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Old 01-05-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Questions about shipping homebrew...

I'm wondering how I can ship some of my brew to friends and family and I'm not sure what the regulations are for different carriers.

I have an account with UPS and I could probably find out myself by digging through endless policy details from different carriers, but I'm thinking you guys might have better ideas on this.

Who will ship beer? Has anyone actually shipped brew before??

Any information would be appreciated, thank you!

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Old 01-05-2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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What's the best way to pack it for shipping? Do I need to worry about freezing temperatures?

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Old 01-05-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Pack it very carefully. The best packages are ones with dividers between the bottles. Places like www.liquidsolutions.biz and Stone brewery have special boxes that they use for shipping beer bottles. If you order from them, you can reuse the packages. Otherwise, just be sure to use plenty of bubble wrap around each bottle, and fill in the voids with newspaper or packing peanuts.

I've taken to using aluminum Budweiser bottles when bottling beer for shipping. They don't break!

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Old 01-05-2008, 07:47 PM   #5
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Essentially, it's not legal, but it boils down to which agency of the government you want to run afoul of and what is the liklihood of enforcement, siezure, or civil or criminal fines.

1) It is against Federal law to ship alcohol via the USPS.
2) It's against policy to ship alcohol via Fed Ex, DHL, UPS unless you are a valid shipper of alcohol. If your package breaks, they may turn your package to your state's alcohol control board or they may return it to you, or they may dispose of it, or they may re-pack it and ship it. You are at the mercy of that employee.
3) It's undoubtedly against state law (UT inparticular) to ship beer. I read on realbeer that UT's ACB has siezed likely alcohol shipments. Google it.
4) It's against the law to ship alcohol to minors.
5) It's against the law to ship alcohol to another country without using a customs approved shipper. See beertown.org for information about their world beer contest.

So don't do #1 or #4 or #5. If you do #2, make sure your package is bulletproof. Don't identify the contents as alcohol. Dont' get insurance, etc.

#3.... just move.

Deny everything.

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Old 01-05-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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It may not be exactly legal to ship alcoholic beverages across state lines, but you can certainly ship yeast samples. Most of my yeast samples are in 12, 16, or 22 oz bottles and contain a little extra wort, just for protection. I can't help if the yeast ferment it. If the receiver decides to drink the yeast samples instead of brewing with them...who am I to stop him?

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Old 01-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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I agree with ollllo...
I shipped several packages for Christmas presents. I went with idea of making the packages bulletproof. I wrapped each bottle in bubble wrap. I put a lawn bag in the box with the idea that if one broke it might not leak. Either way I shipped 4 boxes and no bottles broke. Honestly the guys at UPS are way to busy to guess that this box may have beer in it.

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Old 01-05-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Well I just so happen to have a bunch of bubble wrap and I like the garbage bag idea to keep it from leaking if one breaks. All my "yeast samples" will be shipped within my state and should only take 1-2 days to deliver via UPS.

Thank you so much for your feedback, it's much appreciated!!

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Old 01-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #9
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Thank you, ollillo, for the idea about the garbage bag around the outside. I've sent beer--I won't tell you how, so we won't have to kill you--and it's usually made it but sometimes not. The garbage bag step would have made a world of difference. Sometimes the simplest things are the most ingenious.

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Old 01-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
It may not be exactly legal to ship alcoholic beverages across state lines, but you can certainly ship yeast samples. Most of my yeast samples are in 12, 16, or 22 oz bottles and contain a little extra wort, just for protection. I can't help if the yeast ferment it. If the receiver decides to drink the yeast samples instead of brewing with them...who am I to stop him?
I'd like to see someone laugh at you when they fined you for this.
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