How do you Ship Homebrew?

I’ve been asked numerous times on Twitter, Facebook, Forums, and in person – “How do you ship your homebrews?” It is actually very simply.  Below I’ll go through the steps to ensure your homebrews get to where they should be in one piece without any hassle!

Since I do beer swaps with a bunch of different people, I try to be a bit green about.  I save all the boxes and packing materials I get (bubble wrap, Styrofoam, airbags, and ‘peanuts’) and try to reuse them when I need to send out more beer.

  1. Obvious, but if you send out more then one type of homebrew, label the bottles so the recipient knows what it is what.  You laugh, but there is nothing worse then wanting one type of beer and getting something else.
  2. I put each beer into a Ziploc freezer bag, so if it does break, it should be contained in the Ziploc bag and your package will still reach it’s destination.
  3. Pack the bottles tight in the box, I usually bubble wrap each bottle.  If you can’t, make sure there is enough padding (newspaper/Styrofoam) in between each bottle.  Make sure each bottle is set in place and can’t move around so they don’t crash into another bottle.
  4. Make sure you box is free of prior shipping labels and writing.
  5. Once the beer is packed in tight, go to the UPS website and create a new shipment. Depending on the size of your box and packing materials, six 12oz bottles of beer is just over 8 lbs.  (one 12oz bottle of beer weights about 1.5 lbs).  At this point decide if you want ups pick up(additional fee) or you want to drop it off at a ups shipper. Create and prepay the shipping on the UPS website and print the label.
  6. Tape the label to your box.  I generally put clear tape over the paper in case the package gets wet, the label will still be legible and scan-able.
  7. I generally do pickup, because it is convenient, so I’ll leave the box on my front steps.  Or, you can also drop off prepaid packages at any UPS store (or authorized location).

In three years of doing this I’ve never had a problem.  This is my method, what method do you use?  We’d like to hear them.

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3 Responses to “How do you Ship Homebrew?”

  1. Billy Broas Says:

    Great tutorial Peter. I’ve done UPS and have also just taken the box to the post office and had them label it there. The key like you said is to start savings packaging material.

    So since we’re both straight on how to do it, when are we gonna trade some brews?

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    Billy, Thanks.

    Anytime, sorry I think I spaced on your email. I’ll respond to you tonight.

  3. How to Pack and Ship Beer | Barlow Brewing Says:

    [...] but that rarely seemed to do the job. Peter, over at Simply Beer, came up with the great blog post How Do You Ship Homebrew?, and I would forward that, but it still resulted in some lingering questions. I have no problem [...]


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