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Mail Beer in the US?

by Brad Trahan
(Rochester, MN USA)

The USPS is one way to ship beer. There are better alternatives...

The USPS is one way to ship beer. There are better alternatives...

Can you mail beer in the US?

I have a friend that likes Mich Golden Lite and moved out to Washington where they do not carry it and I wanted to mail him a case or two?

Editor's reply:

While it's not technically legal to ship liquids, there are plenty of people who buy beer online, plus the Beer of the Month club which manages to ship it without being slapped down by the Feds, so you can certainly send beer with a carrier. The USPS is not your best bet though.

Open an Internet account with FedEx or UPS and print your own documentation. Wrap bottles in bubblewrap, add a bag around each in case of leaks in transit, then line a sturdy box with padding. Keep the bottles from touching each other with more padding or packing peanuts.

Just drop off the box with your documentation all in order and you're good to go. Usually counter staff are way too busy to care much about what it is you're sending.

Comments from experienced beer shippers appear below.

Comments for Mail Beer in the US?

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May 19, 2013
by: Tasluk

I work with the USPS,and I have worked for UPS as well.While the Postal Service is a great place to send your packages.. If you are sending something fragile or something that needs insurance, your best bet is UPS.

UPS automatically covers $100 insurance even though you pay hidden costs for it, but they are dependable on their package handling. The POstal Service does not care one ounce for careful package handling. There is an official work term they use internally for clerks known as "Throw Parcels." A clerk will go "Throw Parcels" to work the parcels, and they do throw them into carts. The infrastructure just isnt there to handle fragile materials.

UPS on the other hand uses moving belts, slides, and rollers and concentrate on hand to service package delivery. As a worker, we would get written up for dropping a package 1 inch to the ground.

So go UPS

Feb 09, 2013
by: ARBrewer

I noticed a lot of comments about the alcohol percentage and I just wanted to point something out. .5% refers to the standard measurement of Alcohol by Volume. Most beer is in the 4-6% range, wine in the 10-14% range and liquors in the 40-60% range. The mention of .5% alcohol would not refer to 50% alcohol content but rather, .5% ABV.

Oct 12, 2012
To send or not to send NEW
by: 9815

If it's a gift for someone from out of town, I can justify sending some 'samples" to my distant friend. As long as one does not make money of the beer.

Aug 15, 2011
good and bad with USPS mailing beer
by: artemis

Hi everyone -
Ive tried this a couple times, mixed results.

all were being shipped to my home in small city iowa.

1st, i had insured all 3 boxes with postal insurance. that didnt help worth a squat later, so save your money. i had also hoped having insurance on each would help the postal workers to see to be a bit more careful, but that didnt work either.

2nd, the issue is not liquor or beer, the issue for USPS is liquids in general - basically, they dont want to handle it. and after my experiences, they CANT handle it.

3rd, i had kept each case in its own original shipping container from the store, but i bubblewraped around the case within my shipping box. i didnt even open the cases, let alone wrap each bottle or the inside of the beer carton, bcs i thought they were strong enough to withstand normal shipping.

i had a box shipped fine, all intact from syracuse ny.

another box, several busted inside, the outer shipping box had gotten partially wet, you could see the stains, but the box stayed intact and was delivered, from burlington vt.

another box,mailed from detroit mi, the entire contents, bottles, and other stuff i put in like film rolls and clothes - all destroyed, never got any of it. i did actaully receive the address label on a torn piece of cardboard at my address, not even any stamps or insurance sticker on it. i think they purposely went to the trouble of mailing me just the stupid label just to rub it in that some of the beer busted but im sure some of it was intact and that some postal worker took it home. i dont know why they couldnt have sent the film rolls and clothes along, even if they had gotten wet, i could have tried to salvage them. but nope - all of it was gone, and we dont even know for sure which post office - but i think it was at origin of detroit, as the insurance number was never tracked in the computer at its next stop.

so afterwards when i had returned to iowa, i went to my local branch of post office to file for the insurance on the 1 non-received destroyed pkg, since i had the mailing label at least, and my own copy of insurance form. the counter clerk wouldnt deal with it, sent me to the city main postmaster. she then denied the claim, saying i shipped illegally liquids, and in fact would report me to her district boss for prosecution, saying that my box probably damaged/destroyed other boxes too, but she had no proof of that, nor of where the event happened.

in the end, i was told to either forget the insurance claim and she would look the other way, or if i continue, that she'd prosecute me. and to promise that i wouldnt do it again.

she didnt need to make me promise that --- after losing an entire case of good canadian beer along with other stuff, i would never use them again anyway.

Nov 17, 2009
by: Anonymous

All I can tell you is that I am in a wine club that is out of state. I get mailed wine all the time, no issues. I also have mailed beer many times even with USPS and works fine, they dont know and dont care whats in your package..

Oct 01, 2009
beer is good
by: mike jones

for one it is agenst the law to bail beer it is federal u will have the ATF on ur asses if u dont be safe so stay safe bros.

Jul 06, 2009
by: Anonymous

this is a bunch of alcoholics posting up arguments on the internet....go fight in the bars hahaha i just wanted to see how to package fat tire for my sister and i got the answer and then people pissed off.. i love it!

Jun 11, 2009
Shipping Beer/Liquor
by: Anonymous

it's not just the alcolol content alone -- there is a tax issue to be dealt with.
But only if you are shipping across state lines.

Mar 19, 2009
beer guys
by: Anonymous

wow who fucking cares....

Jan 29, 2009
by: Anonymous

Jesus...who has the bigger penis here? I don't have one myself. Why the hell are you fighting people?

Dec 13, 2008
liquid not liquor ,right ?
by: Anonymous

Well, i think the point of the post was 'how to ship beer' and the issue with shipping Liquid not Liquor . Yep, Liquor is a whole other ball game though. The post shows basically how to prevent the postal service from Knowing you are shipping liquids. And this is actually a good way to do it. As soon as the clerk hears glass clanking together and the slosh of liquid its shot. But add plenty of packing prevents glass touching each other and reduces acoustics . THANKS

Dec 12, 2008
Be Nice
by: Anonymous

Wow Chill. No need to be so harsh. Anyway my friend said UPS is the best way to go.

Aug 25, 2008
You're missing the point
by: Anonymous

I think the point is that beer is not a liquor. Liquors are by definition distilled fermented beverages. Beer (and wine) are not distilled.

Jul 30, 2008
Dumb Americans
by: Anonymous

He actually meant 0.5% (1/2 PERCENT for you guys) alcohol idiots, as in non-alcoholic beer like, say, O'douls. That means the USPS won't allow you to mail NORMAL beer. Geez are Americans dumb, especially the guy who's against douchebaggery. He's the BIGGEST douchebag!

Jul 15, 2008
Be Careful
by: Anonymous

Before you are too quick to point out someone else's ignorance, I would remind you that 0.5 is actually 50%. 5% would be 0.05, so next time you want to "enlighten" someone else, get your facts straight, or be nice so you don't come off like an idiot yourself.

Concerned Citizens Against Internet Douchebaggery

Jun 29, 2008
No you don't liar
by: Anonymous

Beer has more than 0.5% alcohol nitwit. Notice that % sign at the end? If it weren't there, then the regulation would be saying 0.5 which is the decimal notation for 5%. But, because the % sign is there, It's saying 1/2 percent, not 5 percent.

May 22, 2008
USPS ships my beer
by: Anonymous

Hey dumbass, USPS restricts liquer ***** greater than .5% Alcohol***** not beer

May 16, 2008
Not with USPS...
by: Anonymous

Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted & Perishable Mail states:
422.11 Intoxicating Liquors
Intoxicating liquors having 0.5 percent or more alcoholic content are nonmailable. Taxable liquors with 3.2 percent or less alcohol, including those obtained under a prescription or as a collector's item, also are nonmailable. The prohibition of the mailing of intoxicating liquors is contained in federal law (18 USC 1716).

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