With a light skip in my feet (as usually happens when one is walking through town with a big air mail package), I returned home with a present from America. Once I got home and came off my high horse, I realized that there were huge red lettered stipes of tape all around the box- damaged?
For a little under $50 USD my close friends (family really) had sent me two items from Escondio California- A Ballsack and a beer.
[caption id="attachment_1290" align="alignright" width="418"] A Ballsack... for my balls[/caption]
What more could a girl want?
The Ballsack was for my birthday (February 10th fyi) and the beer for my upcoming marriage (I need a visa). The big flesh toned ball sack had been sploodged on a little and as I moved the package peanuts to the side I found the culprit. A bottle of tape mummified home brew.
We now know Nitch has been craving, more then craving, lusting like a breeding mare in heat, for IPAs so to discover a hand made with love American IPA delivered right to my city was like being told flat out by the person you've been flirting with all night, "I'm going to fuck you." Insert fist pump and self high five!
USPS had tacked on a 'we care' message after sampling my beer. I'm sure they popped it open after scanning the thing, selfish creatures. Sorry for kicking around a parcle with carbonated items in it, I'm sure.
Popped open the swing top of the home brew- POP, Fizz, pow! A gush of foam and rush of hop aroma. Hello evening drink. She went directly into the refrigerator for chilling.
[caption id="attachment_1288" align="aligncenter" width="557"] USPS cares about my homebrew shares[/caption]
What I had forgot was that we had plans to travel up to Paris for the next day, leaving that evening. One assumes that things in their home fridge would be safe- not so, oh so, so not so.
The Homebrew is not safe!
I'm in the middle of a beer bitch rant (loudly and in English) about how Frog Pubs are a lie, how my beer is a disappointment and my food is only being eaten because I was hungry when I get this text message from my Mother in law: "Hey Nichol (she refuses to spell my name correctly) Is the beer in the fridge in a brown bottle your production?"
Let me set the stage for you, my friends before we continue with this tale.
My mother in law insists that we live with her at her bed and breakfast (groovy, two roomed place built in 1530) because she travels a lot, has a house in anther city and needs me to do the immigrant thing and work for low wages while she is gone. I'm always on call and always at work. Although she is the sweetest lady, quirky as hell, she has this bizarre distance unlike any mother figure I've ever known, like a landlord or a roommate. She writes her name on things in the fridge or hides stuff in the back, never saying anything, but just spiriting things away that she considers hers. Also, because it is her place she is constantly moving furniture and objects, making it impossible to keep oneself organized. In general causing my partner and I to feel completely unwelcome.
She has been watching the home brewing events around the place, supportive as she is and if I had finished my home brew, she would be one of the first to know, naturally (so it would seem to me).
To my roommate, employer and mother in law's text I reply:
"Lol! No! my friend made it, in California. Home made."
Mother in law: "Oh my god clients wanted beer and I opened it for them... :-(( Sorry..."
Me: "Aw!! :-( Not all of it I hope. I haven't even tasted it yet. Mine will be done in a few weeks, you'll know."
Mother in law: "I am afraid yes... What can I do??"
Me: "I am heart broken. No way to fix it. Don't worry about it."
What else could I say? No way to put spilled milk back in the cow. No tasting of the beautiful homebrew share. The beer gods are punishing me for some reason, I'm cursed. Tears dried and anger subsided I'm putting together a:
HomeBrew Share Circle!
with my friends and family brewers. As soon as my brew is done, I'm sending some out- Legal or not.
I had spent a fair bit of time researching shipping beer internationally a while ago when my friends started asking about the possibility of a homebrew share and came up with a bunch of different answers on rather or not it was legal/safe or possible.
Billy Brew drops some tips with an Ins and Outs of shipping beer: If you’re wondering about beer trades or shipping homebrew, I do both frequently. Just make sure you use UPS or FedEX and not the USPS.
My frind used USPS and they 'care' but home brew talk forums think otherwise: If USPS is your only choice, then you can't legally ship any beer. With carriers like UPS/Fedex/DHL, its against policy to ship alcohol but not against the law...
That same thread is where I found my nugget of advice, which I passed on to my friend: ...then claimed they were "Barbeque Sauce" If the bottles are brown and have no labels, I doubt they will open them to inspect the contents.
She put Hot Sauce on the package invoice- clever girl. And, even though the thing cracked and came all over the box, USPS didn't seem upset.
Homebrew Share Circle International!