Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magic Hat has won me for life!

As you may have noticed, I like beer. I like beer so much that later today I plan to bottle 5 gallons of it. Next weekend I will brew 5 more gallons, which should be ready to drink just in time for Christmas. For the last few years now, I have been using my bonus day off to celebrate "beer Friday" while the rest of America makes me ashamed with their behavior on "black Friday." But I digress.

Even though most of the time the amount of home brew I have on hand can be measured in gallons, I do still buy the occasional beer. I definitely have favorite breweries, and seasonal beers that I look forward to each year. Every year I buy at least 4 12-packs of Magic Hat, each of their 4 seasonal mixes, in order to try all of their "Odd Notion" series. I really like their brewing style, and they use the Odd Notion series to showcase some pretty interesting brews that they've been playing around with. They take risks with this series. Last winter's notion was a pleasingly sour Belgian ale, and if memory serves they've also done a barley ale, some interesting wheats, and various beers with unexpected ingredients. This is a company that regularly brews their summer ale with beet juice, so you know you're in for an interesting and bold treat when they share their experiments! Best of all, after I've tried each new Notion, I can go to the website to find out what it is, give my feedback, and read through the other feedback.

As you can see I look forward to these, so imagine my sadness when I tried the Fall Odd Notion and it was BAD. I don't mean, "not to my taste," or they used an ill-advised ingredient. I mean it had gone off. Now in the long run, this was super instructional, because as a brewer I've read through the various descriptions of what can go wrong with a batch of beer and what each problem tastes like, but it's difficult to truly describe a flavor in words. Now I know one of them!

I contacted Magic Hat because, given their quirky emails (yes, I'm on the mailing list), their willingness to share their experiments, and their desire for customer feed back, I figured they would genuinely like to know that something had gone wrong with a batch.

They responded right away, shared with me what had gone wrong (again, great information for my own brewing) and then offered to comfort me with swag.

Within a week or two, I got a lovely package of cool beer stuff. Behold:

Magic Hat loves me!

Not only am I comforted, but I will be their customer for life!

Most of the time, when a company has truly done me wrong with piss-poor service or shoddy merchandise, I can't even get a decent apology, much less a replacement and a coupon or two for my trouble. I've almost given up complaining. Almost.

With Magic Hat I hadn't even complained. I really was just informing them that something had gotten past them, because if it was one of my brews, I'd want to know, especially if my later batches would also be at risk. Even so, they immediately explained and offered what they called a "care package." How great is that?

So hooray for small businesses, and people who are able to do a job they love, who hang onto their passion for it, and truly give a damn about the people who ultimately use and enjoy their product!

So if you like beer, go pick up some Magic Hat and think of me. The winter Odd Notion is great! I'll be raising a #9 every year on my birthday, 09-09.

Thanks Magic Hat!


Emily said...

Ah, it's so important to provide good customer service. Sounds like Magic Hat knows how to go above and beyond--I'm very impressed with the swag!
Any company that makes this kind of effort deserves to be supported--I'll be bringing MH to all holiday parties this year. Thanks!

Mary Ellen said...

Nice loot. Almost worth taking a swig of swamp water.