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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

White Labs Customer Service Is Awesome

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White Labs recently added WLP066 London Fog Ale yeast to their Yeast Vault. This particular strain is supposed to be really good for making hazy beers and hazy IPAs in particular. I couldn't pass on this yeast so I pre-ordered a vial. If you are not familiar with the White Labs Yeast Vault here is the description directly from their website:

"We've collected strains from around the world for over 20 years and kept them locked away. Until now. Through The Vault for homebrewers, we're giving you the opportunity to open The Vault, release the yeast and get your hands on various specialty, creative, and unique strains. Most have rarely been used in commercial products, some have names you can barely pronounce, yet all are uniquely White Labs in quality and performance.
HOW IT WORKS: Place a preorder on one of specialty strains listed below. When 150 orders are received, you’ll receive an email notifying you the strain will be released along with its estimated ship date. At that time, your credit card will be charged. Don’t wait. Place an order now and get your strain delivered right to your doorstep. Keep checking back...We’ll continually add NEW strains into The Vault for homebrewers."

The original release was so successful that White Labs put WLP066 back up for another round of pre-orders quickly after the first campaign reached its goal. My pre-order was placed during the first campaign. My vial of yeast arrived in a nice insulated mailer with an ice pack to keep the yeast cold. The ice pack was still cold when it arrived in Tennessee from California. Upon opening the package I immediately smelled old beer. Think of the smell of the dregs left in the bottom of a bottle conditioned homebrew if the bottle was forgotten for a few days (we have all done it). I had never mail-ordered a White Labs vial before since my local homebrew shop carries White Labs so I wasn't sure that this was a problem although I figured that it was. The next morning after I opened the package I sent a message to White Labs on Facebook Messager and within the hour they apologized for the inconvenience. They asked me for the email that I used to place the order and promptly sent a replacement at no charge whatsoever.
Screenshot of the conversation. I don't know why I blurred my name...
White Labs did all that they could do to make this problem right. That is all that I can ask for. Things happen. White Labs provides an awesome product and they back it up with stellar customer service. I can't wait to let White Labs and all of the fine readers of HopHeadHardware.com know how WLP066 performs. I have a good feeling about this strain.