Buying Belgian Beer Online and Shipping It to the US

Belgian beer bottles Cantillon Fantome 3F Rodenbach

A few of the beers I purchased from BelgiumInABox.com and EtreGourmet

Being the Urban Beer Nerd that I am, I’m always on the lookout for rare, hard-to-find, unique and limited-release brews. Many of my favorite breweries are located in Belgium and elsewhere overseas. Often these breweries’ most unique beers are released in very limited quantities, and the brews that do make it to America are often difficult to locate and/or very expensive.

So a few months ago, I started researching ways to buy my own Belgian beer online and then ship it to Boston, where I can sit in the comfort of my own home with the rare beer of my choice. I was sick of only being able to drink Cantillon beers a few times a year and paying an arm and a liver for bottles when I could find them.

I came up with the following two websites, which I’ve since ordered from at least three times each and had no problems: BelgiumInABox.com and EtreGourmet (BieresGourmet.be).

Before I go on, a warning seems appropriate: When you order beer online, you do so at your own risk. Depending on where you live, it may not “legal” in the strictest sense of the word to buy beer online from an international retailer to ship to your locale. And in many cases, shipping companies will not accept and deliver packages with beer in them.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll say that personally, I have not had any issues ordering beer from BelgiumInABox.com or EtreGourmet. And when the sites declared the contents of my boxes of beer, as is required by Customs, they usually wrote something like “lambic glassware” or “collectible bottles,” which was technically true because I usually bought glassware in addition to beer.

Anyway, both of these sites offer reasonable prices on beer from my favorite Belgian breweries, including Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Fantome, Rodenbach, Tilquin and Blaugies. Shipping is expensive, but it’s not too much more than the markup you’d pay for a rare bottle at a beer bar or through a retailer. For example, the last time I ordered from BelgiumInABox.com, I purchased a 750ml bottle of Cantillon’s 2013 Kriek Lambic Bio (about $13), a 750ml bottle of 2012 Fantome Saison (about $9) and a 3 Fonteinen gueuze glass (about $16) for a total of roughly $38, and the shipping cost around $43.

My previous EtreGourmet order looked like this: a 750ml bottle of Rodenbach Caractère Rouge (about $20) and two 375ml bottles of Oude Quetsche Tilquin 2012-2013 (about $25 for both). The shipping was about $53.

The shipping is expensive, but I’ve been willing to pay it for beers I would not otherwise be able to find in the United States. I feel confident my payment card information is secure, because BelgiumInaBox uses Ogone for payment processing, a well-known and trusted Europe payment processing service, and EtreGourment accepts PayPal. And both sites have HTTP Secure Web pages for payments.

My packages of beer arrived in great shape, and overall, I’m very pleased with the experience with both BelgiumInABox.com and EtreGourmet. Another site that’s been recommended to me is BeerPlanet.eu, but I’ve heard rumors about some of the site’s shipments being held up in customs, so I never ordered from them.

I probably shouldn’t even be writing this post, because it may draw unwanted attention to these sites and services, but fuck it. A post like this would have been helpful to me when I was trying to fine reputable sites to order from, so I wanted to share my experiences.

UBN

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 thoughts on “Buying Belgian Beer Online and Shipping It to the US

  1. I just ordered a batch of Boon Oud Geuze Vat 44 from EtreGourmet. Everything was amazing on service and speed. They key is together the maximum weight for your shipping costs. Little orders are more prohibitive than bigger orders. If you make a big purchase, you can get a better bang for your shipping buck. To be honest, knowing that these sites exit is very dangerous knowledge….

    • I agree. I have definitely spent a shitload of scratch on rare Belgian beer during the past few months. I dont really drink many of them either; most are still in my cellar. And you’re right about the shipping, though shipping costs add up quickly too.

      UBN

      • I’ve noticed with Belgium in a box, the best pricing is at the 20kg order. Because the price goes up the same at 5kg to 10 keg, then the same to 20kg. The math works out to be the best on shipping price per bottle at 20kg if you can swing that big of an order.

      • Cool. That’s good to know. Thanks buddy. Cheers.

        UBN

  2. Haris Bailas says:

    Hello Gents,
    a very cool and useful post.

    What about if I wanted to order a beer from the States? Do you know any trustworthy sites that may ship internationally?

    I ‘ve heard numerous positive views about Russian river from California and in general would love to try some of States’ beers.
    I am currently leaving in Greece.

    Thanks.

    • U.S. laws and regulations on shipping beer from state to state, and country to country, vary by individual state. In other words, some brewers may send beer to some states and not others. Some brewers don’t ship beer at all, regardless of the state. I don’t think Russian River ships beer at all. I know it doesn’t ship to my home state of Massachusetts. I wish it did.

      UBN

  3. Try http://www.BeerofBelgium.com very cheap prices and cheap shipping rates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: