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The Life of a Beer Smuggler

Have you ever traveled to another city via plane and found that there is not enough time to drink all of the delicious beer that you cannot find where you live? Bringing it back in your suitcase can seem daunting. What if it breaks and soaks all of your stuff with beer? This would certainly be a tragedy, so I went searching for the best way to transport beer in my luggage for my most recent trip.

Knowing wine snobs have been smuggling their drink of choice for quite a while, I thought I’d scour the interwebs for how they do it, and products they use. I came across many products, most of which seemed impracticable, or overkill for my 28” suitcase. After much searching, I came across Wine Diapers. A Wine Diaper is essentially a long white ziplock bag with a thick paper towel inside. Fortunately the padding inside is not only thicker than a paper towel, but it has special crystals inside that are able to absorb an entire wine bottle worth of liquid. Since most “bombers” of beer are only 22oz, less than a typical wine bottle; this was perfect. Not only did this product seem great, there was a nifty video of someone putting wine into these bags, then into a suitcase, and tossing the suitcase from a 2nd floor balcony onto the ground below. If that weren’t enough, a rather robust man jumped on top of the suitcase a couple times. After the mayhem, they opened the suitcase and the wine diaper to find the bottle still intact. I was sold, I bought 12, at approximately $9 per 3 pack.

Of course, being the inquisitive individual that I am, I had to put it to the test when I received them. I placed a bottle of beer inside a Wine Diaper, sealed it shut and dropped it from about shoulder length onto my hard kitchen floor. I opened it up to find no breakage. The Wine Diapers were ready for prime time.

Transporting 8 breakable bottles of not-exactly-cheap beer can be a little nerve-racking at first. Knowing that wine bottles are larger than beer bombers, I decided to utilize the extra space in the bag by wrapping each bottle once around with bubble wrap, the kind with small bubbles. To sum up this very long-winded post, the 8 bottles I packed for a trade in Las Vegas arrived in perfect condition, even with the TSA searching my luggage, they placed each bottle back in the wine diapers just the way they had found them. The 10 bottles I brought back also arrived in perfect condition. No TSA inspection this time, but 2 very bumpy flights, and a 4 hour unexpected layover with many gate changes.

I’ve heard of several ways to transport bottles of craft beer in a suitcase, some of them not costing any additional money. The great part about the wine diapers is that they are reusable (assuming a bottle didn’t break inside) and for a reasonable price, you really can’t beat the insurance you’re getting against ruining the contents of your suitcase. Check them out the next time you fly somewhere, I bought mine on Amazon.

For the record, I’m not getting paid for this post (although I’ll gladly take their money), I just think this product is really great for transporting beer in your suitcase, assuming you have space available.

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