From the HBD Archive
From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH@adc1.RAY.COM>
Subject: Shippping beer
Date: 1989-07-26 13:00:00 GMT

Alex Stein sez -

> I'd like to mail some homebrew to a friend across the country.
> Are there any legal issues I need to be aware of? Any practical
> hints about packaging homebrew (e.g., types of packing material,
> etc)?

Technically, it is illegal to mail or otherwise ship beer (or any other
alcoholic beverage) across state lines. Exceptions are for research
purposes or organized competitions. Your friend IS a research lab, isn't

Practically, I've had no problems sending beer to competitions via UPS.
Just mark the box "Non-perishable food", and hope the clerk doesn't get too
nosy. I pack the beer in wine cartons. I wrap each bottle in newspaper,
and then put each 12 oz. bottle in the carton with styrofoam peanuts above,
around, and on top of the bottle. I send beer second-day air. I shudder to
think what happens to beer going cross country in a 130 degree truck.

> What about taking homebrew on an airplane? Do I need to worry
> about the increased pressure? Does carry-on vs. checked luggage
> matter?

I send beer second-day air. The reduced pressure in flight hasn't caused
explosions. I've put beer in checked luggage with no problems. I would
hesitate to take homebrew as carry-on. How can the security people be sure
your unlabelled, hand-capped bottle doesn't contain gasoline or some other
explosove fluid? Commercial beer is less of a problem. Even still, I always
get to the airport early just in case I have to drink my carry-on luggage!

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