A Study in Good Customer Service: New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing Atomic Pumpkin

It’s Labor Day and I want to take a moment to share an awesome experience I had with New Belgium Brewing.

Have you ever been in a huge hurry at the store because your kids are picking at each other and, frankly, on the verge of making a terrible scene? That was me a few weeks ago. I had spent a good deal of my birthday presents (money and gift cards) on my kids – as I tend to do – but walking through the grocery store to grab a few necessary items (a.k.a. things the kids needed for school that I was only made aware of that day). Lo and behold, I pass a display of *gasp* pumpkin beers.

I stopped and backtracked a few steps.  What made me take a brief break in the insanity that was my day? Why, VooDoo Ranger Special Edition Atomic Pumpkin beer, of course.

New Belgium Brewing Atomic Pumpkin

They had me at VooDoo Ranger. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably know that I enjoy my fair share of beer. You probably also know that my parents brew (if you don’t, check them out at Fisher’s Follies). We LOVE VooDoo Ranger and whenever they visit, it’s what we drink. I saw Atomic Pumpkin and thought – YESSSSSSS! Cinnamon and pumpkin goodness in a VooDoo Ranger beer? My day just got better.

Or not.

Where It All Went Wrong

Have I mentioned the long day? So, I got the kids off to my ex’s house for the night, worked for a few more hours, finally settled in to have a beer and enjoy my night. Crack open an Atomic Pumpkin expecting cinnamony-pumpkiny goodness. The initial taste on my tongue brought me great joy, just as expected. Then, not so much. In that moment where the aftertaste kicks in, I realized that the brewer’s idea of Atomic Pumpkin and mine diverge.

I raced out to the kitchen to look over the box and sure enough, there in small print beneath Atomic Pumpkin, I see the words I fear – Habanero Chili Peppers. The zip is NOT from cinnamon as much as peppers. Which I’m allergic to. Sigh. Pop a Benadryl and no more beer for me. Let me be clear, not only am I allergic to peppers, I felt the zip from the peppers sort of ruined what would have been a great beer.

Note to self: when selecting beer, read the fine print EVERY time.

New Belgium Brewing
Read the fine print.


I should have taken a few extra minutes to check the ingredients and that’s totally my bad. But, as I noted, my day was shit to begin with and when I think “atomic” I think “atomic fireballs” and that means cinnamon in my mind. I ran this incident past a number of friends and family who all agreed. My mom suggested I reach out to New Belgium – which I did. Let me preface this by saying, I did not expect anything. I simply left feedback about my experience and indicated how disappointed I was in the beer.

The Response from New Belgium Brewing

Color me surprised. While I expected nothing, I actually received a very nice email from Katy Iengo (a QA rep for the company).

New Belgium Brewing responded!


Seriously? I still cannot believe I got such a timely, polite response! What’s more, they weren’t done with the follow-up! Just a few days later, I received this package in the mail…

Delivery from New Belgium Brewing

That’s right, a New Belgium Brewing t-shirt, sticker, and check for $10. Guess what I’m spending it on? That’s right, more VooDoo Rangers, or maybe Imperials, I don’t know, I’ll decide when I get there. If you don’t drink New Belgium now, give them a try. When a company knows how to do customer service right AND makes a great product, we should stick with them and show them how much we love it!