Whether you’re sending your homebrew off to the National Homebrew Competition, trading it for other beers, or shipping it home to enjoy later, you’ve worked hard to brew beer. Now you want it to arrive in its absolute best condition. Here are some quick tips on shipping homebrew:
Quick Tips for Shipping Beer
- Use a sturdy double-walled box, or double up with two boxes.
- Use lots of filler material. Don’t leave any room for movement.
- Make sure glass isn’t touching glass.
- Make sure nothing moves when you shake the box.
- Tape it nice and tight, but don’t overdo it. It can be hard to unpack over-taped packages.
- Write “FRAGILE” on the box (though I’m not so sure anyone ever pays attention to this).
- Write “liquid yeast samples” or “samples for evaluation” on the box.
- Try to package homebrew so the packing materials can be reused or recycled.
- Line the box with bubble wrap and/or foam.
- Ship beer via UPS or FedEx using an online account, print your shipping labels at home, and have the package picked up or dropped off at a FedEx or UPS location. Do not use USPS.
- Request a tracking number with your package if you want to know when it arrives and that it has arrived safely.
- Avoid shipping beer during extremely hot weather.
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American Homebrewers Association Competition Coordinator John Moorhead is director of the National Homebrew Competition, coordinates the Great American Beer Festival® Pro-Am Competition and the Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Competition, and writes for HomebrewersAssociation.org.