyed. And this WAS a package that had fragile stickers on it, AND required a signature. He did not collect my signature. So I filed a claim, got a replacement shipped, and again they did not get my signature. This time the damn thing arrived looking like it had been mauled by a tiger, and was again trashed. When I filed the second claim I just told the company I wanted a refund if they would not ship fed-ex, so they did. Package arrived in perfect shape AND the guy waited at the door to get my signature.

  54. mdoneil says:

    I gave no idea why anyone ships UPS. I have almost without fail been disappointed by UPS. I don’t even buy things if the only shipping method is UPS. I tell merchants that only use UPS why I am not buying from them is because UPS is unreliable.

  55. John from Huntersville says:

    As has been mentioned – inadequate packaging is the reason the bottle broke. If you ship UPS, and can’t drop your package from at least 6 feet onto concrete without breaking it, you haven’t packaged it properly.

    If UPS wasn’t told that the package contained alcohol, UPS will pay no claims for the bottle. It’s difficult to ship alcohol legally.

  56. bigcountrybaloo says:

    Also, in addition to most shipping companies requiring alcohol shippers to be licensed distributors, the standard drop test requires a package and it’s contents to survive a drop of at least 36″-48″. Also, why would you think it to be a good idea to ship a rock hard item like a hard drive in the same package as a fragile bottle?

  57. diagoro says:

    UPS may be bad, and I’ve had numerous items stolen via Fedex (packages that were marked delivered to relatives, yet they never were. Gas cards stolen at shipping centers, that were used a few blocks from the Fedex center).

    The worst experience has been with DSL. I worked for Samsung, large display dept. We had a 60″ shipped from New York to the west coast. It arrived with serious damage, the box was mauled and screen had major cracks. We refused the delivery, telling them to return it. A month later DSL tried to deliver it again, as though it had sat in their warehouse the whole time. Again it was denied. A month after that, a third attempt was made, with more damage than originally. I’m guessing they were hoping ‘anyone’ would sign without realizing the damage, just to get out of their insurance obligation (which would have been $7,000+)…..

  58. nalts says:

    Maybe UPS will toss in a free t-shirt to make it better.

  59. Putaro says:

    When I was in high school (a long time ago) I took delivery of a load of supplies for the science labs. The load was delivered by some small shipping company. The driver started chucking packages (with “Fragile” stickers all over them) out of the truck onto the concrete and I expressed some concern. He looked at me and said “If it was really fragile they wouldn’t ship it by truck”

  60. Puddy Tat says:

    Quit you whining it was worth $150 at time of purchse thats what it was worth when it landed at the door step!

    Deal with it.

  61. Kitten Mittens says:

    Sounds like the OP packed it poorly and needs to contact Sam Adams. They’re a great company and will likely accommodate him if at all possible (even though they don’t have a duty to do so).

  62. chirish1025 says:

    UPS is just horrible. I have had them leave packages at other apartment buildings (Not my own), say they tried to deliver when they didn’t because I was here waiting for said package and leave signature required items at my buildings unsecure doorway without even ringing the buzzer. OP make sure you include a bill for your time as well as the items. And Consumerist Nation know that UPS is one of the worst carriers that you can hire. They need their own special Suck at Service award

  63. lyllydd says:

    Um, yeah. You used UPS.
    This is the company known for hiding packages of delicate computer parts under a bush 200 feet from the door, half burying them in mud.
    This is the company whose drivers toss a box from a computer company over a fence in an attempt to break a distance record.
    This is the company that lets a package of time-sensitive documents sit in their facility for up to a week, then turns it around and ships it back to the sender.
    You used them to ship something that was both time-sensitive and fragile.
    I almost feel sorry for you. Almost.