When traveling to other states...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Mehinaman, Jul 7, 2015.

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  1. Mehinaman

    Mehinaman Zealot (515) May 16, 2015 Washington

    Besides going to local breweries do you go out of your way to hit up local beer shops? I have not done a lot of traveling lately and just got into craft beer this year, but I am going to to Atlanta for work this summer and look forward to checking out a few local shops. Figure it would be fun to see what is offered that I could not find in my own home state and maybe bring a few bottles back. Speaking of which, how do you all bring bottles back with you if you are flying? Just put a few bottles in your checked baggage?
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  2. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (12,932) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    go to seekabrew.com. It allows you to do a comparison of what 2 states have in terms of distribution. And, yes, I always hit up local bottle shops. Use the places tap here on BA.
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  3. SteveB24

    SteveB24 Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2013 New York

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  4. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,350) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
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    I can't speak too much to the checked baggage thing since I tend to drive most everywhere, but I will check for bottle shops in "places" where I'm headed to. One thing of note, if you are not familiar with the surrounding cities and burgs, "places" will be of limited use unless you want to check every single town, which I doubt. I'll google map "liquor stores" near the place I'm staying and cross reference those results with places. I'd also jump onto the US-SE forum and ask those contributors, as they can direct you very well if you let them know which side of town you'll be working / staying on and give advice likely based on circumventing traffic (of which the ATL can be pretty bad)
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  5. stakem

    stakem Poo-Bah (5,772) Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Next week I am taking my semi-annual trip to Florida and while I wont have the freedom to visit breweries like I did prior to having children, I still make it a point to hit at least 1 bottle shop to grab some goodies that I otherwise would not find locally.

    When flying, i pack a small box and wrap it in dirty clothes in my checked luggage.
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  6. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,948) Apr 16, 2015 New York
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    I like to pick up some bottles/cans that I can't get at home when travelling. Either at the brewery or local stores. I have checked a case of bomber bottles, in their box labeled "fragile" with no issues. Depends on the baggage fee and how much luggage you have whether or not the price is worth it. I also have put a few bottles or cans in my checked bag without issue. A few times I sent my self a UPS package, when I just wanted to have a carry on bag.
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  7. Vason

    Vason Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    My last stop on my trip to Milwaukee was to a bottle shop. I use the BA ratings to figure out where I wanted to go, and it turned out quite well.
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  8. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (4,633) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
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    Everywhere I travel to involves visiting a local beer shop.
  9. Crack2000

    Crack2000 Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2010 Texas

    I've used the rankings on BA "Places" many times with great success for various states and my trip to Amsterdam. Thanks to everyone that contributes to that resource
  10. MortarPestle

    MortarPestle Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2008 Indiana

    I don't travel much but when I do I check with seekbrew before the trip and make a Wish List, then I post in the appropriate forum looking for shop recommendations.
  11. Nmelione

    Nmelione Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2014 New Jersey

    I will always hit up local bottle shops when I travel.
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  12. Mehinaman

    Mehinaman Zealot (515) May 16, 2015 Washington

    Seekbrew is very cool. Have never heard of it before so thanks to @zeff80 above for turning me onto it. I guess it should have occurred to me that there would be a site like this
  13. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (12,932) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    It's really helpful. As far as ATL, my friend loves the Brick Store in Decatur. 5 Seasons is a good brewpub that I hot while driving through.
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  14. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa

    I always find a bottle shop. I like to stock up my fridge on out of state distro beer when ever I can.
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  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,006) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    A trip without hitting up local breweries and bottle shops is like a ... something, but you get the idea. Great drinking locals with locals man.
  16. JArt

    JArt Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Pennsylvania

    When traveling for business, I always add a day or two to my trip to check out local breweries and bottle shops. As for personal travel, of late, it seems like it has all been centered around touring beer cities and procuring new beers to bring home.

    My brother-in-law just returned from San Diego with a suitcase full of beer. He said he just wrapped it in bubble wrap and clothes. I have also talked to people who checked boxes of beer with success. This might be the most cost effective way if you are flying an airline like Southwest, who allows two checked pieces of luggage.
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  17. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (126) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    I essentially bootleg up and down the East Coast every summer. I vacation in the Outer Banks every year. Last year I brought down a case of Heady Topper (none of my college friends had ever had it, all have now been converted) as well as some Night Shift.

    We bought a couple of cases of New Belgium beers (not distributed in MA) for the trip back. We will probably do the same this year, though I'm going to try to hit a bottle shop or two and focus on some rarer NC beers this year.
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  18. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,350) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    My first experience in appreciating drinking locals with locals was in like 1996 while accompanying a then current, thankfully now ex-fiancé to Seattle. I popped into a bar near the Sysco HQ somewhere south of Seattle and was getting the cold shoulder / hard look from the locals unto they found out I was from AK and certainly not CA. At that time they started to feel the angst created by too many CA transplants and how they were effing up the whole state (their take folks, not mine.... Guess they weren't' keen on Eddie Vedder????). Turned out that I drank way too many beers from no more than maybe a few miles away, sadly I remember NONE of them to this day! So the moral of the story is "don't get so ripped that you can't remember what the great beer was you had". And "don't be from California if you visit Washington state circa 1996...."
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  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,148) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Yeah, I don't think this thread is going to result in many "No" replies :wink: (thus the inability to even think of an accurate analogy :grinning:).
    #19 jesskidden, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  20. montman

    montman Devotee (415) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia

    Always, in fact on a west coast trip last month my wife said "maybe we should bring an extra checked bag for beer?"
    Just be mindful of the weight going out so its not too heavy on the return, bring some packing stuff to wrap them up, or you can just use clothes carefully.
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  21. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    I also like to hit some breweries when I travel but sometimes the schedules don't match up so I always visit a bottle shop. I usually like to check out what might be available on a store's website [but it's not always accurate] but it's a good way to pick up more than one beer you can't get at home or where you're headed. I have a road trip coming up from NY to CO and I'll be hitting quite a few breweries and stores on my way. There's no way I know to make friends quicker than to offer up some beer that's desired but not readily available.
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  22. LehighAce06

    LehighAce06 Champion (800) Jul 31, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I recommend not just looking for local beers to take home with you, but for local beers you can take with you too. Some Fremont brews would probably go over well wherever it is you're going, and being generous and an advocate will never end badly.

    If you're more into trading, there's nothing wrong with setting up some in-person swaps while in town, but my suggestion really is intended more for the idea of just openly sharing (more altruistic, but potentially much more rewarding; worst case scenario just in the karma gained).

    As an alternative to stuffing bottles in your luggage, also consider shipping a 12-shipper to your hotel ahead of yourself and then have FedEx pick it up from the hotel before you depart (or if you have transportation, take it to a local drop-off).
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  23. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,686) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I usually try to bring a few bottles back from anywhere I visit. Nothing too crazy, but maybe 4-5 bottles. I won't go way out of my way, but I'll at least make a bit of an effort.
    12oz bottles fit nicely in your shoes and I keep some spare freezer bags in my luggage just to any leaks don't ruin my clothes or bag.
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  24. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    There are many threads about flying with beer but the gist is - you can do it but you need to be mindful of weight limits and if you pack bottles, use bubble wrap on each bottle and stick each bottle into a dirty sock. The reason for a dirty sock is that it might discourage anyone if your bag gets looked through. My wife and I had the good fortune to fly first class to and from Seattle last year. I believe the weight limit per bag was 65 lbs. and we each could check 2 bags. We took 3 between us. The weight of each bag going out was about 45 lbs. Coming back each bag weighed 64 lbs. Checked them with a hotel scale to make sure they were under. Drank northwest beers pretty much exclusively for about a month - and I even shared some.
  25. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona


    Whatever is convenient for my travel location, hotel, etc. Only thing I go out of my way for is a great beer bar where I can get a lot of variety of whatever the best beers are in that given market.
  26. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,885) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I'll put in a NO.

    But that needs explaining. I never fly bottles/cans home, what I buy at local stores I drink while there---at the hotel. I try to keep most of my spending at the breweries and cut out the middleman, and use CASH. I mostly travel for the experience of places and people.... beer places and beer people. I've found that shopping at local stores can be difficult, especially in OR, MA and CA where bottle shops are sparse, and I won't go to corporate grocery stores.
  27. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (553) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina

    When traveling by car--will occasionally bring back something I found particularly nice that I can't get at home.

    Not so much now when flying-used to. The hassle factor of bag weight, the cost of checking the bag and off chance of a break even when packed well just lost its appeal. It usually never tasted as good as fresh in the local place.

    OK-maybe I send back a little Alpine. :wink:
  28. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,909) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Visiting breweries is usually the focus of my wife and my travels, but I've gotten over my desire to tick new beers to bring home with me. If there is a great beer that I want, I'll get some of it to bring home if I'm driving, but I won't mess around with taking anything on an airplane.
  29. bigflatsbeerman

    bigflatsbeerman Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2005 New York

    Checking out local beer = only thing that makes business travel tolerable for me.
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  30. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Poo-Bah (1,845) Jan 26, 2013 Canada (ON)

    Traveling within Canada doesn't usually afford me much of a difference in selection from what I get now (and it is pretty damn hard to get to some provinces when your own takes over a day to drive across).
    However, when I am in the US, I always visit local bottle shops. This is a bonanza for me, there is so much I cannot get in my own region, and even what I can is usually much fresher.
  31. DoubleJ

    DoubleJ Poo-Bah (5,814) Oct 13, 2007 Wisconsin

    You bet that I visit bottle shops when I travel out of state. I enjoy comparing what an out of state shop carries compared to what I can find in Orange County, and I often purchase bottles of beer I can't usually get.
  32. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,350) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    I'll do this as well, but to be honest, I find myself challenged by having to resort to surgical strikes since my travel time is usually at a premium. By surgical strike I mean that I will look for a quick or direct path by a bottle shop and a few breweries and hit them all in limited yet precisely allotted time by doing some recon on availabilities, hours of operation, potential parking or traffic encumbrances, etc.,.while minding time of day to account for traffic or peak customer time. Who'd have thought that a logistics degree would have such a valuable beer seeking application?
  33. 31Sam13

    31Sam13 Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2014 New Hampshire

    Ship it to my neighbor...always fun checking out anything novel and beer related...
  34. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,659) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Yes, I hit breweries and bottle shops. I also travel with a few premium bottles to be ready to trade/share when at breweries.
    And yes, pack your beers in gallon sized ziploc bags, or stuff 'em inside socks, and pack that luggage full.
  35. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,883) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    Yes on the bottle shops, I may not get a chance to visit a brewery due to logistics, travel schedule, the company I'm with, etc...but I alway make it to at least a grocery store with a decent beer selection
  36. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,083) Aug 25, 2010 New York
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    I'll check out what's around if its reasonably convenient.
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  37. Lonestar9

    Lonestar9 Initiate (170) Apr 27, 2008 South Carolina

    Yes..just drove to Atlanta recently and got some beers to take home. I just came back from Denver and brought back 10 beers on our luggage. I may listen to my wife as she said next time box up those beers and Mail them. We had two check in bags and one was 1 pound over and the other 1.5 under. I wasn't charged but could easily be next time if that happens again.
  38. Mehinaman

    Mehinaman Zealot (515) May 16, 2015 Washington

    Good suggestion. Thanks
  39. Mehinaman

    Mehinaman Zealot (515) May 16, 2015 Washington

    Coincidentally in addition to going to Atlanta I am now heading to Denver in a few weeks as well. Staying downtown so I will definitely seek out a few nearby shops
  40. ChrisMon02

    ChrisMon02 Meyvn (1,169) May 2, 2010 Ohio

    I travel quite a bit for work (mostly driving) and have shops in Michigan, Indiana and PA that I trade with. I load up with mostly local beers they don't get and swap for beers I can't get. Not sure if it's legal but the shop owners don't seam to mind. It's worked out great so far.

    When flying I use wine diapers that I tuck into my checked luggage. Never had a problem with breakage.
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