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A few college friends of mine have started brewing beer recently and we were wondering what the best way to ship our beers across the country is? Our ideas so far are:

  • Just bottle it, wrap it, and ship it
  • Siphon off of secondary into a few 2 liter coke bottles, ship with the proper amount of bottling sugar in a zip-lock bag, and let them bottle it upon arrival

With the second idea we were thinking that it would be easier/cheaper to ship because the 2 liters are non-breakable. It would also have the advantage of being under little to no pressure, which would be good if it had to travel by air I suppose. Are there any drawbacks to this idea, aside from possibly imparting a cola taste from insufficient rinsing?

Are there any other ideas out there for shipping brews to fellow brewers?

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Check out the answers at brewadvice.com/questions/345/shipping-beer-cheaply for some ideas –  hookedonwinter Jun 29 '10 at 1:48

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Beer for national competitions is normally shipped in glass bottles with just a couple wraps of bubble wrap around it. I have shipped beer multiple times this way and it works out great.

Line a box with a plastic bag, just in case there is a leak. Then just put your bubble wrapped bottles in there with a little newspaper to prevent movement in the box.

It'll do fine like that.

The coke bottle idea is interesting, but its an extra step that I wouldn't bother with. Of you really want to keep weight down use the plastic twist cap bottles that you get with Mr. Beer type setups. If all your buddies invest in the same bottling format, then you will actually get bottles in return for your sent bottles.

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Take a shoebox and some of that expanding spray foam. Put a nice, thick layer of spray foam in the bottom of the shoebox. Place a layer of plastic wrap on top of that, then press your beer bottle(s) so they sink into the foam. Place another layer of plastic wrap on top of the beer, then cover them with spray foam. You wind up with a nice, shock resistant package. Just don't forget the plastic wrap, or getting the beer out of the foam will prove challenging! :)

Oh, and seems obvious, but don't indicate that it is beer - if you need to indicate what is in the package, say it's a "yeast sample"

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I was going to stress the "Yeast sample" part too. It's against most shipper regulations and federal law to ship alcohol without the proper licenses. But people do it all the time, and hardly ever get caught. It can't hurt to label the bottles as "yeast sample in liquid medium". I've always heard of people doing this, and I don't know if it'd hold up in court, but I say do it anyways! –  markskar Jun 28 '10 at 19:53

Get some wine shippers from Uline. You can pick from styro or recycled cardboard packaging. You'll want to bottle into 22s though so they fit properly. Tell UPS its just homemade Apple Cider (not hard cider) or Sasparilla because they won't let you ship alcohol unless you're an approved shipper.

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