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Shipping Beer

So perhaps honesty was my downfall this afternoon…

After waiting in line for 10 minutes with my “Large Flat Rate” box in hand, the guy at the Post Office asks me, “Any liquids or yadda, yadda, yadda?” I mistakenly repied that, indeed, I was shipping a few beers.

He became visibly alarmed and informed me that its illegal to mail beer.

So…on to the UPS store down the road in lovely Golden Valley, MN. The gentleman there told me the same thing…that UPs “stores” cannot ship alcohol. He added that if I wanted to drive to a “distribution hub” they could probably help me out. He thought this was a Minnesota regulation.

Has anyone else run into this? Perhaps the UPS prohibition is state-specific?

Ultimately I probably should have answered “no” to the guy at the PO.

What about Fed Ex?

USPS is a no-no. I believe federal laws prohibit it.

I normally use UPS and if they ask what I’m shipping I just smile and say, “Just some birthday presents”. I think that UPS’s policy is they don’t ship alcohol unless one party is licenced to do so. But unlike the USPS, shipping beer with UPS is prohibited, not illegal. :slight_smile:

When I ship beer I put each bottle in a zip lock bag then wrap in bubblewrap… then pack everything inside a trashbag. In the unlikely event of breakage, things should be contained.

It’s worked well so far :slight_smile:

Shipping alcohol with the USPS is indeed illegal (although my postmaster said that they have never prosecuted anyone for broken bottles). Shipping with FedEx and UPS is against their rules, but it’s not illegal, so use the don’t-ask-don’t-tell method by avoiding the official company stores, where you have to fill out paperwork, and instead either go to a generic postbox/shipping store or print off labels yourself on-line and drop in a box or hand to a driver.

1+ to staying away from the “company shipping stores.” They seem to be very particular.

The easiest way I have found is to go to UPS.com open a shipping account. They will send you labels for free. Just follow the online process, print your own labels. I just take the box to the office and the UPS guy picks it up when he drops off our other stuff. He’s at our office everyday and sometimes twice a day. Simple, cheaper than the shipping store and no hassle.

USPS is illegal I guess. THey dont know what is in the package though. I just never use them

Fedex and UPS is fine

I think it may depend on the local place you want to ship through. There is a shipping shop near my house that has a big sign in the window proclaiming “We ship wine”. I asked about beer but that just confused the minimum wage clerk on duty. Wonder if I could slip barleywine past him.

[quote=“Rookie L A”]There is a shipping shop near my house that has a big sign in the window proclaiming “We ship wine”. I asked about beer but that just confused the minimum wage clerk on duty. Wonder if I could slip barleywine past him.[/quote]From what I’ve read the reason that the shippers don’t want to handle alcohol is the liability of delivering alcohol to minors, especially across state lines. So a shop that will ship wine probably has a deal with a shipper in which they take on the responsibility of making sure the recipient is of age. I’ve also heard that the second-tier shippers, like DHL, are more lenient, so maybe that’s who they are using.

If sending via UPS/DHL/Fedex to a brewery or brewing club or other address associated with alcoholic beverages, for a competition, just put on the address and contact person’s name, but not the business/organization name, so they have no reason to check a “suspicious” package, and label from home and pack extremely well.

Recently for the april beer pass I used UPS and when asked what was inside i always just tell them yeast samples/cultures for testing and inspection. I have shipped with USPS twice once not knowing the rules and the second time was to send my SWHBO wine. I have to admit I do feel anxious when i ship alcohol with usps, but I just make sure that the bottles don’t break by using the plastic air cushions that NB uses for packaging and i always use tape to secure the caps and wrap a little cushion on it to prevent anything from damaging the seal during the shipping. I have to say the worst thing to see when you are about to open the beer is a damaged cap.

HaleBrewer, if you are going to try UPS again, you’ll probably have to go to another store. I can just picture the same guy standing at the counter:

UPS guy: Watcha got there?
You: Uh, birthday presents.
UPS guy: Uh huh. Let’s have a look.
You: Dang it! I’ll be back.

Do you have a good Groucho Marx disguise?

I don’t have groucho glasses. Do you think I’d arouse suspicion if I approached the counter in a Nixon mask?

I think I’ll just try another UPS store and keep my mouth shut.

[quote=“HaleBrewer”]I don’t have groucho glasses. Do you think I’d arouse suspicion if I approached the counter in a Nixon mask?

I think I’ll just try another UPS store and keep my mouth shut.[/quote]

why a different one? it is not there business what you are shipping. If they do ask they dont need to know

Well, it did sound a lot funnier in my head…

FWIW, there are signs posted in the UPS stores in my area informing you that a valid ID is required to ship and the contents of all packages must be accurately identified.

I had some issues a while back with packages getting refused by the central shipping hub. Even though I had identified the contents as “water samples” or “hot sauce”, I was notified that a scan had reveiled questionable contents. And that I would have to pick up the package or open it to be able to ship it. A buddy of mine in Colorado has had some of the same issues, his were identified as bbq sauce.

For what ever reason I have had no more problems with UPS. But, have found a great Fed Ex location that is ran out of a storage unit rental. They don’t ask for ID and couldn’t care less about what is in the box. Its my go to shipping location now.

[quote=“Baratone Brewer”]FWIW, there are signs posted in the UPS stores in my area informing you that a valid ID is required to ship and the contents of all packages must be accurately identified.

I had some issues a while back with packages getting refused by the central shipping hub. Even though I had identified the contents as “water samples” or “hot sauce”, I was notified that a scan had reveiled questionable contents. And that I would have to pick up the package or open it to be able to ship it. A buddy of mine in Colorado has had some of the same issues, his were identified as bbq sauce.

For what ever reason I have had no more problems with UPS. But, have found a great Fed Ex location that is ran out of a storage unit rental. They don’t ask for ID and couldn’t care less about what is in the box. Its my go to shipping location now.[/quote]

wow…I have never had any question about what my package is, ever. They ask for a declared value and that is it.

I have wondered if it has to do with the carriers shipping method. If by air is the jet cargo area pressurized enough to prevent a poorly capped bottle from releasing. Since wine isn’t pressurized and champagne has wire bails maybe not such an issue.

Maybe next time request ground transport (cheaper) and they don’t ask or don’t care.

As far as liability but when the local grocers do home deliveries with alcohol they won’t leave it without an id check of the person signing.

Any USPS, FedEx, IPS guys out there?

I went the online self-print route, and left the package in the drop area at work. Easy as pie.

The U.S. Postal service is presently not allowed to deliver wine or beer, because of a law that was passed during the Temperance era. However, the ban on alcohol shipments is under consideration, as Congress is trying to find ways to help boost the bottom line for the USPS. Source: Postal Service might start shipping wine and beer

[quote=“levy”]The U.S. Postal service is presently not allowed to deliver wine or beer, because of a law that was passed during the Temperance era. However, the ban on alcohol shipments is under consideration, as Congress is trying to find ways to help boost the bottom line for the USPS. Source: Postal Service might start shipping wine and beer

[/quote]

Great. Congress is going to save the Post Office with a couple thousand boxes of beer. :roll:

Things[/url] you don’t know about the [url=http://www.nalc.org/news/latest/index.html]PO
http://www.nalc.org/postal/reform/index.html

[quote=“Nighthawk”][quote=“levy”]The U.S. Postal service is presently not allowed to deliver wine or beer, because of a law that was passed during the Temperance era. However, the ban on alcohol shipments is under consideration, as Congress is trying to find ways to help boost the bottom line for the USPS. Source: Postal Service might start shipping wine and beer

[/quote]

Great. Congress is going to save the Post Office with a couple thousand boxes of beer. :roll:

Things[/url] you don’t know about the [url=http://www.nalc.org/news/latest/index.html]PO
http://www.nalc.org/postal/reform/index.html
[/quote]

ha, places always fail to see the other side of things to
:blah:

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