Belgium Beer Saga – Oh god, the box isn’t supposed to look like that…

“Guess what I have a notice for waiting for me at the office?”

That was what my wife said to me earlier today once she got into the office.

“Is it my beer?”

“It is. It’s… not good.”

She described a box, covered in plastic, that smelled like the floor of a bar. She noted that there was broken glass inside but some of the bottles, from what she could tell through the soaked cardboard, felt whole.

“Maybe some of them survived? I don’t want you opening them in the house.”

“We’ll see.”

Fast forward a few hours she texts me from the drive way, “Come out and carry your sad beer.” Exiting through the garage she opens the door of her car and there’s the package. It’s sitting in a USPS mail tray, wrapped in several layers of plastic. The smell hits me a moment later: stale, sour beer.


“It’s not supposed to look that way.”

I set it down on on a cooler in our garage, grab a pair of scissors, and get to work. First I get the plastic off and the smell gets worse. Despite having been in transit for a month now the paper is still wet. Not a good sign.


I carefully cut and pull away the box and it’s the one I’m actually afraid about, the one with most of my Westvelerten in it. I say some rather choice words and get unpacking. Inside I find the broken remains one of Michelle’s lambics. Oddly, it’s remains are in the center of the box. It is the only one that’s broken but a second bottle, with the cap on, is still only half full. I’m not certain how it managed that but it looked like it helped add to the mess.


All told two lost bottles out of twelve and while Michelle is bummed, she’s not heart broken about it (not the way I would’ve been).

I have no idea if any of this is any good at this point; it’s been a month out of my hands in who knows what kind of conditions, sitting in a musty tomb of cardboard soaked in rotten beer. I don’t know what temperatures they were keeping it at or what but I just have to hope. I have one of the Delirium’s in the frig now, maybe I’ll have that tonight and see if the beer is any good still.


Interesting enough, I checked the USPS tracking site with this box’s tracking number and there were no scans between “Outbound out of customs” on 10/18 and “Delivered on 11/15”. Our pet theory is that the box was being held until it stopped dripping. Maybe the other box is in a similar state. That would make me sad but at least I’d eventually get the rest of my beer.

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