Friday, December 10, 2010

Shipping Bluefield Ale

Not sure why I took this picture.  See the sexy beer model in the background, though.  Very hot.
If you've read any of my recent blog posts and/or follow closely, you know that I've brewed a chocolate hazelnut ale porter inspired by my sister (the one who I blame for making me homebrew). Unfortunately, she lives in Wisconsin. Since the SheppyBrew nanobrewery is in Colorado, and has pathetic distribution (we are no Sierra Nevada ... that's for sure), I have to make special accommodations to get a sample to her.

We are going to be in the same place at the same time in a few weeks.  I don't want to pack beer in my luggage (various reasons including my lack of trust for baggage handlers).  So, I thought I would mail the chocolate ale.  I've never shipped beer before, but home-brewers do all the time.  It is illegal to ship beer via the US Postal Service.  It is against policy for UPS or Fed Ex to knowingly accept beer, but the advice I got from the AHA forum seems to be that a "don't ask / don't tell" approach with UPS works just fine.  This seems to be standard procedure for lots of other home-brewering bloggers as well.  The best resource I found was at BarlowBrewing:  "How to Pack and Ship Beer".

So ...

First I put each bottle in a zip-lock bag.

Then, I wrapped each of the zip lock bags with bottles in them in bubble wrap:

I put the bubble wrapped bags with bottles in a box with shipping peanuts.

And lots of crumpled up news paper.

Next, I'll have to weigh the box, print out a UPS label, and either take the package to a UPS store or someplace like that.  It should arrive in plenty of time.  Hopefully the recipient will have room in her fridge to chill the beer upright for a few days before Mrs. Bluefield arrives.

I have to admit that I'm a little nervous about shipping my beer.  I think I've packed everything pretty well.  I just don't know how it will turn out.  I guess we'll see.  If it turns out well, I'll probably let you know.  If not, I'll probably just stay silent on the subject.


  1. I'm so touched that you're going to so much trouble to allow me to try it! Are you sending a variety, or just the Bluefield Chocolate Ale?

  2. Just the chocolate ale. And, I'm guessing you'll have to share. I know for certain, Sue is going to want to try it. You probably won't like it anyway, so sharing will not be a problem, I'm sure.