??? About Legal ramifications for homebrew mailing.

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

pen25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
972
Reaction score
3
Location
tulsa, ok
i wouldnt mail beer. but i have others mail live yeast sample's in suspension.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
13,304
Reaction score
155
Location
Phoenix
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. Don't get insurance, etc.
#3.... just move.
Deny everything.
 

chillHayze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
1,593
Reaction score
18
Location
Western PA
I shipped through UPS once and a package broke. To make this even better I used out shipping department at my company due to the huge discount we receive. It was part of a beer swap and as such contained a nice letter with a "Hi, how ya doin?" followed by an explanation and recipes of the contained beers. UPS faxed this letter back to my office where the reciptionist picked it up, read it, and said "WTF?". Luckily for me neither the courier nor my company saw it as a big deal, and all that was lost were a few ounces of homebrew and some nice flip-top bottles. I figure it could have been worse... Needless to say I don't ship from work anymore.
 

Mutilated1

Beer Drenched Executioner
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
26
Location
Hoover, Alabama USA
Here is how you safely do it through the mail.

Write a fake address in the place where the mail to address goes. Write the address where you want to send the beer where the return address goes. Don't put any postage at all on the package, and drop it off in the mail.

Now when the mail man notices that the package doesn't have any postage on it, you know what he does ? He returns it to the return address!!

So not only do you send the beer where it needs to go without getting your name or address involved, you do it without buying any stamps!
 

velotech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
220
Reaction score
2
Location
Highlands Ranch, CO
My buddies and I ship homebrew to each other all the time using FedEx & UPS. I ship bombers in boxes w/ packaging I receive from a wine club. I've never had a problem and even had a bottle of wine break in one of them. At least we've never lost any homebrew!
 

ChshreCat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
11,517
Reaction score
579
Location
Camano Island
Here is how you safely do it through the mail.

Write a fake address in the place where the mail to address goes. Write the address where you want to send the beer where the return address goes. Don't put any postage at all on the package, and drop it off in the mail.

Now when the mail man notices that the package doesn't have any postage on it, you know what he does ? He returns it to the return address!!

So not only do you send the beer where it needs to go without getting your name or address involved, you do it without buying any stamps!
The only flaw in this plan is that the mailman isn't going to be dumb enough to think someone in Seattle drove to LA to mail a package to LA. :D It would only work if you're mailing it across town and then it's just as easy to drive it over!
 
OP
cowstick

cowstick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
62
Reaction score
1
Location
Minneapolis Mn
I was asking because a beer pass in another site has shut down because of leagal matters involving the beer pass. It was a member started beer pass and now that member has gotten into trouble because of it.

I think that the gov' is just pissed cause they havent gotten their piece of the pie because its home brew and no one is selling it so theres no taxes to pay on it. Except our state taxes when we buy the stuff we need for the brew.

Thanks for the info. Ill be putting it to good use.
 

yeasty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
350
Reaction score
3
Location
bottom of a bottle
i think shipping a bottle or two to a friend is very different than starting some sort of shipping club and doing it all the time.
 

carl spakler

Banned
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
294
Reaction score
2
Location
MA
The only flaw in this plan is that the mailman isn't going to be dumb enough to think someone in Seattle drove to LA to mail a package to LA. :D It would only work if you're mailing it across town and then it's just as easy to drive it over!


But there were only one flaw in that plan... ;) USPS won't accept anything over 13 ounces without you walking up to the window and handing them the package. The weight of a single bottle of beer (bottle, liquid, cap) along with the packing materials will weigh more than 13 ounces.

That aside, an unstamped and suspicious package as this method would generate is likely to get it destroyed, or the bomb squad called...or both. Once the bomb squad is on the scene you better hope they can't trace it back to you even if it is just beer.

Sam Adams does their annual Longshot contest, take a look at what they post for shipping rules. I imagine a publicly held company used their legal team to carefully review what they post and suggest people do to enter their contest.
 

0202

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
547
Reaction score
11
Location
Atlanta
You should also consult your state laws. I believe it is illegal in
some states to ship any alcohol in our out of the state unless
you are a distributor or have a special license.
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,077
Reaction score
58
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
Here's the directions for the "Longshot contest" mentioned above

It is not against any federal laws to ship your entries via a privately owned shipping company for analytical purposes. However, IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHIP ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES VIA THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. Private shipping carrier’s rules and regulations concerning the shipment of beer or alcoholic beverages vary. We strongly encourage you to check with your shipping carrier prior to shipping your entry. It is solely the entrant’s responsibility to follow all applicable laws and regulations.
 

Loweface

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
1,037
Reaction score
11
Location
Limerick, Ireland
It is not against any federal laws to ship your entries via a privately owned shipping company for analytical purposes.
Analytical purposes eh? Does that include using a human analyser???

Not that this thread is much use to me anyway :D
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
25
Location
South River, NJ
Here is how you safely do it through the mail.

Write a fake address in the place where the mail to address goes. Write the address where you want to send the beer where the return address goes. Don't put any postage at all on the package, and drop it off in the mail.

Now when the mail man notices that the package doesn't have any postage on it, you know what he does ? He returns it to the return address!!

So not only do you send the beer where it needs to go without getting your name or address involved, you do it without buying any stamps!
that would be mail fraud and can land you in jail easier than just shipping the ****ing bottles.... not to mention its called being a cheap SOB.
 

McKBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,186
Reaction score
43
Location
Hayden
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.
Happened to me with the Secret Santa swap. Beer froze, leaked and apparently my double bagging still wasn't enough. Made it all the way to MD, only to be sent back. It was unpacked and inspected on that end, they just boxed it in a new box and sent it back.

On this end, the guy at the UPS store called my wife, said it's against the law, we can turn you in, etc... etc... I went to pick up the package, cover story ready and nothing was said to me. Still it scared me enough that I personally will not be sending beer unless I order it from a business and have it sent the right way.
 
Top