View Full Version : Shipping Mead

06-19-2008, 05:33 AM
Ok, Legally shipping mead/wine in the US to your friends is a thing of the past... person to person anyway. So I just shipped 6 bottles, in three (2 bottle) styrofoam shipping containers. The wine shipping box was packed in another box with bubble wrap to help disguise the sloshing... because liquid is a dead give away. Some shippers (re:PRICKS) view any liquid shipment as suspect, and don't try the "yeast samples" line with them... they're hip to that jive.

What did I do to get around the system, and would probably pass an X-ray test if they weren't looking too hard? I claimed I was shipping "Custom Core" juggling pins. I wrapped the bottles in aluminum foil, hopefully aluminum doesn't pass X-Rays as well as glass making the bottles give off a different signature then they would normally get from a wine bottle. - Not that I expect private shippers to be X-Raying my packages... just a little added precaution in case it gets flagged as suspicious and they decide it warrants it.

All three packages arrived safely. All three boxes had this 4x5 sticker on the outside, which I printed on the blank labels I normally use for my bottles.

<img src="http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d179/wrathwilde/CoreJuggling.jpg">

Nothing like selling the Lie...


Yo momma
06-19-2008, 06:17 AM
NICE! That's funny. I need to ship some in a few months and was wondering how I was going to get arround "THE MAN".

06-19-2008, 10:38 AM

This does bring up the whole concern with shipping for the competition though. Wine bottles can be passed off as juggling pins, but beer bottles are a little more difficult to deal with. I suppose we could tell them they are Corona Salt and Pepper shakers, as long as they do not hear any gurgling when shaking the box. Follow Wrath's lead and print this up and paste it on the box:


With the increased restrictions our government is putting on everything these days, I am expecting to need my Wisconsin passport very soon to be able to travel into Illinois. Day visa needed to go to the Field Museum! Either that or swim down the lake past the checkpoints.


06-20-2008, 12:15 AM
Very cool, guys! But I think the best way to get around the problem is to do a lot of shipping of odd lots of "stuff" with a local office of FedEx. The FedEx guys in Golden have all gotten to know me, at least by sight, and they don't ever question what I've got in my packages any more.

FedEx is your friend -- or they should be! ;)

06-20-2008, 12:28 AM
Very cool, guys! But I think the best way to get around the problem is to do a lot of shipping of odd lots of "stuff" with a local office of FedEx.

The Only problem with that is I have absolutely no reason to be shipping anything EXCEPT my mead. My relatives either live close enough to drive the mead to them, or far enough that the Christmas/Birthday gifts they get are going to be mead... because that's what they request, same with my friends.


06-20-2008, 01:02 AM
I am going to have this problem shipping a few bottles to people who asked to taste my 'experiments'

Am I going to have pay for fed-ex and assume that USPS is off limits now?

06-20-2008, 02:20 AM
USPS is definitely off limits...

18 USC Sec. 1716


Sec. 1716. Injurious articles as nonmailable


(f) All spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors of any kind are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried through the mails.

I'm assuming mailing through the USPS would be impossible declared, and a felony if you fraudulently identified the contents.


06-20-2008, 02:54 AM
I know UPS used to allow printing shipping labels online using a credit card (and probably still does). Then you just need to drop it off at any authorized outlet (many unauthorized outlets work too) and per their contract to be an authorized outlet can't charge you any extra fees. While I've never shipped mead, I have shipped liquids before and I've found your best bet is to drop them off at someplace where their primary business isn't shipping. I happen to drop mine off at the local supermarket. Never been asked any questions regarding the package contents. And according to a friend who once worked at a UPS ground sorting center while in college, they didn't open/examine packages unless there's some real reason to, ie leaking, smelly, etc. The volume was simply too high to pull many packages for inspection. Basically this tells me that once you get it into the package stream, you're likely good to go.

06-20-2008, 04:13 AM
I have this idea that I will buy some disposable diapers to wrap one or so around my bottles next time I ship. That way if the bottle does break, it won't drip and get me in trouble.


06-20-2008, 01:26 PM
The postal service is concerned with leaking packages. Once a package is found to be leaking an unknown fluid, powder, or substance, it is immediately quarantined and treated as dangerous until the owner of the package is contacted and asked what exactly is in the package and is it dangerous. A huge deal is made of it (remember the anthrax threat?).
Fedex and UPS are more expensive and take longer to ship, no lie. Many tacking studies have been done and no one can beat the USPS. Cheaper and faster than the other carriers and also the cheapest in the world, however, for your purposes many are using UPS, FEDEX, and DHL with success. I understand there is a Beer of the Month Club that regularly uses UPS. Signed....a USPS letter carrier.

06-20-2008, 03:17 PM
Which is why it's better to have an open policy... so that people aren't lying on their shipping lists, and the USPS knows exactly what's being shipped. Creating lists of banned items only increases the risks to mail carriers. With unrestricted shipping the USPS could determine what steps need to be taken to satisfy safe shipping requirements. Say ground shipment only if an unpressurized cargo hold would compromise the item.


06-20-2008, 04:37 PM
My understanding is that it is illegal to ship using the USPS however it is only against company policy's to ship alcoholic beverages using FedEx, UPS or DHL.
I've only shipped 6 different packages but have not had any problems. I used UPS will all of them.

06-20-2008, 05:03 PM
i have successfully shipped mead through the USPS, though it was in a package within a package full of packing peanuts and comic books

though iwouldn't try it agian, or on anything larger than a single bottle

06-20-2008, 06:18 PM
So looks like it's UPS for me then, or Fed-Ex.

Messing around with the Postal Police isn't my idea of a good time!

06-20-2008, 09:37 PM
I use FedEX all the time. No hassle at all. I just tell them I'm shipping homemade vinegar. It helps, of course, that I actually brought them in a bottle at the small depot I use to ship. It was a very nice one with a rosemary and sage branch in the bottle. No questions ever again.

One must plant the lie in between carefully selected truths! Sell it baby, sell it.