Shipping beer?

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Apr 13, 2004
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I have friends across Canada and the United States .. as such, I tell them about some of our local mini-brews available here and they would love to try them as well.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for shipping regulations of beer (bottles / cans / whatever) across provinces and across states?
Ok .. that gives me some information to go on if I was in the states and shipping across state-borders.

Here in Alberta where I live, legal drinking age is 18. Other provinces the legal drinking age is 19. If I sent some of our local brews to a friend in the USA who is under the legal drinking age of 21 in her home-state, would she be considered legal to drink because the beer was purchased in Alberta - or would she be considered illegal based on her states legislation?

If she would be busted for underage drinking, I wouldn't want to send it - I'll fly her up and she could drink legally here with me in person. It would cost me $500 to fly her up and back again ... but that's a small price to pay for a friend.
Her state law would be applied. However, that doesn't mean she couldn't drink the beer. Minors are allowed to drink, generally, in their own homes with the permission of their parents. Plus nobody is going to get busted for underage drinking because they have a beer while watching television in their apartment. The arresting happens when minors try to buy beer, drink and drive, or get roudy and cause a disturbance. I have never heard of police busting into anyone's house to arrest a teenager for having a beer. They've got a lot more important things to worry about. :D
Hi NaeKid,

You'll probably enjoy this link:

I also live in Canada and have performed numerous trades via the mail. My best advice is to go Canada Post, its still not legal but I've used other shipping companies and they've either broken bottles and not delivered or, in the case of UPS, twice had the package's contents stolen though the box arrived.

Shipping across the border is a different issue altogether. I've found that American customs really don't care about checking the content provided there is something stating what it is. Canada Customs opens 50% of the inbound boxes from the USA because they like to perform paperwork and tax every items worth.

If I'm shipping to the USA, I like to combine my shipment with a trip across the border... after all, its nice to take the opportunity to check-out what's new in the bordering state, pick-up a couple of bottles of Full Sail, Stone or whatever... send off the package to a friend via US Postal Service and have avoided the Border Police in nabbing my package.

I usually put the beers, a bottle-sized box (with shipping tape, a window scraper, gloves, scarf, etc) and the newspaper in the trunk of the car that I claim are for personal consumption or "I forgot about them being in the trunk". Then when you get into the USA stop at a nearby post office and package it up in the backseat of your car by rolling the bottles in the newspaper, taping them then putting them in the box. Simple.

Have fun... beermailing if FUN! :D


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