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Old 09-23-2012, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default Souther Tier = Poor customer service.

In regard to Souther Tier brewery located in Lakewood Ny, famous for their Pumking Ale, we decided to get a group of four people together for a tour. Their tour limit is 20 per session, in which we were told their 5PM session is the least busy. When calling the person stated we should arrive an hour early to be safe, and they do not do reservations. So to play it safe we were there and hour and a half ahead of time and it was completely sold out.

We drove over an hour travel each way only to be turned away.

Regardless of how good thier product is, I don;t think myself of any of the others will consider buying their products based on how we were treated.

The fact there is only 3 sessions only on satuardays is not my concern. Being told to show up an hour ahead of time to be safe was a total lie and misinformation on their part. If it truly was that busy then all they would have had to state is be here 2-3 hours early and we could have worked it out, but again bad info being given out on their part.

Microbrewery with a marcobrewery type attitiude. Screw our loyal fans for lots of profit and marketing........

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:05 AM   #2
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Sounds like sour grapes.

You really think they said, Let's give this guy 1/2 the heads up he needs just so we can screw with him?

I get you're upset you didn't get on the tour, but...

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
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I mean, i totally understand your frustration.... but seriously, you think that's that impossible that they gave you what was normally very good advice and then happened to have a few extra people show up on that particular day?

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:54 AM   #4
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Southern tier is awesome. Been there countless times - yes, they're growing fast, but your criticism is unfair. Sorry for your bad experience, but you're the vocal minority here and I can't let you risk tarnishing a great brewery and invaluable local asset. To anyone reading this - come to STB - you won't be disappointed.

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Old 09-23-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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I am not sure of the vocal minority. We had a ton in stake for that day and planned for it a long time so we could all make it in time. So when I asked if other people there if they were local and if we could buy their tour, one local couple said, "nope, this is our 4th try and we finally got here just in time." I asked another group and they said they were there 2 hours early and missed it the first time, and this time got it. So I didn;t bother asking anyone else.

If I wasn't getting a line of B.S, then this is just overall poor. If the tours are in that high of demand, then it is just poor business overall to not offer more tours or to tell the people upfront to allow 2-3 hours in advance.

I will call monday and see if they can make special considerations, like possibly charge an extra fee to make reservations. If not, then they have lost my business entirely.

Insurance, liability, manpower, etc, can all be worked out if you truly have that high of demand of fans regarding your brewery. Not willing to work with your customers with their needs is where I have an issue.

Oh, and I will add, I am not a wine person at all, but all the winery tours I have taken (which are minimal) have never, ever been a problem. Some winerys were big and some were small and there was just never an issue whatsoever.

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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Did you pay or something? Because I must be missing something. First come, first served. Yeah, maybe the person on the phone underestimated the time you should have arrived. Guess you could have been a total ass (like the people camping out for the I-phone) and gotten there a day before. But, screw it....it's just a brewery tour, not the gates of heaven. I drive an hour each way to work, so your not going to get a lot of sympathy for having to drive that far. Hell, I would've just made a day of it and hit a good bar/pub for lunch and called it a day. Relax......Francis.

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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You should try to get in on Surly Brewery tour!

You have to sign up online, 3 weeks before. They may or may not open registration at 8 AM. It may not be until 5 PM. But when they do, it instantly fills up. Some people have been trying for years! They will not take groups, or let you sign up for more than 4 people. And they specifically tell you NOT to show up unless you have actually got your name in, and NOT to call them. No matter what. (They aren't even nice about it! )

Sorry you didn't get in, but that's a risk for a "no reservations" system. What I would have done, if the last session is at 5 PM, I would have went for the first or second, and then waited for the third. No way would I have only tried for the one tour, the last of the day! That probably works out sometimes, but I wouldn't risk that.

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
Did you pay or something? Because I must be missing something. First come, first served. Yeah, maybe the person on the phone underestimated the time you should have arrived. Guess you could have been a total ass (like the people camping out for the I-phone) and gotten there a day before. But, screw it....it's just a brewery tour, not the gates of heaven. I drive an hour each way to work, so your not going to get a lot of sympathy for having to drive that far. Hell, I would've just made a day of it and hit a good bar/pub for lunch and called it a day. Relax......Francis.
Bingo - free sh!t is popular... Buy some beers/fill a growler and call it good.

I have driven 2 hours one way to fill a growler with beer (well, OK, my awesome wife did ), but a tour... relax and have a Southern Tier beer or three.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:41 AM   #9
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Southern Tier is awesome and they were one of the friendliest breweries I have ever been to

free tours are always tough to get into

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #10
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Some places don't even offer tours...

And I may be in the minority here, but a brewery tour is nice, but after a few, you've pretty much seen it all. My favorites have been one-on-one tours with small brewers, like Tom at Jamesport in Ludington, and "Chumley" at The Vierling in Marquette. The best part has been the people, not the brewery.

At a certain point a brewery will just get too big to give a proper tour. New Holland was a good tour, but it was led by a lady who knew less about brewing than I did. But the swag and beer made it worth going on.

I think Founders will do tours if you have a large enough group and make a date in advance, but I'm not sure if that's still their policy since the expansion.

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