Sending Beer To The Usa From Aus

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Hi All,

I want to send a choice sample of Australian craft beer to my mate in the USA.

I know that there can often be issues with sending Alcohol internationally. There is a mountain of information out there and I am having trouble filtering it all out.

Has anyone ever shipped beer to the US as a gift? How did you go about it? What document/declarations did you have to fill out? I'm not talking a case here......maybe a couple of 750ml bottles and a couple of 330ml bottles...something like that.

Keen to hear peoples experiences.




Not entitled to an opinion
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I've looked into it in the past. There isn't any legal impediment to the international mail part but it is illegal to mail beer domestically within the US. I hear the best way around it is to put "yeast samples" rather than "beer" on the customs declaration.

Having said that, I do know a guy who does mail homebrew within the US and hasn't had a package intercepted yet.

I guess it is just a matter of deciding whether you think it is worth the risk or not. As I understand it the penalty for sending beer is that some postie will drink it. You won't be in the shit so go for it if the cost isn't prohibitive (it won't be cheap).


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I have emailed parcels to a friend in the past. To put it bluntly, it is illegal to ship alcohol into and around the US. There are ways to get it into the country, that I personally have not had trouble with, but alcohol is on the official prohibited list. Basically, if you are happy to take the $200+ cost of sending the box to the US, then go for it. A few things I highly recommend you do:

Put it inside an Australia Post box you can buy from Australia Post. Wrap everything very well in bubblewrap, and tape the lids (just so if they snag, they won't pop open). Fill everything else with beads/foam/paper/whatever. On the customs declaration, don't put it being worth more then $20, and that it is "collectible glassware".

If it gets checked in the US, depends who checks it really, it might be rejected and sent back to you, which means you have wasted a couple of hundred dollars. If it goes to... Origin, I believe they are called, here in Australia who organise US shipments, and they reject it, you can get your money back as it has not left the country yet.

Did I mention it will cost you around 200 bucks to send it <_<

Fat Bastard

Brew Cvlt Doom
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I've sent beer and spirits to the US successfully before. Each time I've marked the decleration as cooking vinegars and oils. It's always gotten through.

Mind you, last time I did it, it cost 90 bucks to send 2 longnecks to Washington DC, so I probably won't be doing it again.


To err is human, to arrr is pirate
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Canadian here, speaking from a homebrew perspective.

Prior to 2001 it wasn't difficult to ship beer to the states, but since then it's next to impossible to do it "properly" (i.e. declared as beer). Sterile yeast samples stored in water, cooking vinegars and oils (nice one FB!), etc, sometimes can make it through but more often than not they won't.

Whatever you declare the shipment to actually be, DON'T put paperwork/letter/whatever in the box that says what it really is. For instance, if I wanted to enter a US homebrew competition, I'd put the bottles alone in a box (packed with styrofoam so the bottles can't move and double bagged - one for each bottle, one lining the inside of the box) with just the BJCP category number/subcategory letter. Declare the contents to be "sterile yeast samples - for scientific evaluation - no commercial value" and send it. If the box does get opened by customs, all they have is the declaration and a few cryptically marked bottles, "7A" or "19B", etc. Nothing incriminating or suggestive that the contents aren't what they're declared to be. I then mail the paperwork (entry forms) separately. I know people who have done this all only to put the entry forms in the same box and they've had their shipments trashed by US customs with a phone call telling them that they trashed the shipment for lying on the customs declaration. ...And they're probably on a watch list now. :blink:

If possible, take the labels off the bottles if you're going to declare the contents as cooking oils/vinegar/yeast samples etc. Also be mindful of the weather stateside. Courier trailers/mail trailers/trucks aren't heated or refrigerated. It's possible that your package could bake in tropical heat for a week or two, and if it's winter it's possible that your bottles could freeze and explode in the winter (which happened to me once).

All these inter-country shipping issues are one of the reasons that the CBOTY (Canadian Brewer of the Year) was created 3 years ago.