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.