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Beer Trading 101

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So, you been reading about all these Great Beers that people are Posting on Facebook, or seeing your friends drinking these “Whales”. One way is to order from sites that actually sell beer on-line. Or Jump head first into the world of Beer Trading.

Step 1~Where do I Trade

There are Several Forums and Sites you can go beer trading, to find any beer you want to try. Some of the Favorites are:

Facebook. Just check ISO:FT (In Search Of: For Trade) pages, there are several trade groups available. When Posting for a wanted beer, For example, start out like this: ISO: Jai Alai FT: Fat Heads Hop JuJu. With your first trade you should start off with easily attained shelf beers, and make it a small one. Maybe 2 bombers or a 4 pack.
Keep conversations going with the person you are trading with, There is nothing worse than a trader that makes you wait a couple days for a response. Extra’s are common when trading, a couple Locals that are not available to your trade partner, are welcome. Just make sure to get to know what their “Likes” are. Don’t send them an extra Sour or Wheat beer, if they don’t like them. It use to be an unwritten rule, to always send a couple extras, but lately I ask first. I have sent out some awesome extras, several times, and I received nothing in return.

First Time Beer Trading?

As a first time trader, you are expected to ship first, and always have the Tracking Number from the Shipping Service you are using available. It is also proof, that you shipped something. Unfortunately, there are Scammers and bad traders out there. So hopefully the person you are shipping too, has some credibility. After all, thats how the trade world works…reputation. You will be thrown massive amounts of abbreviated beers and Brewery’s. It can get confusing real quick. Here are some of the most Popular ones:

  • Barrel Aged/Barrels
  • BA – Barrel aged
  • bal – barrel aged
  • bbal – bourbon barrel aged
  • BT – buffalo trace bourbon
  • EC – elijah craig bourbon
  • HH – heaven hill bourbon
  • JD – jack daniels whiskey
  • MM – maker’s mark bourbon
  • PVW – pappy van winkle bourbon
  • Beers and Breweries
  • 001 – 012 (Lost Abbey Veritas Series)
  • 2TD, 3FH, 4CB, 5GR – Bruery Xmas beers
  • 3F – 3 Fonteinen
  • AftW – Adam from the Wood
  • BBC – Berkshire Brewing Company OR Bluegrass Brewing Company
  • BB4D – Bourbon Barrel 4th Dementia
  • BBCS – Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
  • BBVD – Big Black Voodoo Daddy
  • BCBCS – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
  • BCBRS – Bourbon county Brand Rare Stout
  • BCBVS – Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout
  • BCS or BCBS – Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • BT – Black Tuesday
  • CAftW – Cherry Adam from the Wood
  • CBC – Cambridge Brewing Company
  • CBS – Canadian Breakfast Stout
  • CCB – Cigar City Brewing
  • CdC – Cuvee De Castleton
  • CdT – Cuvee de Tomme
  • CL – Capt. Lawrence
  • CR – Chocolate Rain
  • CW BBBW – Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
  • DDG- Duck Duck Gooze
  • DL – Dark Lord
  • FBS – Founders Breakfast Stout
  • FF – Fifty/Fifty (brewery) or Flaming Fury
  • FfaC – Framboise for a Cure
  • FFF – Three Floyds
  • GB – Ghandi Bot
  • GI – Goose Island
  • GM – Grey Monday
  • HT – Heady Topper
  • IP – Isabelle Proximus
  • (BA)IST – (Barrel Aged) Imperial Stout Trooper
  • KBE – Kuhnhenn Blueberry Eisbock
  • KRE – Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock
  • KBS – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
  • KH – King Henry
  • KtG – Kate the Great
  • LA – Lost Abbey
  • LH – Left Hand
  • LP – Lou Pepe
  • NEBCO – New England Brewing Company
  • PiaPT – Partridge in a Pear Tree
  • PT – Pretty Things
  • PtE – Pliny the Elder
  • PtY – Pliny the Younger
  • RR – Russian River
  • SA – Sam Adams (occasionally used for St. Arnold)
  • (BA)SC – (Barrel Aged) Sexual Chocolate
  • SHBRL – Southampton Black Raspberry Lambic
  • SitR – Sour in the Rye
  • VF – Victor Francenstein
  • WC – White Chocolate
  • WnB – Wake – n Bake – Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Stout
  • ZD – Zombie Dust

Step 2~ Beer Trading Packing 

  1. Items you will need to properly and safely pack your hoppy goodness. Oversized Box – Don’t try to cram Glass in a small box. Leave room to pack plenty of cushion. Fragile don’t mean a thing to those Delivery services.
  2. Bubble wrap – 2 layers of Wrap around the bottle, would be advised, again, Fragile don’t mean a thing to those Delivery services.
  3. Rubber Bands – Don’t tape the wrapped bottles. Use the rubber bands, so you can keep using the bubble wrap in future trades. The tape will destroy it.
  4. Tape – Tape is for sealing the Box. (some use electrical tape, for around the bottle cap, for extra protection from leaking).
  5. Old Newspapers – Extra stuffing for securing your precious cargo. The bottles should not be able to move.
  6. Zip Lock Baggies – If possible, I like to put each beer in it’s own Baggie, just in case of breakage. Once again – Fragile don’t mean a thing to those Delivery services.
  7. Styro Shipper – Comes in 3 or 6 usually. and this is the simplest way to go.

Make sure neither end of the bottle is touching the side of the box, layers will save your beer for shipping across country. Tape the top and bottom, I received several Boxes with the bottom almost falling out, because they forgot, or don’t think it needs it. Tape all openings of the box.

The Styro Shipper, if you can get some are So easy and clearly the Safest way to go. you can order these at Uline & Uhaul.

Step 3~Delivery Services

  1. UPS
  2. FedEx
  3. USPS

OK, Shipping Beer is a No No for all 3 carriers, not just USPS. Everybody has their own opinion on which is cheaper, more safe….and more legal? Don’t tell them it’s beer. The general things that are said are being shipped are – Collectable glassware, Snow Globes, Olive Oil, Homemade Sauces, books…etc. You can also use their OnLine sites, and print your own label. This will make it a quick trip, and you can save 10% on shipping. A big problem with shipping is the sloshing around your beer can make. Here’s some tips that seem to work:

  • Make sure your bottles are standing up, and not on it’s side
  • Buy a small box of Hard candy, Like Tic Tacs, Nerds…that rattles when it moves.
  • Don’t use a box that has a Wine or Beer Label on it, that will raise suspicion to an employee.
  • Put pennies in an empty Pill bottle. 

Step 4~Enjoy

Never forget, this can be a fun Hobby. But It can get expensive in a hurry, and ADDICTIVE, so don’t do too many trades at one time. It also can get confusing as to what beer is for who. it is not uncommon to have 8 to 10 trades going at one time. And things can get out of hand. Eventually, someone will get shorted in a deal, and your reputation will take a hit. It is a good idea to have “Contacts” in Key areas around the Country, in spots where you want to have a continuous of the beer you want. Like Cigar City Brewery out of Tampa Fla. Or Great Lakes Brewery from Cleveland Oh.

I hope this will help you get off the ground, and start your cellar stocking of great beer. Any More questions or comments> beergod1@gmail.com.

Cheers ~ Mark Pyle

 

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