Posts Tagged ‘Beer Trading’

Packing Bottles

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

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.