1. Looking to trade some beers? Check out How to Get Started with Beer Trading.

Winter shipping of beer from Europe to U.S.A. - Safe? (Online Etre/BiB buyers please chime in!)

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by tbadiuk, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (265) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I tried searching on this topic, and couldn't really find any info. Other than tales of beer occasionally freezing when shipping to the northern states like ND,SD that is, and that can happen even with doing intra-U.S. beer trades/etc.

    What I'm wondering, if you surface ship (assume the cheapest 60 euro /10kg option is surface/boat?) to say Arizona from the Netherlands, is there any worry of the bottles freezing right now (end of December ship date)? I can't even really figure out what route the box would take...

  2. goodbetterbestbested

    goodbetterbestbested Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 California

    it would probably pass through the midwest which is not a good place for boxes of beer at the moment
  3. heyta

    heyta Initiate (156) Jun 16, 2009 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    $60/10kg is not by boat.

    Usually it will come in through a major airport in a major city where USPS will take over. In the end it's delivered to you by your postman.
    claaark13 likes this.
  4. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (265) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Good to know on the not-by-boat bit! Wondering if shipping to Arizona makes a difference in the route or not, or if all packages come in through Chicago? That seems to be a popular location I see people mention for in-bound stuff from Europe.
  5. heyta

    heyta Initiate (156) Jun 16, 2009 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't know I'm on the east coast -- I usually see NYC.
  6. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (265) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    If anyone has shipped recently, if they could please check their tracking info it might say the port of landing that the beer came in and the route it took.
  7. jmarsh123

    jmarsh123 Meyvn (1,309) Mar 31, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I'm in Indiana and mine always comes through NY when I receive from overseas.
  8. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Fedex boxes tend to land in Memphis, which is their biggest hub.

    bpost/usps tracking doesn't show where a box enters the country, but my guess would be something more northeastern, as that would be the shortest path.

    Long story short, I think ordering from overseas in the winter is a terrible idea. Particularly expensive 5% alcohol lambics that will freeze very easily and are known to leak already... Who knows what the conditions are like in the customs warehouse, where your box can sit for a week or more?
  9. ASUBeer

    ASUBeer Disciple (305) Nov 4, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I think Chicago and NYC are the two main entry points for these shipments because of customs. I've also had boxes sit for 1week+ in customs and I have no idea what their storage is like. Obviously a box of Lambic sitting in the cold of Chicago or NYc at this time of year is not a good thing. I'd also guess that customs is busier this time of year which might increase the likelihood of wait time.
  10. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (265) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Yikes! Well the fellow that will be sending me a box send 4 out in the last little bit, and has 4 more (mine included) to send out in the near future. I think I may be the only one that has shown some concern. I asked that we wait and see how the initial 4 boxes he sent fare, but I might ask him to hold until March or so in any case.

  11. HenrikO

    HenrikO Initiate (0) Jun 19, 2011 Sweden

    My recent UK/Euro/US trades (all via Royal Mail/Parcelforce/USPS)

    From Greensburg, PA to London, UK. US transit hub: Chicago. UK transit hub: Coventry.
    From Sweden to Pittsburgh, PA. Sweden transit hub: Malmö. US transit hub: New York.
    From Sweden to Tampa, FL. Sweden transit hub: Malmö. US transit hub: New York.
    From Tampa, FL to London, UK. US transit hub: Miami. UK transit hub: Coventry.
    From Sweden to El Cajon, CA. Sweden transit hub: Malmö. US transit hub: New York.
    From El Cajon, CA to Sweden. US transit hub: Los Angeles. Sweden transit hub: ? (in transit)
    From Brooklyn, NY to London, UK. US transit hub: New York. UK transit hub: ? (in transit).

    So it looks like inbound shipments from Europe (Sweden and UK) always end up being transited through New York first, and then on to the local hub (e.g. Pittsburgh for the PA shipments, San Diego for the El Cajon shipment). Outbond shipments seem to go via the closest major hub (NY/Chicago/LA).

    Hope this helps.

  12. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (265) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Thanks! That helps quite a bit, as it seems most shipments seem to come through New York. Having said that, I checked the weather record and it looks like avg. low is about 27F (about -3C) so Cantillon might have difficulty, but say a 10% beer probably not. However, the worry is, if you check the 'record lows' for some of the days in Jan. for example they get all the way into the negatives (below -17C !!). So, a bad cold snap could spell trouble.

  13. Kayn169

    Kayn169 Aspirant (236) Jan 9, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I just got a 12 shipper from Denmark yesterday. The box was full of lambics, and arrived safe w/ nothing frozen. It prob helps that it spent less than a week in transit.
  14. BAstoutsNsours

    BAstoutsNsours Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Florida

    I've had a box sitting in Belgian Customs since Dec 5th. Although it doesn't appear to be too cold there right now (surprisingly), I'm worried about it dipping under 32 even one night not knowing the area its being stored in. This box is on its way to me, so I get to look forward to US Customs toying with it when it crosses the pond. Hopefully its sent thru Miami.
  15. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Poo-Bah (3,007) Jun 9, 2006 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I just opened a box from etre today. Out of 11 bottles, none were busted or frozen and only one was seeping. It was a De Cam and the cork was pushing out. There is mold around the edge and it looks like it was overfilled, there is no head space at all. Two other bottles of De Cam were just fine.
  16. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Meyvn (1,019) Aug 29, 2008 Australia

    Have been told that Australia and US are similar. If you are shipping to AZ and the box arrives and clears customs in Chicago before arriving in AZ, it just means that the closest facility, LA, is too busy to accept it at that time and it is routed to a closer facility. It does happen pretty often. Have had packages arrive in Brisbane or Melbourne before arriving with me in Sydney.
  17. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    If Belgian shipping is anything to go by, there's no surface option anymore. Every international parcel is now "air priority", and I presume Holland is no different. I think it'll be fine once the holidays are done and dusted, if Andre ships your stuff out next week after the rush ends, it should be fine. A parcel of mine got stuck in a storage facility either in NYC or Chicago for a good 14 days before it suddenly arrived at its Colorado destination. The holidays just screw it up that way.
  18. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    sorry to revive this topic, but i just made an etre order to chicago - customs notwithstanding (they do take their sweet time i understand so it can be a total crapshoot), how long does it typically take from order to delivery? i know the holidays were intense shipping-wise, but i'm guessing it'll have calmed down a bit by now.
  19. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    The last two shipments I've received from them, both since January, have only taken 5-7 business days. One went through Chicago, the other through NYC.
  20. canadianghetto

    canadianghetto Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Ordered a couple boxes last month from Etre and it came in less than 2 weeks. I think I am lucky since the box flew into IAH (Houston) and then went right out for delivery.
  21. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    nice! glad to see i probably won't have to wait until next month...
  22. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    1-3 weeks is typical, but longer is not unheard of.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.