Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good Customer Service is Just an Email Away

The Germans are proud of their beer. The world is proud of Germany’s beer. The gods of wine and beer are proud of Germany’s beer. And many little towns across Germany have their own breweries. The smallest, most dilapidated brewery in Germany could still make a better beer than any giant beer corporation in the U.S. The Germans were making beer long before Columbus was even born, and long before he had ever approached Ferdinand and Isabella about the possibility of sailing west. The King and Queen probably sent Columbus off with his ships' holds full of German beer. At Columbus' farewell party, it is rumored that the following conversation was overheard.

“Ahhh, those Germans. Their beer is good, yes my queen?”

“The best, Ferdinand. The best. Ahhh…there he is, the guest of honour. Chris! Come here, I bid you.”

“Your Grace,” he bowed, “I must declare again how deeply indebted I am to the mercy and benevolence of your Worship, to that of the King as well, for bestowing upon me the great honour of sailing on this journey for the noble and righteous flag of Spain.”

“Right." Isabella was tipsy and not in the mood for Chris' sycophantic groveling. She held up a brown bottle. "Chris, do they have beer like this in Italy?”

“No, Your Highness. The Germans have a way.”

“Very well then, you shall have a case of German beer aboard all of your ships for the merriment of your officers and crew.”

“Your charity is most highly treasured by me, your humble servant. Can we make it a couple of cases, Your Majesty?”

Many years ago, in that faraway land, I had the fortune of being able to drink beer at the age of 14. Some may consider that a misfortune, but in a country where they give babies beer, it was no big thing. All of us underage Americans drank beer, and to misquote the Most Interesting Man in The World, "We didn't always drink beer, but when we did, we preferred Licher." (Licher's not-so-cool slogan, "From the heart of nature" is weak, but they've stuck with it for decades, which says something for consistency, I suppose.)

I've trolled the beer forums and found countless people pining for this brand, to include soldiers who were stationed in the region where Licher is made as far back as the early 60s. They leave comments like "Why isn't this beer in the US???? The best beer in the world and it's not in the US. Wish I can get some now," and similar whining. A few have found a bottle or two in New Jersey, but only of the wheat variety. Others had said, "No use contacting them on their website, they don't respond." I thought I should test that assertion.

So I went to Licher's website and found the "Kontakt" form and sent them a kind note, suggesting that they might make millions of dollars in the US beer market. The rumors that Licher does not respond to web inquiries are false, or maybe you just have to know how to kiss ass. I peppered my query with words like, "Surely you are aware of the popularity of your beer here in America," and "People are upset that they cannot obtain this world class beer here," and I told them they might be missing out on monstrous monetizing opportunities. That was sent last Thursday. Today in my inbox I have a reply.

Dear Dave,

Thank you very much for your mail and interest in Licher beer.

The Licher Brewery belongs to the Bitburger Brewing Group and the export business is all coordinated from Bitburg. Your e-mail was forwarded to me from the Licher Brewery.

Unfortunately we are not yet represented in the States with Licher Beer. We have plans to introduce Licher Pils beer in the near future but the negotiations are not yet finalized.

As soon as I have some more news I will let you know.

Kind regards,

Margit Mertes


And a hearty 'Danke schön' to Ms. Mertes for her prompt response, and nice job on the part of Licher to get my email into the appropriate hands. I trust we are on our way toward a healthy trade with the Bitburger Brewing Group. I don't know what sorts of red-tape are holding things up, but surely we can cut through this nonsense quickly. We have proven demand.

I like what Licher is doing with their brand. They have a balloon. They have a very nice online shop. (No sales outside of Germany, sadly.) They're sponsoring some sort of Festival in June. They of course have downloadable icons and sounds. (No, they aren't on Twitter yet.) I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they figure out how to get some of their fine product over here and really start raking in some cash. If anyone wants to help, we can start our own social media beer lobby and begin pressuring Licher to start moving on this. Or you can go to Licher's kontakt form and say "I'm hearing great things about Licher Bier. Why can't I have some in the US?"

Or maybe I'll just become a beer distributor. Cancel those as-yet-finalized negotiations, Margit. I can move this product for you.

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2 Comments:

  • Sir, Licher beer is way overrated, believe me. Lich is a rather charming little town full of medieval houses in the deep, deeeep end of Hessia (some of their gene pool was exported to the US with the aim of keeping it an English colony). They have a great public swimming pool, which is part of a natural little lake in the woods. They have an active local Karate club. But their beer is middling to mediocre. Be advised!

    By Blogger simoncito, at June 4, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

  • I have a source in New Jersey for the weizen (at least for now).
    Martin's Liquors
    3601 Route 38
    Mt. Laurel NJ 08054

    By Anonymous Chris F, at June 8, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

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