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I'd like to fly a full case of homebrew home with me for Christmas. Is there a standard size box that can fit that much beer plus packing materials to protect it?

Edit: the airline I'm flying offers a free checked bag, so I plan on checking a cardboard box (not a suitcase) full of my homebrew.

  • I have brought numerous 12-packs in checked luggage with no problem. I get an extra case box from the liquor store, rip up and place pieces of cardboard between the bottles so they don't touch, and then stuff my socks and underwear in the open spaces. Then I put it in the center of my normal checked bag, with clothes surrounding it. I can't imagine it would be any different with a full case. But trying to ship a box outside of a suitcase seems difficult because you will need to pad the case box. – Chino Brews Dec 1 '14 at 18:09
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Between checking a box and padding, you're looking at an almost unreasonable amount of space required, and considering how insane some airlines can seem to be with their checked baggage fees, I'd recommend an alternative:

Go to your local store that carries clothes of any kind, the cheaper the better, buy the cheapest socks you can buy that are big enough to fit a bottle in them, and have a decent amount of padding and use those. Slip a bottle in each sock, put them into your check bag, and you're golden. This keeps them from clanging around, setting off airport security alarms, and overall makes things a lot easier and simpler.

Just make sure the check bag doesn't exceed the weight limits. I'd imagine a full case worth of beer bottles can push the limit, so make sure you weigh the bag with the socked beer bottles in it, verifying that it doesn't exceed the carrier's limit before going to the airport.

  • I've also used the sock method a few times with great success. I don't know how well that'd scale to an entire case, though. – Fishtoaster Dec 2 '14 at 18:24
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I've had no problems packing wine & liquor in a layer of cardboard for several international flights (wrap in 1 layer of cardboard, tape it up, squeeze/fold the cardboard around the neck & bottom, tape some more). This still pretty bulky, and I only put two bottles in a suitcase along with clothes. Weight might be an issue: I just weighed a 355ml bottle of beer at 630g, 24 of of those gets you 15kg of beer & bottle. Then you need to account for the packing material, clothes and suitcase itself.

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A 14"x14"x14" box will hold 25 12-oz/330-ml bottles (a case plus one) and won't go over the checked-baggage weight limit. Buy one, plus some bubble wrap (a foot-wide roll with the small bubbles), gallon zip-lock bags, and strapping tape. Bag each bottle and wrap it in two squares of bubble wrap. Place five bottles in the bottom of the box, with the necks alternating between facing one way and facing the other way. Place the next layer in the box, rotated 90 degrees from the first. Repeat until the box is full and tape shut. When you check the box, make sure some "Fragile" stickers get applied.

I've brought several cases' worth of beer home this way with no breakage. If a bottle should break, the bag should contain it and keep the box from disintegrating. If you're feeling really paranoid, line the box with a trash bag.

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