If we're coming up on my birthday (and we are, so if you have a second the best present you can give me is to bookmark this Amazon link and shop there and/or do the same at any of the other fine beer and brewing vendors on our Support page!) then I know one thing for certain:
I'm getting out of town.
I don't like being made a fuss over, and I don't much want to blow out a candle stuck into a cake I don't much want to eat. No, I just want a basically "normal" day, and that's easier to do (ironically) when I get out of the state for the day. Sometimes even the country. If commercial interplanetary travel ever becomes a thing, you can bet I'll be booking it for sometime in late June.
And that means traveling with beer, either to bring it with me to some destination and/or to bring it back from some beercation stop. So, this week, we'll be taking a moment to think about how we transport beer.
"I Want to Murder whomever designed this cooler."
Not everyone has access to great coolers for beer transport. For example, I don't do much camping, but those that do have access to some pretty awesome coolers. I could buy one for myself, I suppose, but somehow I never think of it. Instead, I'm stuck with my cooler, and deep in my heart I want to murder the person who designed mine. Or at least torture them a bit - make them watch the last couple of seasons of Sons of Anarchy, say.
It's three cans/bottles wide...actually more like 3.78. They won't quite fit four. And it's three cans/bottles long...actually more like 3.29. You know, so that when you line up your cans and bottles they have room to jostle around, break, get good and agitated. Just how we like them.
Test this geometry question out before you buy a cooler. I swear, buy a case of seltzer and walk into LL Bean or Dicks with it. Don't just read the number of cans or bottles it stores. Because here's a diabolical twist with my homicide-inducing cooler: it actually fits more cans than it advertises, but it does so in a way that makes you want to hit yourself in the head with a framing hammer.
Can I ship Beer?
You're on the road. You stop at such-and-such world-famous brewery. You buy some beer. Can you ship it home? Yes, yes you can. But no, actually, I don't think it's legal. I've been told you can ship home brewed beer to competitions because it's not commercial (it's diagnostic and a homemade product), but even then you're better off telling them it's something else. I used to say "yeast samples," but that got weird looks like I was planning on causing a smallpox outbreak, so instead I now just go with "perfume." Why not? It's a liquid solution with alcohol and aromatic oils and compounds.
No, the best beercation beer retrieval method I know is to pack it home yourself, and if you're doing that, try to avoid flying with it. Trains are OK. Driving is best. Cruise ships will make you check them when you come back onboard, but you'll get them back when you disembark.
If you're lucky enough to have your own vacation home - or know the owner and can beg him/her to make a capital improvement - seriously consider investing in a kegerator for your second home or vacation spot.
The advantage here is that you pay a lot less for that beer, especially if you brew it yourself, and lots of vacation destinations are lousy with BYOs. Stock some growlers, bring yourself a sixtel of beer to the mountains or the beach, and pour away.
Plus, there's just something really gratifying about pouring beer off of a tap than opening a can or bottle.
Have a Great Independence Day!
So, time to sign off. I'd like to wish you all a happy Independence Day (July 2nd here in the States - don't be one of those sheep who celebrate the Fourth of July just because that was when Congress issued it's little press release - we became independent on July 2nd), Victoria Day up in Canada, and if you have a national or religious holiday falling sometime between now and the 5ht or 6th when I get back, then a merry time to you as well!
Keep it simple.
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