How To Ship Beer to Another State

Beer is among the most popular and widely consumed alcoholic beverages. In the United States alone, individuals over the age of 21 are consuming around 28.2 gallons of beer every year. That’s about a six-pack of beer every week!

Not only that, but when someone falls in love with the taste of a specific beer, it becomes the go-to beer they always want to have. This means, as a craft beer brewer or brewery, there are a lot of opportunities to expand your markets by learning how to ship beer to another state legally.

Before you get started, you should know that shipping regulations in each state make craft beer shipping a complicated process. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We’re here to walk you through everything you need to know about shipping beer out of state legally so you can expand your reach and take your business to the next level. Let’s dive in.

Is It Legal to Ship Beer?

The simple answer is yes. For how to ship beer legally to another state, you must have a license and know about every jurisdiction’s laws and regulations. Depending on which state you reside in, you can go through a lengthy process before you’re successfully shipping beer regularly.

What makes this challenging is that every state has their own laws for shipping beer. You’ll have to keep this in mind to ensure you comply with every state’s regulations. Each state requires a different license and has different requirements on the type of alcohol you can send. We’ll get into more on that later.

Is There a Way To Ship Beer Without a License?

A woman pouring beer into a mug

Are you wondering how to ship beer to another state as a consumer? Unfortunately, consumers can’t legally ship beer to another state. However, you can purchase beer from a licensed retailer or brewery and have them send it to your friends or family on your behalf.

If you’re looking to ship locally or want to surprise someone with their favorite craft beer, we recommend looking into home delivery apps like Instacart or Drizly. Companies like these specialize in craft beer shipping. All you need to do is ensure they are over the age of 21 and are home when the delivery arrives.

The History Behind It

Let’s delve into some history to learn more about how to ship beer to another state. From 1921 to 1933, the transportation, production, and importation of beer were made illegal by the 18th Amendment in the United States. In 1933, this was overturned by the 21st Amendment when three-quarters of the states deemed it unconstitutional to ban alcohol. The 21st Amendment gave the states the power to create their own rules and regulations around alcohol.

Even though the legal drinking age is 21 across all 50 states, the rules are still unique to each state. In Kansas, prohibition didn’t end until 1948. You aren’t allowed to sell alcohol before 9 a.m. on Sunday in Maine. Tennessee still has dry counties, and Montana has a very tedious lottery system you must enter to obtain a liquor license. With these state-specific alcohol regulations also comes shipping laws that vary state by state.

If you’re interested in shipping beer out of state, you must abide by the state you ship from and the state you’re shipping to. Sometimes, this can get a little tricky!

Courier Service Requirements

A delivery man examining packages

Once you learn about the regulations for how to ship beer to another state, you’ll need to know the unique requirements of individual shipping providers.

The UPS only allows craft beer shipping from those legally licensed and approved through a contract with the carrier. To start the process, you’ll need a valid retailer or brewery license administered by one of the 50 states. You may also need to provide proof that you have a license to ship in the other states you plan to deliver to.

FedEx has similar rules. For how to ship beer to another state through them, you must be a FedEx-approved alcohol shipper and have the licenses to ship beer legally. To become an approved alcohol shipper with them, you’ll want to start with the authorization process.

Every time you’re shipping beer out of state with your chosen courier service, you’ll need to disclose that the package you’re shipping contains alcohol. Depending on the requirements, you may also need to pay an alcohol shipping fee.

For USPS, alcohol is considered a restricted item that can’t be shipped in the states. Here are a few other courier services you can look into if you don’t want to ship through FedEx or UPS:

The paperwork with the courier service you choose is half the battle. Once you establish a relationship with a courier service, the process will run much smoother. Let’s now discuss the requirements for how to ship beer to another state.

Requirements for Craft Beer Shipping

Each state has unique requirements when it comes to recipients, shippers, and alcohol. After you get set up with a courier service, you’ll want to take a deeper dive into the unique requirements for shipping beer out of state before you start to expand your markets.

Recipient Laws

The recipient of the beer will need to be over the age of 21 and present when the package arrives. If you’re shipping to another company or retailer, they’ll also need a license to receive the shipment.

Shipping Beer from State-to-State

If you’re looking to expand your reach and ship to all 50 states, you’ll need to learn how to ship beer to another state and go through a lengthy process to get everything in order. For starters, some states don’t allow alcohol delivery. These include Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, and Kentucky.

If you’re still looking to only ship to the neighboring states around you, you can begin by researching the unique requirements and seeing what types of licenses you’ll need to get started. In the best-case scenario, it’s all similar paperwork for shipping beer out of state. You just need to file with each state.

The next obstacle you’ll need to keep in mind is that some states only allow craft beer shipping to local retailers and not consumers. As a brewery, you may not be able to set up an e-commerce store where anyone can buy from you, no matter where they reside.

Don’t get discouraged that every state has different rules. Some states allow direct shipment of all types of alcohol and may have easier workarounds than others. To learn more about how to ship beer to another state study the NCSL direct shipment of alcohol states guidelines.

Keep in mind: Shipping to licensed retailers can sometimes be easier than delivering directly to consumers. If you can’t legally ship beer to a particular state, look into striking a deal with a retailer that’s licensed in that jurisdiction.

Staying Local

If you want to start local and expand, there are apps designed to get your craft beer in the hands of consumers. Drizly and Instacart are two well-known craft beer shipping apps that are easy to use for liquor retailers interested in shipping beer out of state. We recommend taking a closer look at the retailer’s requirements to see if this might be a good option for you.

What You’ll Need to Ship Beer

Beer bottles in boxes

Once you’ve learned how to ship beer to another state and have the proper licenses and documents, you’ll want to consider your packing materials. Since beer bottles and cans are considered fragile, you’re going to need proper packaging that will prevent any unwanted breaks or damage during transportation.

Shipping Beer Cans

When it comes to shipping beer cans, you’ll need to make sure the cans are properly packed in a shipping box to guarantee they don’t get too shaken up during transportation. Luckily, shipping cans is less of a hassle than transporting glass bottles.

If you’re shipping beer cans, you can try our 4/6 Pack Beer Can Shipper. These are uniquely designed to fit four to six cans and get them to their destination without breaking. Our Hexabox is one of the most reliable craft beer shipping boxes available to transport your products. With our packaging solutions, you never have to worry about how to ship beer safely to another state.

Shipping Beer Bottles

When shipping bottles, you’ll want to be extra careful that the glass doesn’t break during transportation. You’ll need a shipper box that you can trust to protect your bottles and keep everything in mint condition.

Our Small Bottle Hexabox Shipper Kit is one of the best packaging solutions you can use when shipping beer out of state. The construction is engineered to keep up to a dozen 12-ounce beer bottles safe.

DIY Shipping Box

Once you know how to ship beer to another state, you can explore other packaging methods. If you want to make a DIY packaging solution, you can wrap each bottle in bubble wrap and tape them together, so they don’t move around as much.

From there, you can put them into a ziplock bag so that if anything breaks, the damage is minimized. You may also want to line your box with plastic or a garbage bag. This will help minimize the mess as well. DIY shipping boxes can be riskier, but it’s doable if done correctly.

Things you’ll need for a DIY shipping box:

To ensure your beer arrives safely, we recommend finding a trusted supplier that can provide you with high-quality craft beer shipping boxes. This is the best way to ensure none of your bottles will break during transportation.

At Gorilla Shipper, we use state-of-the-art technology to ensure your beer bottles and cans are safely shipped to their destinations. From shock to compression testing, our beer and wine shipping boxes have passed all safety requirements. They are made for beverage industry professionals interested in shipping beer out of state with peace of mind.

Plus, our Hexabox shippers are UPS-approved, FedEx-approved, and ISTA-certified, so you never have to worry, no matter which shipping service you use.

Wrapping Up: How To Ship Beer to Another State

When learning how to ship beer to other states, never be discouraged by the rules or regulations. Even though you might not be able to expand your markets to every state, you have several options that can help when shipping beer out of state or locally. We recommend taking things slow, starting locally and branching out to neighboring cities in your state.

Once you feel comfortable, you can start to ship anywhere in your state or look into getting a license to ship to the nearby states. Before you send out your beer to consumers, always ensure you have the proper craft beer shipping materials to ensure the safety of your beer bottles or cans.

At Gorilla Shipper, we’re held to a higher standard. As a leader in the beer shipping industry, you can rest assured knowing our products can help you reach your delivery goals. If you’re ready to start shipping, check out our innovative beer packaging solutions. Buy in bulk to save more and reduce your shipping costs.