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Old 12-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default shipping home brew

Question for all you guys! My father in law lives in North Dakota and I live in Washington State, my question is how do I ship it to him? And do I have to worry about the bottles getting shaken up? Creating a bottle bomb?

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Old 12-23-2012, 07:28 AM   #2
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It's illegal to ship alcohol via the US Postal Service (although I think I recall reading that might change, but as far as I know it's still illegal). It is NOT illegal to ship via FedEx or UPS, but it's technically against their policies if you're not a licensed distributor (at least as of my last knowledge). That said, I've shipped via UPS without issue. Just wrap them in ziplock bags just in case, then bubble wrap the hell out of them. If you're not worried about a bottle bomb while at home, I doubt it'll be an issue while shipping, but whoever's recieving will probably want to give them time to settle. I've always filled out the online form and printed my own shipping label and never been asked the contents. But I know others have used "live yeast samples in glassware" or "collectible glassware" if asked and they've been fine (probably depends on who you're talking to).

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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I've shipped using FedEx Ground with no issues. Just make sure you package VERY well with bubble wrap, carpet, styrofoam....basically what ever you got. Don't tell them it's beer. I always tell them they are old glass beer bottles I sold on ebay and away they go.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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UPS Policy for shipping beer is as follows:
UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.

I contacted my local UPS store and asked how to legally ship beer. They said most UPS stores are licensed to ship beer. The recipient must be 21 years old and available to sign for the package. It cost a few extra bucks, but you can eliminate any nervousness about breaking a company policy (UPS/FedEX) or the law (USPS).

As far a packaging goes: I wrap each bottle in just enough bubble wrap to go around the bottle once. I then put each bottle in its own zip lock bag. I crumple up newspapers and but a tight layer at the bottom of the shipment box and then stand all the bottles upright. I put crumpled newspapers in between each bottle so that they do not touch each other (clanking equals breaking). I then put more crumpled newspapers or some packaging air bags on the top and seal up the box.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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A couple other minor tips - make sure you ship ground, especially this time of year. Beer will freeze if shipped air. Also, its best to ship on a Monday, so there's less risk of it sitting on a truck or in a warehouse over a weekend (or so I'm told).

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