One of the other beer blogs I follow on Tumblr recently just posted a list of beers that he really wants to try but that he doesn’t have access to in his geographic area (which was Montana/ Western Canada), and was wondering if anyone could help him out. I realized I had access to a couple of the beers on his list, as I live in Massachusetts, and it got me to thinking. True craft beer lovers are always on the hunt for something new, but craft beer by its very nature is local or regional, so it’s tough to gain access to the many offerings the world has to offer. That’s why there should be an Underground Beer Exchange Program.
Imagine you read a great beer review online, and then you post it to your “want list” and someone in that area agrees to send you one in exchange for you sending them something that you can get where you live. Maybe I’d like to try a bottle of New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek Ale (I would, by the way) and I could send back a bottle of Jack’s Abby Barrel-Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter. It’s a win-win for both parties. It would work much like a student foreign exchange program, by enlightening craft beer drinkers to the many different varieties of beer available, and expand our palates, thereby enriching our beer knowledge to levels heretofore unattainable. Did I mention we’d all get to drink a lot of awesome beer?
Let’s face it, it would be easier to just order beer directly from the breweries and have it shipped to our door, but we can’t. We live in a country where every one of the 50 states has different rules and laws about shipping alcoholic beverages interstate, and no one can keep track of them all, so most breweries just air on the side of caution and don’t offer shipping at all. In my state of Massachusetts, up until recently it was illegal to have any alcoholic beverage shipped to you from another state, but they just changed that law to allow wine to be shipped. Yes, that’s right, wine and not beer. It’s a broken system. That’s why craft beer lovers need to have each others backs. I’m not suggesting that anyone break any laws, but in a few hundred years we’re going to have personal transporters and we’re going to be able to teleport beers right from one home to another, so they might as well just change the laws now.
For those of you wondering how to get started in the Underground Beer Exchange Program, the first thing you’ll need is appropriate shipping containers. Not to worry, the folks at Spirited Shipper have you covered, with specially designed shipping boxes for all types of single and multiple beer bottle shipments. The next thing you’ll need to do is post a want list to some type of forum or social media site, explaining the exchange service you’re offering. Then just sit back and rely on the craft beer community to come to your aid. Just remember not to break any laws, and if you accidentally do, your friends here at Beer Snob Squad will be taking the Sgt. Schultz approach.