Tutorial for Shipping Beer
There have been a lot of questions as of late pertaining to shipping beer.
I decided to photograph my process and post a tutorial to help. My methods may not be the same as everybody else uses, but I haven't had a broken bottle yet.
Assemble all of your supplies: bubble wrap, tape, box, beer, scissors, etc. I usually use a 14x14x14 box if I'm sending 22oz bottles. If I'm only sending 12oz bottles, I can get away with a 12x12x12 box. I like to use a couple different kinds of bubble wrap for maximum protection (kind of like condoms and birth control pills).
Cut out a sheet of bubble wrap long enough and wide enough to make a couple of wraps around your bottle.
Roll it. I cut the piece about the same length wide as the bottle is tall. I don't let too much overhang on the top or bottom, and I'll show you why a few steps later. Tape it in place.
Roll it again. Here is where I like to employ the larger bubble wrap. You could also just cut your original piece twice as long and wrap it continuously. Again, throw a piece of tape on there to hold it.
Once you have all of your libations wrapped in bubble wrap, stack them in the best configuration for your box. Run a few wraps of packing tape around the whole bundle to keep it all together. You want to try to keep everything in the center of the box with a good 2-3 inches of space all the way around. You want to bundle-o-beer to be suspended in the center of the box, surrounded by cushioning material (foam peanuts, bubble wrap, newspaper, bags of hops, etc)
Place your bundle of beer in a heavy duty trash bag. Tie it closed, and maybe even throw a strip of tape around it. Then I place them in another bag, upside down from the other direction. This way if a bottle does happen to break (not likely) you have a good barrier to keep the liquid from oozing all the way out through the box. You could also place each bottle individually in a Ziploc bag, thus containing the leak at it's source. Some people will seal the bottles individually in food saver bags, an idea that I really like. I just don't have a food saver, yet. We'll see if Santa has been paying attention to my hints.
Line the bottom of your box with bubble wrap (or crumbled newspaper, foam peanuts, etc). This is why I don't cut my sheets long. It's easier to stand them up and bundle them when they have a flat bottom. The bubble wrap on the bottom of the box will cushion the bottom of the bottles.
Place your bundle in the box on top of your bed of bubble wrap. Try to keep it centered in the box. Now stuff all sides with your choice of cushioning. Cram it in there tight. You want to box to be full, without much room for compression. On the other hand, you don't want to over stuff it so that it is no longer square, bulging out on the sides. You want the box to retain it's shape. Once it is all in place, put another bed of cushion on top of the beer. This protects the tops of the bottles.
Seal the box, fill out the name and address and haul ass to your courier of choice (NOT USPS!!!) and mail that beer!
Don't tell them that you're shipping beer. In my experience they are not real pushy about what's in the box. if they truly must know, tell them it's live yeast samples, salsa, barbecue sauce, etc....just something that is similar in size and weight.
Did I miss anything?
Well, I hope that this is helpful to everybody. Now, try this method out and send me some beer!:D
I vote for stickyhood on this!!!!
Thanks for doing it buddy!
I haven't shipped often, but that is pretty similar to what I do. The only thing I do extra is put each bottle in a gallon zip-lock bag. Just in case there is a broken bottle, it shouldn't get onto the other bottles.
I definately overdo it when I ship. I'm sure Talley will be able to attest to that when he gets the bottle of The Dissident I sent him.
Amazing sticky worthy tut Talley
Nice work. This thread came in perfect timing; I'm shipping beer this week for the first time and was going to start looking for threads to answer some of the questions I had.
I'm putting in another vote for stickeyhood. I'm interested in sending some of my Car Cover Holiday Ale to my buddy and this post answered all of my questions about shipping brews.
Nice job Tallymonster!!
Stuck it is!
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