There is no greater feeling than finding a box sitting by your front door addressed to you from someone you’ve never met. Ah, beer lovers and their beer mail.
If you’re not involved in a beer share, you should be. You network with people in neighboring states or even cross-country to get beer sent to you that is not distributed to your area. Pliny lovers, rejoice.
It is absolutely essential to carefully package the beer you send to not only make sure that the bottles don’t break, but to make sure there is no leakage in the event that bottles do break along the way.
A few things to keep in mind before you ship beer:
-Familiarize yourself with the policies of your preferred shipping service. USPS forbids mailing alcohol or even using a box with alcoholic beverage logos on it. FedEx only ships alcohol if you have a license to do so. UPS has a similar policy, as well.
A sturdy box (I just asked my local liquor store and they gave me one free of charge)
Clear plastic wrap
Bubble wrap (you can buy a large roll on Ebay)
Gallon-size freezer bags
I take each beer and seal them in the freezer bag being sure to take out as much air as possible.
Roll the bagged bottle into a grocery bag and tie the handle toward the neck of the bottle. I do this and the previous step to be proactive in case the bottle does break. No one wants a soggy box at their doorstep. So if a bottle breaks, the liquid is contained in the freezer bag and the grocery bag.
The grocery-bagged bottle is then rolled with some bubble wrap. How much you want to wrap it is completely up to you. I usually wrap it four to six times.
To secure the bubble wrap, I tightly wrap the bottle. This is also a good alternative to using tape because the bubble wrap will tear when it is unwrapped. Pay it forward and try to keep the wrapping materials as reusable as possible for the person you are sending it to!
I repeated this for each beer and although the photo shows a divider in the box, I ended up taking that out and laying the beers down flat. You can add filler material in the box as well just to help prevent the bottles from shifting. I have had plenty of success with this method of shipping my beer and so far, no one has reported any leakage or breaks. Again, this is what has worked for me. Everyone has their own methods based on trial and error, so use this as a starting point and see what works for you.