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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Shipping Beer
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:35 PM   #1
tjstromquist
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I am going to need to ship some beer for Christmas for gifts. Anyone have any good tips on the best way to accomplish this? I will be sending about 3-4 six packs of bottles from Minnesota to Mississippi

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Old 11-28-2005, 07:41 PM   #2
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pack it up well (bubble wrap) and take it to one of those "shipping" stores that accept packages for the major companies (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.)

Technically, you are not allowed to ship alcohol, but if you take it to one of those drop-off places, the chances of someone discovering that you have beer in it is probably minimized since the shipper probably won't scan/x-ray a collection of 100 packages that they picked up at "Bob's Ship-It Store".

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Old 11-28-2005, 07:53 PM   #3
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If you mark it as yeast samples or something of that nature they don't care anyway.

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Old 11-28-2005, 08:59 PM   #4
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This advice from the AHA: "Live yeast samples, for analysis only."

Bubble wrap each bottle. It's a pain, but the only practical approach.

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Old 11-28-2005, 11:34 PM   #5
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I thought it was only illegal to ship alcohol by USPS? I was under the impression that UPS, FedEx, and other non-governmental mail services were not affected by that law.

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Old 11-29-2005, 01:03 AM   #6
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It's mostly a policy thing rather than a law thing... caused by an extremely messy law thing. There's not 1 federal law on shipping alcohol (well, there may be a statute or regulation forbidding the USPS from doing it, but not private shippers), but there IS a patchwork of state laws that affect all carriers. So it's really up to the source and (especially) the destination states as to whether anyone may ship alcohol in that state. As a result, most carriers don't bother with the hassle and just forbid it by policy.

There was a supreme court case last term that should have fixed this problem but all they really said was that any rule applying to out-of-state shippers must also apply to in-state shippers; as a result, most states w/o prominent local wineries will forbid shipping alcohol because of the powerful lobby of distributors, whose profits would be affected.

If you want to determine the actual legality of it, maybe track down a local winery and ask how they deal with shipping to the various target states (in your case, Mississippi). I didn't ship anything home when I visited Napa Valley, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think the shippers are a bit more relaxed, for whatever reason, if the sender's name is the same as the name at the destination. So... take that for what it's worth.

EDIT: Ah, here's a page that summarizes the various laws. It is not a lawyer, but it says that mississippi is right out
http://www.wineintro.com/basics/shipping/

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Originally Posted by dancingbarefoot
I thought it was only illegal to ship alcohol by USPS? I was under the impression that UPS, FedEx, and other non-governmental mail services were not affected by that law.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingbarefoot
I thought it was only illegal to ship alcohol by USPS? I was under the impression that UPS, FedEx, and other non-governmental mail services were not affected by that law.
I had looked into this a couple months ago after starting a thread to see if anyone was interested in swapping homebrews. What I found after only a half hour's searching was that you (technically) needed a distributer's license to send anything across state lines, regardless of who the carrier was.

If sending the package INTRA-state, you could use anyone other than the USPS with no issues.

But, I think the rules are meant to catch big-time shippers, and not the little homebrewer sending a 6 pack to his buddy.

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Old 11-29-2005, 06:00 PM   #8
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What a legal mess!

I just know every time I go to the post office at home (in Alaska), there's a huge poster about how it's illegal to mail alcohol. Probably because they have so many problems with people trying to mail booze to the dry villages. (And the other guys don't ship to remote Alaskan villages. "You want next day delivery to where? Shaktoolik?!")

Good thing I don't need to mail beer anytime soon.

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Old 11-29-2005, 06:03 PM   #9
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your a long way from home! good thing you don't have to ship any beer.....geez!

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Old 11-30-2005, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
your a long way from home! good thing you don't have to ship any beer.....geez!
Yeah, I'm in Houston going to grad school. Looong way from home.

I *wanted* to put up a few brews at home in Alaska this summer, but then I'd have to abandon them. Can't mail 'em, and can't drive through Canada with quite that much booze. (I think the limit is two gallons per person, if I'm remembering right.)

So I waited and started once I got here. Now I'm just about to have a first tap party.
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