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.
- Don’t leave any room for movement.
- Make sure glass isn’t touching glass.
- Make sure nothing moves when you shake the box.
- Tape the box nice and tight, but don’t overdo it. It can be hard to unpack over-taped packages.
- Write “Glassware” on the box if required.
- Try to package homebrew so the packing materials can be reused, recycled, and be easily unpacked. Each judge center is dealing with hundreds of packages so make it easy on them!
- 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.
- Choosing overnight or two-day shipping helps prevent your entries from sitting around and being delayed for delivery.
- 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.