Helpful tips for safely packing your homebrew and craft beer, as well as deciding which shipping service to use to ship your beer. If you’ve ever brewed your own beer, you’ve probably wondered, “How do I send this to people so they can try my beer?” If you’re a craft beer fan and you moved to a new city, you’ve probably wondered, “How do I get that great beer from my favorite hometown brewery?” I used to ask myself these questions because I share a lot of homebrew.
- I also moved from Cleveland to LA, and I’m always trying to get my hands on beer from Great Lakes Brewing Company.
- ISO: Christmas Ale, btw!!) I started digging around forums, blogs, and asking friends what they do when they are trying to ship beer.
- After searching for answers, my research lead me to the conclusion that there’s really no wrong way to ship your beer.
As long as you get your bottles and cans safely from point A to point B, then you are doing it right. It’s not unlike brewing beer. There are plenty different malts, hops, and yeasts you can use to make beer, but a long as you’ve got the right supplies and follow some basic instructions, then you’ll get the results you want! What I written below are the basic instructions for how to pack and ship your beer.
- Corrugated cardboard box
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Zip lock bags
You can find all these materials at your local Staples, Office Max, or Walmart, and they will get the job done. You can wrap your bottles and cans in bubble wrap, tape the bubble wrap together, then put your bubble-wrapped beer in a zip lock bag. Once you’ve got your beer packed up, then you can put the beer in your corrugated cardboard box.
Add some padding to make sure your beers don’t shift around, and tape up your box. Apply your shipping label, and drop off your box at your local courier. A lot of beer gets shipped this way, and I still ship some of my canned beer this way. The drawback to shipping beer with these basic materials is how well you package your beer comes down to your personal preference and comfort.
Maybe you want to over protect your beer, and you use a bunch of bubble wrap. Great! Your beer will make it in one piece, but you are taking up a lot of space with bubble wrap. Maybe you want to get as many beers in a box as possible, so you use less bubble wrap.
- Crafty Shipping! These are my beer shippers! I made these because I wanted packaging material custom made for shipping my 12oz bottles of homebrewed beer. These inserts work great for homebrewers who are shipping beer to family and friends, as well as judging competitions. It also works great for shipping your standard 12oz bottle size too. I sell these on my site as well as on Amazon, and of the hundreds of people who have purchased and used these shippers, every bottle has arrived safely at it’s destination.
- Whale Pod and Beer Shippers, Both of these shippers are meant for shipping cans. A lot of breweries have started canning their beer, and putting those beers in 16oz cans. Both Whale Pod and Beer Shippers are great for folks who are trading beer, as well as breweries who want to ship their 16oz cans.12oz cans are also an option for shipping with these containers. Both of these shipper options are available on their respective websites. Although I haven’t shipped cans with these products before, I’ve see a lot of people who do, and they look like they work great!
- Options for Big Bottles, If you are shipping 22oz bottles (bombers), or even 750mL bottles, then there are a few specialty options for you as well. Uline has a variety of sizes for wine shippers, which should fit your 750mL bottles nicely, and if you add some extra padding, then your bombers should fit in this packaging as well. The drawback is that you need to buy 25 shippers from Uline at a time, and pay for shipping. All that can get pretty expensive when you start to add up the costs. The other option is to look for wine shippers either on Amazon, or even at a local packaging supply store. Your local liquor store may even have a wine shippers for sale that you can use for your beer.
Courier Options Now that we’ve discussed how to package your beer, let’s discuss with whom to ship your brews. The three most common options people use are the Post Office, UPS, and FedEx. I’ve used all three of these options myself, so let’s dig into each service as it pertains to shipping your homebrew and craft beer.
- USPS I general, I would not recommend shipping with the Post Office.
- Shipping beer with USPS is strictly prohibited, and if you get caught shipping beer you can be charged with a felony.
- That being said, I’ve never heard of anyone getting charged with a felony from USPS for shipping beer.
- At most I’ve heard of people being issued warnings, but what most likely happens is that your beer will be thrown out.
The only way the Post Office will find out if you are shipping beer is if one of your bottles or cans breaks and spills over into the package. Wet boxes will be inspected and disposed of if it contains beer. Also, if you try to ship via media mail to save some money, there is a chance the post office will open your package to make sure you are actually shipping items such as books.
If they find beer, then your beer will be shipped directly to the garbage or to some lucky postal worker’s fridge. Despite the fact that I would discourage shipping beer with USPS, people still do it. I get it. USPS does have the lowest shipping rates if you are sending a package within your region. I also have a personal issue with the Post Office’s no beer policy when it comes to shipping homebrewed beer.
My logic goes like this: If making homebrewed beer is legal in every state, and you don’t need a license to make homebrewed beer, then why would it be illegal to ship homebrewed beer with USPS??? Regardless of how I see this issue, the Post Office will most likely treat homebrewed beer like craft beer and dispose of it if they find you shipping beer with their service.
- UPS and FedEx For the purposes of shipping beer, UPS and FedEx are about equal with one another,
- UPS rates can be slightly less if shipping locally and regionally, while FedEx can be more economical if you’re shipping across the country.
- Whether you ship with one or the other comes down to personal preference, and most likely which courier has a location closest to you.
Also, because both UPS and FedEx aren’t run by the federal government, you won’t be breaking any laws if ship beer with them. If a bottle or can breaks with UPS or FedEx, they will dispose of your package, and you will be issued a warning, but you won’t be charged with a felony.
- Package your beer at home. If you aren’t using Crafty Shipping, Whale Pods, or Beer Shippers for you bottles or cans, then make sure you use bubble wrap, tape, and zip lock bags for your beer.
- Print a shipping label at your home, and apply to your package. Make sure your dimensions and weight are accurate.
- Drop the package off at your local UPS or FedEx location. If an associate asks what’s in your package, do not tell them it’s beer. Even if your are shipping homebrewed beer to a certified homebrew competition (which is legal by the way), chances are this associate won’t let you ship your package. You can tell them it’s “gifts” or “souvenirs”. These short answers are usually enough to satisfy their question.
UPS and FedEx also have flat rate boxes, so if you plan on shipping a lot of beer over a long distance, then this could be a great option to save some money on your shipping. Just make sure you follow the three steps above. Beer on a Plane If you are traveling and want to bring beer on your flight, then you can pack beer into your checked bag.
- This is completely legal, and it doesn’t matter which airline your use.
- When I found this out, I was shocked.
- I always imagined the TSA as being very strict, but if you are putting beer in your checked bag, then you are all good.
- This most likely has to do with wine being allowed to be checked in your luggage, and beer just piggy-backed on that trend.
If you are putting beer in your checked bag, the biggest thing you want to guarantee is that the beer are packaged safely. Use your ziplock bags, wrap them in some of your clothing, and make sure your beer is near the middle of your luggage. I don’t ship much beer in my checked bag, but when I have, all my bottles and cans have arrived safely.
- I mostly don’t want to risk all my clothing getting covered in beer in case a bottle or can bursts.
- That being said, good packaging is your friend.
- Double zip lock if that makes you feel more comfortable.
- Your luggage will get tossed around, and be exposed to rapid elevation changes, so more packaging for your beer won’t hurt.
Just make sure you are still leaving room in your luggage for other items like clothing and toiletries 😉 Recap Ok, that’s a good chunk of info, so let’s review quickly:
- Good packaging is your friend. You can never really over-protect your beer during shipping, but you can definitely under-protect your beer and risk having it spill everywhere. Find good packaging material, and protect your bottles and cans during shipping.
- Use discretion when shipping your beer. Package and apply shipping labels at home before dropping your package off at UPS or FedEx. I wouldn’t recommend shipping with USPS because shipping beer with them is explicitly against the law.
- Shipping beer on a plane in your checked luggage is legal. Make sure your beer is well packaged so in case a bottle or can breaks, your luggage won’t get covered in beer.
I hope all this information helps! I’ve learned all these lessons from shipping beer myself. In case I missed something, please comment below. Cheers, and happy shipping! Previous
- 1 Is it possible to ship beer?
- 2 Can I ship my homebrew to a friend?
- 3 Can I check beer in my luggage?
- 4 Can you ship beer through Amazon?
- 5 Can you put alcohol in a checked bag?
- 6 How do you ship drinks in the mail?
- 7 How do you pack beer in a suitcase?
- 8 Can I send a bottle of wine to a friend?
- 9 Can I send beer to a friend in Canada?
Can I send beer to a friend?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) prohibits sending alcoholic beverages through the mail, but you can ship alcohol via couriers, such as FedEx or UPS if you’re a licensed alcohol shipper. The laws around shipping liquor in the US are quite complicated, so if you’re considering setting up a business that ships alcohol, either within the US or internationally from the US, you should do plenty of research first.
Is it possible to ship beer?
UPS only accepts packages containing beer from shippers who are licensed under applicable law and who have been approved for and entered into a contract with UPS for the transportation of beer. Shippers must possess a valid retailer or brewery license in their home states, and where applicable obtain a license or permit in the destination state.
Note : UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (wine and spirits) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing wine or spirits, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of wine or spirits as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship wine or spirits.
UPS accepts shipments of wine or spirits only among and between selected states. For more information on shipping spirits or wine visit How To Ship Wine and How To Ship Spirits pages. All beer shippers must enter into a UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers.
If you’re interested in becoming an approved beer shipper, schedule a free, 15-minute consultation with a UPS expert. Book a session today, All beer shippers must provide any required state licenses to UPS. State license must be submitted to [email protected] The ability to ship beer depends upon the nature of the shipper’s license to sell beer, and the laws of the destination states.
UPS permits the following types of beer shipments: Licensed to Licensed
Shipments of beer from licensed shippers may be shipped to licensed consignees, where permitted by applicable law. For example a licensed brewery may ship to a licensed distributor, or a licensed distributor may ship to a licensed retailer, so long as the shipments are made in accordance with applicable law. “Licensed to Licensed” shipments cannot be made to consumers.
Direct to Consumer
Breweries and Retailers must hold all required licenses or permits; verified that the purchaser is of legal age to purchase Beer; and lists the purchaser as the consignee.
Interstate Brewery Shipments
Certain states allow shipments of beer directly to consumers when purchased from licensed out-of-state breweries. Refer to Beer Addendum A of the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers for allowed Interstate Brewery Shipment States.
Intrastate Brewery Shipment
Some states allow Beer purchased from licensed Breweries within the state to be shipped to consumers located in the same state. Refer to Beer Addendum A of the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers for allowed Intrastate Brewery Shipment States.
Interstate Retailer Shipments
Certain states allow shipments of beer directly to consumers from licensed out-of-state retailers. Refer to Beer Addendum A of the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers for allowed Interstate Retailer Shipment States.
Intrastate Retailer Shipment
Some states allow beer purchased from licensed Retailers within the state to be shipped directly to consumers in the same state. Refer to Beer Addendum A of the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers for allowed Intrastate Retailer States.
Requirements for licensed entities to ship beer through UPS: Contractual Service Only
All shippers who wish to ship beer must enter into the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers. UPS DOES NOT ACCEPT SHIPMENTS OF BEER FROM SHIPPERS WHO HAVE NOT ENTERED INTO ONE OF THESE AGREEMENTS.
Shipping Solution Requirements
The shipper must process the beer shipment with a UPS Compatible Shipping solution such as WorldShip or any approved third-party vendor system.
All shipments must meet UPS packaging requirements for beer. UPS will accept inner packaging of molded Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, folded corrugated tray, or molded fiber tray with dividers. Each packaging component secures the bottles into the center of the shipping container away from the side walls of the shipper. Sturdy outer corrugated containers are required.
Delivery Confirmation Adult Signature Required
All beer shipments must be made using the UPS Delivery Confirmation Adult Signature Required service, requiring the signature of an adult 21 years of age or older upon delivery.
Beer Shipping Label Requirement
All packages containing beer must be labeled by the shipper with a special alcoholic beverages shipping label in addition to any other labeling that may be required by the origin or destination state.
Approved beer shippers may use the UPS Hold for Pickup (HFPU) service for consumers who would prefer to pickup their beer shipments from a UPS Customer Center location. When picking up the package, the recipient is required to present a government-issued photo ID, such as driver’s license, passport, military ID, permanent resident card, or alien registration card to verify that the recipient is 21 years of age or older.
If the recipient fails or refuses to present proper identification (or is not 21 years of age or older), the beer shipment is considered undeliverable and returned to the shipper. Approved beer shippers may use the Ship to a UPS Access Point® location service in conjunction with Adult Signature Required (ASR) for consumers who prefer to pick up shipments from UPS Access Point locations.
To ship beer to a UPS Access Point location:
Shippers must use a UPS Locator tool and the “Accepts Restricted Articles” filter to select an approved destination UPS Access Point location Shippers must also use approved UPS Access Point “Contains Alcohol Beverage Adult Signature Required” labels for beer shipments sent to UPS Access Point locations Beer shipments can be redirected to UPS Access Point locations with the ability to accept restricted good
Addendum A to the UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers identifies the approved Interstate Brewery States, Intrastate Brewery States, Interstate Retailer States, and Intrastate Retailer States. The Beer Contract Addendum A is effective as of the “revised” date noted on the Addendum, and applies to all shippers who have entered into a UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers.
Can I ship my homebrew to a friend?
Is it legal to ship beer in the US? – The short and direct answer would be “No” unless you have the proper license and paperwork to do it. Shipping any alcoholic beverage is against the policies of most shipping companies—all kind of liquid products on glass bottles; it is considered dangerous for shipping.
If you decide to start shipping beer anyway, you must remember you are doing it under your own risk. By doing so, procure to secure your package as much as you can, so it can reach safely to its destination. That been said, depending on the country you live in, you may find some options on how to ship beer to other countries.
Look for what laws and restrictions the shipping company may have related to shipping alcohol. First, as a strong recommendation, do not use USPS to send beer. They have a strict policy on that matter, so it is better not to try to break it. Although some may prefer to use them when shipping internationally, the risks are too high if they discover what you are sending.
- FedEx and UPS also have restrictions about mailing beer and other kinds of alcohol.
- But it is not impossible to do it with them.
- It is an excellent and recommended idea to have everything correctly packed before taking it to the shipping company.
- That way, you can avoid some of the annoying questions from the clerk.
A good option is to open an account with the shipping company of your choice. This is especially recommended if you are going to be sending beer frequently. That way, you can automate your payments and save time having already shipping labels for your package.
Can I check beer in my luggage?
Want to bring some ‘air sodas’ on your next flight? That’s cool with us! Whether you are traveling with craft beer, cougar juice or hard liquor, we’ve got you covered. Don’t be absinthe-minded and make pour choices, follow these tips on your next trip! According to the FAA, it’s all about the alcohol content! Alcohol less than 24% alcohol by volume (ABV) or 48 proof, like most beers and wine:
For carry-on you are limited to containers of 3.4oz or less that can fit comfortably in one quart-sized, clear, zip-top bag. If it’s overflowing from the bag, that isn’t comfortable. Please remember, one bag per passenger, For checked bags, there is no limit! I wish this was true when I was in college.
Alcohol between 24% – 70% ABV (48 – 140 proof):
For carry-on, same rules apply as above. You are limited to containers of 3.4oz or less that fit in your quart-sized bag. For checked bags you are limited to five liters per passenger. However, it must be in unopened retail packaging!
Alcohol over 70% ABV or over 140 proof:
Leave your bathtub brew at home! Seriously the strong stuff isn’t allowed in carry-on or checked bags!
Our airline partners and the FAA ask that you don’t drink your own booze while flying. Let’s leave the pouring to the pros! And be sure to check your airline’s website to make sure they are cool with being a designated flyer for your hooch. Planning on buying some ‘cough medicine’ at the duty-free store after the security checkpoint? You’re limited to 5 liters of alcohol between 24%-70% ABV or 48 – 140 proof.
The bottles are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer. Don’t try to sneak a swig! If the bag looks opened or tampered with, then it won’t be allowed to fly in your carry-on bag. Keep the receipt! You must show that the alcohol was purchased within the last 48 hours.
Are you brining wine or other spirits from overseas? Our friends at Customs and Border Protection are in charge of the rules for bringing alcohol into the United States, Cheers! Jay Wagner
Can you send alcohol in a parcel?
How to Pack Alcoholic Beverages? – Alcoholic beverages must be shipped in compliant packaging, You should make sure you pack a bottle well enough, so it doesn’t break and damage adjacent parcels. Bubble wrap, sufficient cushioning material and absorbent material might be of great help.
Can you ship beer through Amazon?
Amazon Prime Now – Amazon allows customers to order alcohol, beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks through the Amazon Prime Now delivery service. They offer same-day delivery– within one to two hours for groceries and alcohol. It’s not required to be an Amazon Prime member to enjoy this perk. However, you don’t have to pay a delivery fee with an Amazon Prime membership.
Can you put alcohol in a checked bag?
Alcoholic beverages Carry On Bags: Yes (Less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml allowed) Check with your airline before bringing any alcohol beverages on board. FAA regulations prohibit travelers from consuming alcohol on board an aircraft unless served by a flight attendant.
- Additionally, Flight Attendants are not permitted to serve a passenger who is intoxicated.
- Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging.
- Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.
Mini bottles of alcohol in carry-on must be able to comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag. For more information, see FAA regulation: : Alcoholic beverages
How do you ship drinks in the mail?
Properly Packaging the Soda For Shipment – USPS has specific guidelines for packaging liquids, but here’s the basic breakdown you’ll need to follow:
Secure any cans or bottles with a reliable closure (like a screw top, soldering, clips, etc.) Use a brand new, corrugated box sturdy enough to protect the contents Clearly mark the outside of the packaging with the type of liquid inside Appropriately cushion any cans or bottles with a type of packing material that will absorb leakage in case they break
What shipping class is beer?
LTL Shipping & Product Classes for Beer – Beer is typically shipped as Class 65 with NMFC code 111470. In certain situations, the class may change. It is important to know your product’s class or NMFC code prior to booking freight. Below are the most common classes or NMFC codes that breweries use for full pallets: SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK
Can beer kegs be shipped?
General Shipping – Orders are normally shipped within 24-48 hours, however, in some cases longer shipping times may occur. If you need your products by a specific date please notify Keg Outlet by replying to your order confirmation email. Keg Outlet ships to any location where UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service can deliver.
How do you pack beer in a suitcase?
Step 2: Pack Your Beer in Your Suitcase – Will wrapping cans from Trillium, Proclamation, Epic, and Prairie. All your preparation is important, of course, but the real meat and potatoes of this conversation is protecting your beer for its journey in the cargo hold. The last thing you want is to have a bottle break or a can rupture: you’ll not only lose the beer, but you’ll also be guaranteed a stinky bag, a full load of laundry, and a possible trip to the dry cleaners.1. Will puts a Christmas Bomb! in his two-bottle tote and wraps a Big Bad Baptist inside a long-sleeve shirt.2. Individually pad each beer. Will’s a pro, so he uses several two-bottle totes from Built New York, but you can also use clothes. Sweaters and pants are best, since they’re a little bigger and thicker. No two beers should be touching in your suitcase. This increases the rupture risk.3. No jostling. Your mission here is two-fold: First, no two beers should touch. This is especially true with bottles, since glass-on-glass is a recipe for a problem. (Hint: if you gently knock two padded beers together and they make a dangerous-sounding noise, they either need more padding, or they shouldn’t be near one another.) Second, make sure your beers have no opportunity to jostle. Will weighs his bag to make sure he wasn’t getting close to 50 pounds. After seeing the “30,” he ran out and bought a few more beers.4. Weigh your bag. A little while back Will bought a portable scale, Before he even heads to the airport he weighs his bags from the comfort of his hotel room.
Can I ship alcohol to a friend in the UK?
Can you mail alcohol? – If you’re looking to send alcohol as a gift for someone in the UK, you can book a Parcelforce service through Parcel Monkey to do this, and you’ll receive a cheaper rate than if you went direct to the Post Office. However, if you are planning to send alcohol as a gift, there are a few restrictions you need to be aware of when shipping alcohol with Parcel Monkey:
- We will only take alcoholic beverages containing 24% ABV or less
- Volume must not exceed 1 litre per item
- No glass – plastic bottles, tins and small kegs only
- UK domestic deliveries only
- All items must be packaged in line with our packing guidelines
- We only ship alcohol with Parcelforce
Can I send a bottle of wine to a friend?
Simplify Shipping Wine with Beautiful, Prepackaged Bottles and Baskets – From selecting the right bottle to researching wine shipping laws and regulations, it may be easier to just go with an online retailer who will take care of shipping your gift directly.
Online retailers, like Hickory Farms, have an entire section specifically dedicated to wine gifts. From nicely packaged gift baskets of sparkling wines and high-end still bottles to trios of wines, tasting sets, and even wines sold with specialty snacks and treats, these beautifully packaged gifts simplify the wine shipping and gift giving process.
Not only that, but these wine gifts are temperature controlled and beautifully packaged with a fantastic wine bottle of or set of wines. There are all kinds of sets like Champagne with sweets, Napa Valley tasting sets, and wine and cheese charcuterie board sets. 7 TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SHIPPING WINE TIP 1 TIP 2 TIP 3 TIP 4 TIP 5 TIP 6 TIP 7 Double Check State Laws for Wine Delivery Make Sure You’re Shipping Wine They’ll Love Carefully Package Each Bottle of Wine Find the Right Box Account for Weather Consider How Each Varietal Will Travel Go with a Prepackaged Bottle or Basket Those are our seven tips for shipping wine as a gift to a friend, family member, or loved one.
Can I send beer to a friend in Canada?
You can only ship intoxicating beverages in Canada if you’re a Parcel Services contract customer or Solutions for Small Business (SfSB) cardholder. Be a manufacturer of such beverages mailing to: A provincial liquor board or commission.