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Belgium Shipping to the States? and Bottle Shops in Brussels?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Davihaw, May 1, 2013.

  1. Davihaw

    Davihaw Jun 19, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have a friend that travels to Brussels once a month and I am just finding this out now! He has agreed to bring me some beers back on each trip, but insists that they be shipped. He stays at the Hotel Ibis in Grand Place:
    Rue du Marché aux Herbes 100
    1000 Brussels, Belgium
    I don't want him to have to go too far out of his way. Is there a shop close to that hotel that sells Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen and I have heard a few shops will occasionally carry Westy.
    Also, what is the process of shipping beer back to the states? Does it have to be declared? Can I send a pre-paid shipping label with him?
    Any info is greatly appreciated.
  2. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Can't help you with the process, but I know it's expensive. Like, more expensive than paying $100 for a 2nd checked bag.
  3. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    jdhoke, Ferocious and Thecherryman like this.
  4. Davihaw

    Davihaw Jun 19, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Ha! Thanks. I knew it was going to cost a lot, but I'm hoping not $100+
  5. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Beer Trader

    Prepaid shipping label? As in Fedex/UPS? Every one of my purchases from Belgium started off with their local PO and was delivered by the USPS. Expensive as hell but worth it to me for what I bought. I shudder to think what charges you'd have to belly up to if you went the Fedex/UPS route.
  6. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    So what does it cost to ship a 12er of bombers using the Belgian post? I'm going next week and was planning on sending a case back as checked luggage...it costs $100.

    Also, Pako's! Most underrated IPA ever.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  7. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Depending on the airline, it's much cheaper and legal to bring it back as additional baggage on the plane.
    tacosandbeer and DStoked like this.
  8. Dennoman

    Dennoman Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Regular bPack World is by far the cheapest and best option to get something out to the States. The US falls into a cheaper category than "Rest of the world" and is somehow equal to "Europe outside of EU".

    Up to 5 kgs: €32.40 (2 bottles with packaging)
    5-10 kgs: €64.80 (5 bottles with packaging)
    10-20 kgs: €97.20 (11 bottles with packaging)
    20-30 kgs: €129.60 (23 bottles with packaging)
    claaark13, riko and MrKennedy like this.
  9. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    This is what I figured.
  10. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Nov 27, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Dave, you don't really need clothes on the trip. Seriously, think about it.
  11. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Oh I'm not planning on bringing many. I'm just planning on bringing back 2 pieces of luggage full of beer.
  12. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    On Delta/KLM last year it $70US to bring a 12 bottle styro shipper back full, as luggage, no problem what so ever.
    claaark13 likes this.
  13. Brabander

    Brabander Oct 10, 2009 Netherlands

    70 dollar is cheap. The lowest i can ship those 12 bottles would be 66 euro/85 dollar or so...

    Biggest problem at the moment is that a lot of parcels get into problems lately @ customs and/or the shipping company....

    claaark13 likes this.
  14. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    Definitely the extra carefully packed checked in bag ! ! !
  15. claaark13

    claaark13 Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I agree with the other guys about bringing it as additional luggage. Luggage will save you some money when compared to bPost prices. The problem you'll run into though is knowing exactly where you are on weight. I had to leave 2 bottles behind at the Brussels airport because we were over. Even then, it came down to the nice guy at our airline just giving me the go-ahead when I was about 1kg too heavy on one of the bags. My wife was unhappy with me that day.
  16. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    We too left bottles in the airport (still hurts to think about), but flying on British Air my second bag was only 46 Euro, which wasn't bad. Many airlines charge $100 for the second bag, which is pricey, but I would argue it's still worth it. Also, the lady at British Air was very nice and allowed my bag to be 1 kg over and my friend's to be about 3 kg over. She asked what was in it, and he said rare beer, and she let it through.
    claaark13 likes this.
  17. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Hey Everyone,

    So next month I'm traveling to Europe and spending a week touring the breweries of Belgium. While I'm there, I'd love to take home as much as I can, particularly from places like Westy and some of the smaller breweries that don't export to the US. However, you're no longer allowed to bring liquids onto planes, and I don't trust putting it in my checked luggage, as it's likely to be smashed by baggage handlers. Gathering up all of the beer that I want, then shipping it back to myself in the US, though costly, seems like the best method.

    Has anyone done this before? Do you know what the rules and regulations are? Any other advice?

  18. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Not sure about Belgium, but shipping is not cheap. I was shipping stuff from NL a few years ago and the rate was 100 Euro (about $133) for 20kg box at the post office (smaller boxes even more expensive per kilo). Insurance extra and that's the largest box that was allowed (size limitations as well, but with beer bottles you won't reach those). Some services (DHL and TNT Post--the latter being the Dutch postal service that acts as a private service in the rest of Europe) were in the same price range but with different policies--note that postal service is nominally private. There are some private shipping options that involve the old-school methods (literally shipping). I'm not sure that's the best option, however, even if it's cheaper--there is extra exposure to moisture and the handling is far more unpredictable. Final option--you can always ask at the breweries if they will ship. Costs may be higher in some cases, lower in others, but it's always the least risky option, as they usually know what they are doing. If you're shipping several $20-30 bottles, the shipping costs are easily justified. But don't expect to save money on regular stuff you can get here--it's much cheaper in Belgium, but the shipping will raise costs above what you can get it for here.
  19. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    Bring an extra suitcase, a shit-ton of bubble wrap, and pack it in your checked baggage.

    Search the threads - there are dozens already covering this. This is how 99% of people do it with 99% success rates.
    sunnrider, tacosandbeer and DStoked like this.
  20. shnsajax

    shnsajax Jul 2, 2013 Idaho
    Beer Trader

    I just bubble wrap the bottles and check my bag, so far has worked every time. Either way considering how much you can get in Belgium that is not available here and for the price it's worth it. For example you can get 33cl bottles of St. bernardus for $1 euro in grocery stores. There are some great stores everywhere, if in Brussels there is a store over in the Grand Square by Manneken Pis, I think its called Delirium (just like the beer). Great store with lots of memorabilia too.
  21. KnightRider

    KnightRider May 20, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I've brought many bottles back on many flights, including beer from Belgium and never had a single one break. If packed well, your bottles will be fine in checked bags. I put each bottle in a sock and pack clothes around them so they can't move.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  22. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Just note--I have nothing against this method. But consider the following: 20kg~44lb/100 Euro; Extra luggage <50 lb/50-90 Euro, depending on airline, plus cost of shipping supplies, but you need that anyway. Airlines hold no responsibility for anything damaged, broken in transit, except for the bag itself. Your success recovering from various postal services may vary, but they are, on average, better than airlines for that. Convenience? Luggage wins for sure. And you can distribute the bottles between different pieces of luggage, so that they are not all in one place.

    PS: It just occurred to me that if Cantillon was able to sell through the duty-free shops, they'd make a killing. As is, it's mostly InBev/Leffe controlled...
  23. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    When I flew to Belgium in April 2011, one checked bag was included in the airfare. The limit was 50 lbs. (22.7kg)

    At the time, I wasn't into beer really. I drank Stella, Leffe, Guinness... and tried a lot of the local beers while there. But, I wouldn't have known a Delirium Tremens from a Palm.
  24. DStoked

    DStoked Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Don't mess around with shipping. Just pack your bags carefully. Between my friend and me we brought back 3 suitcases stuffed with beer, and not a single bottle broke.
  25. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Does stuffing a suitcase full of beer matter to customs? Do I need to declare it all?
  26. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    the worst thing that can happen if you declare it is that you'd have to pay some duty (some miniscule amount compared to the price of the bottle). the worst thing that can happen if you don't is some customs official making your life difficult. just declare it.
  27. rrryanc

    rrryanc May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Ya, do this. If they charge you a fee (I haven't been charged yet, going either direction), in the US it's $.08/liter. Way cheaper than any fines they might impose for not declaring it.
  28. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    I just flew to the U.S. with 8 750ml bottles. bubble wrap, clothes and no problem whatsoever.
  29. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    My shaky understanding of US law is that you can bring in as much as you want for your own consumption, but can be subject to duty if bringing more than a liter of alcohol. I say shaky b/c it seems in some descriptions to be a liter of actual alcohol, not the beverage -- So, even bringing back biggees of the 12-degree stuff, 1 liter would be more beer than I would stuff into a suitcase. (I do love to stuff a suitcase, always bubble-wrapped since ruining a suit that had bottle haphazardly rolled in.) Still, it's not totally clear from the US Customs web page, which must be a finalist in the contest for least clear govt site, written with the grace of the Federal Register. (I've submitted some feedback.) It does helpfully say that anything up to a case is generally assumed to be personal, and beyond that you can explain yourself. In any event the potential duty seems pretty low -- a few cents a bottle.

    Confession: I have always just declared "gifts" of somewhere between $50-100, which has the advantage of being true, without getting into the specific contents. (From Belgium, it's invariably beer, chocolate and maybe Jules Destrooper cookies.) I've never been questioned but next time I'm curious to be more specific and see how it goes.
  30. oregonskibum

    oregonskibum Mar 14, 2009 Oregon

    You think baggage handlers are bad? Go talk to a FedEx or UPS employee about throwing boxes around. If the box you check in as luggage isn't packed well enough to survive a little bouncing around by a baggage handler, it's definitely not packed well enough to be shipped.
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  31. fire34fighter

    fire34fighter Dec 31, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    sorry to revive an old thread. I'm traveling to Belgium and will be brining bottles back...the problem is I have 2 flights (going to Prague for a week after Belgium, then one back to the states)..It doesn't seem like it'd be cheaper to fly with the extra luggage twice rather than just shipping them?
  32. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Buy a bag at a Brussels luggage store?
  33. fire34fighter

    fire34fighter Dec 31, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I'd still be paying twice, since I have 2 flights from Brussels home.
    drtth likes this.
  34. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Whoops! Sorry, I got the sequence out of order... :)
  35. BigBadBeerSnob

    BigBadBeerSnob Jul 31, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    What was your question? Seems like you answered yourself in the question. It's super easy to send a box back via Bpost....just make sure your 12 shipper only has 11 bottles as stated by someone above. It will cost ~$100 to ship the box whereas your airline will likely charge $100+ per flight = $200+
  36. beerpirates

    beerpirates May 4, 2010 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Shipping from Belgium with Bpost to the US costs 131.20€ for a box between 20 and 30 kg
    For example , a bottle of 75 cl cantillon weighs +- 1.5 kg
    if you count 12 75cl bottles ( 18 kg ) + styrosshipper + packingmaterial ....
    If you send a box of 12 75 cl bottle well packed then it weighs around 22-23 kg

    ( click on " tarieven " )

  37. fire34fighter

    fire34fighter Dec 31, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I was simply asking if there were any other means to ship a cheaper way.
  38. BigBadBeerSnob

    BigBadBeerSnob Jul 31, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Bpost is definitely the cheapest option there is and the best option for you given the circumstance with two flights. You may also look into how the flight was booked. I recently had a split trip like this were I went to Paris for several nights (took a day trip to Cantillon) and then traveled to Barcelona for a few nights. My flight was booked where my return flight started in Paris and just had a several day lay over in Barcelona. I only had to pay for my bag once in Paris and when I checked it back in, i had already paid for the return leg of the trip so i didn't have to pay twice. That may be the only other option to look into and then pre-buy the bags online for the duration of the trip. Not sure we would be able to help there with that.... good luck.
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