Packing Bottles

packI just got my first bottles from trading this years batch of Deschutes Abyss in and I’m really excited about the beers I received. When I cracked open a bottle of this years Abyss to try I had plans to trade only 2 or 3 bottles of my half case, but my disappointment in it means more may be traded. Anyways here’s what I got from KCHophead. For two bottles of Abyss I received:

an ’09 Harvest Dance from Boulevard Brewing, an ’08 Reserve Barlywine from Schlafely, and a bottle of his Schlafely Tripple Clone that he brewed.

Sadly the Tripple didn’t come off well. Not sure if it was oxidized or what, but there was a heavy metallic flavor throughout. The other flavors were good though. Thanks KC. I plan on letting the other bottles age, so I’ll tell you what I think when I crack them.

This was my first beer trade, but not my first time shipping something heavy and fragile. I learned alot from this trade though both through shipping and receiving and figured a basic rundown is needed for people.

First off people over complicate the process in an attempt to prevent any damage to their bottles. There are two main things to consider though. Safeguarding the labels and glass (some people collect them) and safeguarding the contents.

Safeguarding the glass and labels is simple. Wrap the bottles in bubble wrap and then bag them. I just used old plastic shopping bags. One thing to make sure you do is tape every wrap. If you wrap the bottle in bubble wrap then tape it in place. If you bag the bottle tape that in place. If the bag and bubble wrap slip you can loose protection, or allow packing material up against the bottle which can cause damage to the label or glass.

The contents are a different thing to protect. The bag you used to safegaurd the label will keep contents contained if they spill. Last thing you want is a call from FedEx or UPS saying that they can’t ship your package because of some mysterious liquid seeping out the box. Also any spills will not soak the labels of other bottles. In terms of packing material I’d say it comes down to preference. In middle school science class our group won the egg drop project using the simplest design because we followed a simple principle. The goal of packing material is to isolate the bottles from the sides of the box and create a dense environment around the bottles. This provides cushioning, but also, because of the dense packaging distributes any jolts or shocks through the entire box rather then into the bottles. I used peanuts to pack because it was cheaper to buy a bag of those then buying enough newspaper to stuff the box.

If you safeguard the bottles and contents then your trades will show up in great condition. And even with bubble wrap and peanuts it is cheaper then $5 to package your bottles. For a good beer an extra $5 is worth it though.

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7 Responses to “Packing Bottles”

  1. jbx says:

    Two thoughts,
    1. allegedly, popped popcorn is a cheap / eco friendly replacement for Styrofoam.
    2. a liquor box with 12 cells [3 x 4] provides lot of isolation to the internal two cell; assuming to 10 outer cells are filled.

    [ Did I wander into the ‘Helpful Household Hints from Heloise]’ column. ]
    later, jbx

  2. Beermented says:

    but…. what do I do with those pesky coffee stains on my trousers??? ;-}

  3. jbx says:

    @Beermented – Subtle; very clever.

    Returning to the discussion of yesterday [‘return with us now to the early days of yesteryear’, the narrator of the Lone Ranger announces].

    Regarding, support your local [Pacific Northwest] brewery.
    I cede the point that buying Budweiser American Ale supports the AB employees, distributor, community of Fairfield, California.

    But, supporting the micro and regional breweries supports the employees . . . community ‘plus’ it supports
    – diversity
    – innovation

    Anheuser-Busch in now offering a dozen different beers; but, for example, Bear Republic Brewing Co. submitted 22 different beer to the GABF according to their website.
    btw: I have no vested interesting in promoting BRBC; but, their website seems to remain up-to-date.

  4. Beermented says:

    I have no problem supporting a quality brewery with a diverse catalog of quality beer. I do have a problem supporting a brewery or brew pub that is churning out crappy, no matter weather local or not. Why glorify sub-standard beer?

  5. jbx says:

    Mr. Beermented, we are shouting in agreement.

    btw, last night, returning from PDX with arrived guest, ~545p, we left south bound rush hour traffic on the I-205 by exiting at SW Powell Blvd and driving 3.3 miles to Hopworks Urban Brewery.

    HUB pilsner is excellent; my new #1 favorite; can’t say enough good about it. I purchased a growler.

    At home, taste tested 5 available pilsners; all preselected as among best available ‘local’: <600 miles. HUB pilsner won the taste-off / is #1 in my clan; YMMV. And, the quest continues.

    Re: HUB brewpub: good organic food; nice ambiance and lots of 30something families, many rug rats/ankle bitters; I would go back tomorrow.

  6. Capital Taps says:

    Jared! I’ve got a reason for you to visit wineries…I bet you could offer to reuse/recycle wine shippers they won’t use any more – blemishes, stains, cracks, cosmetic things that might make the wineries not want to use them for customers, but which would still leave them usable for your purposes.

    Also – Heater Allen in McMinnville is holding an open house this weekend – so there’s another source of pilsner as well as a beer destination in wine country.

  7. kchophead says:

    BTW, Jared did a way better job of shipping the beers than I did and I have no excuse as I’ve shipped a dozen times or so now. I will be doing a vertical tasting with another blogger of the 07, 08 and 09 versions of the Abyss. I’ll do a post on it within a month or so.

    Thanks again Jared!

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