Mailing Alcohol

Is it legal for a person of legal drinking age to mail a bottle of beer to another person of legal drinking age?

I e-mailed UPS, and their response mentions that I need some sort of permit, which doesn’t look available to me as I’m not a retailer. A quick look at the USPS site just mentions that anything over 0.5% is unmailable. (I would think a beer falls within the allowable range?)

I have an e-mail in to the USPS regarding this, but I figured the SDMB would net me a quicker response.

I would be either mailing or receiving a bottle of beer as settlement of a wager in the upcoming PSU-Wisconsin tilt. I’m not looking to ship cases of the stuff.

Wrap it well, send it UPS or FedEx, and tell them it’s personal items.

I used to ship cases of beer all over the country for contests. UPS was the best. It was perfectly legal to do so for “scientific testing purposes.”

Only if you’re drinking non-alcoholic beer - most beer is at least 3-4% alcohol.

My husband is a letter carrier for the USPS, and confirms that trying to ship alcohol via the USPS is illegal. He has had to report packages that were damaged during transit and found to be broken bottles of wine, etc.

There are also various laws enacted by different states that restrict or forbid alcohol shipments not being done by wholesale companies and other appropriately-permitted people. So besides probably having to lie to a shipping company, you risk getting busted on that matter as well, or at least having your shipment confiscated.

Ir’s got to be something about the delivery service not being able to verify the age of the recipient.

I tried to wrap and send a nice bottle of rum to someone at my local UPS store and they refused, saying they were no longer allowed to ship alcohol knowingly. Period.

So I wrapped it at home and shipped it UPS…


I’d hate for him to be charged with mail fraud (that’s a felony, right?). I’m not so much worried about me, because there ain’t no way in hell PSU is losing that game. And yes, that’s a fact, Mr. Moderator.

And even then, beer with 3.2% alcohol or less is sometimes not even considered beer and can be purchased and consumed by minors in some states.

Here’s what I know (from my experience shipping wine personally, and my wife’s experience shipping wine for her winery):

  1. don’t ask, don’t tell. This is the best policy. USPS generally doesn’t seem to care, so long as the shipping container is not marked with any reference to its contents (i.e., “750 ML”, etc.). USPS generally doesn’t require any declaration of a package’s contents. UPS generally does.

  2. shipping alcohol is highly regulated on a state-by-state basis. Some states you can’t legally ship between, etc. UPS should have a written policy explaining this for each state (they do here in NYS).

Asked and answered.

This is closed.

General Questions Moderator