Advanced Beer Carrier, Or How To Get Beer Onto A Plane


[Badmonky] was facing a life crisis. How could he enjoy the hard-to-find German beers from his homeland while living in Princeton, New Jersey? Sure, you can find many good imports if you try, but that may come at a hefty price. Plus, the lesser known beers are completely unavailable in the States. Of course the solution is to import them himself after each trip home. He just needed a way to get as much beer on a plane as he possibly could.

We’d have no problem walking down the aisle with a couple of cases of cold ones, but let’s be honest here. Security won’t even let you on the plane with a bottle of water these days much less a case of tallboys. [Badmonky] hacked together this custom carrier so that it could be checked as luggage while protecting the frothy goodness. Two limiting factors to consider are size and weight. He started with the latter, calculating that 24 bottles would remain under his 50 pound limit. From there he selected a sports bag and picked up sheets of foam which were perforated using a hole saw. Alas the size constraint forced him to leave three of the (now empty?) vessels behind.

The bottles ride upside down and made the international voyage without incident. In retrospect he would have picked a roller-bag as this thing is hard on your shoulder after a trip through the airport and the public transit ride home.

The real question in our mind: why didn’t he check a keg?

74 thoughts on “Advanced Beer Carrier, Or How To Get Beer Onto A Plane

    1. There are two places in my town that fill growlers of craft beer…. from kegs no less. I had the opportunity to buy a 1/6 barrel of Sierra Nevada Narwhal from one of the guys- too expensive.

  1. The only thing to worry about are the baggage handlers and TSA “random” checkers. They love to make a mess of your luggage, and TSA doesn’t accept responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged luggage (they don’t accept responsibility for ANYTHING, really…)

    1. If you ever had true cottage brewed German beer you wouldn’t have asked that question. Maybe they have a bit more of a palate for finer drinks. After tasting it while over there I quit drinking what passes for beer over here. Even the supposed “German” beer sold here has to be made using our processes making it taste pretty much like all the other beers here.

        1. I live in Germany. The majority of the beer is not good. It’s difficult to find anyone who drinks anything beyond their local pils, regardless of how bad it is.

          The other funny thing is it’s generally easier to find the good German beers in the US than in Germany. In fact some are not even sold here because there is not market.

    2. “Might be time to admit a bit of a alcoholic problem there eh?”

      The only alcoholic problem here is that cow-water that is being produced in the US.
      Of course some of the bigger names are available in the US, sometimes even imported. But in Europe, where culture and history comes from, there is a tendency to appreciate regional traditional things and beer is a part of this. These beers are worth smuggling aboard.

      1. Cow water? Sorry but I make better beer than the rotgut passed off as beer from Belgium. Most Americans that make beer make stuff that is far superior to the mass made crap from any country. Same as how the home brewers in other countries easily out brew any mass made crap from any country.

        You need to stop drinking the low grade toilet water sold at party stores and low end bars. And drink the real beer from the real microbreweries.

        Guinness is dog pee compared to the version most guys make.

        1. Belgium beer, “rotgut”? I think you then not yet had the opportunity to taste actual Belgium beer man (not the stuff big brewers export from here to the US but is not available in Belgium itself because we don’t drink that crap.)
          Try a Gueze Tilquin, Cantilion or an Orval or Rochefort 8 (to name something more “mainstream”)

          1. Didn’t have an Orval laying around, but I did have some Karmeliet. Perhaps I’ll end with a Weihenstephaner Dunkel tonight, to celebrate the differences in beer culture, which our culturally inept friend here can’t seem to differentiate between.

            And so it all boils down to historical context yet again..


        2. You have already proven yourself an elitist beer hipster, so what is the point talking to you about beer culture anyway? You have none.

          I don’t believe for a second that you know the first thing about beer, the history of it or the process itself, but even if you did, I don’t really care seeing as you primarily think that quality increased with scarcity somehow, which is beyond shit-faced.

          Even if half the breweries is Belgium produced half decent brew, that still would be massively more quality in both breweries and hectoliters produced compared to this fabricated pseudo-beer culture that is represented by your off-ball collection of “micro” breweries, which mostly produce unbalanced, unpredictable, shallow approximations of the beer styles they try to imitate.

          I used to respect the “new world” brewers that tried to break free of the miller-coors-bud stronghold. Unfortunately, the bad taste that got you lot into that fix seems to have developed into a taste for exclusiveness, not quality. You’ll never get it.

      2. “But in Europe, where culture and history comes from”
        Wow and Europeans wonder why every one hates them. I am sure that many people from say the Middle east Latin America and Asia would take offense at that statement. Europe the place that gave the world barbarians, the dark ages, genocide, and the vandals that shot the nose off the sphinx for kicks.

        1. You forgot slavery, diseases and illiteracy (with a little help from religion).

          When he says “where culture and history comes from”, he’s talking for American (not native Americans) which are people without an history (or are you considering 5 centuries of colonisation as an history ?) beside their European past. That’s what I’m guessing…

          1. Slavery would actually make more sense than barbarians and vandals, but this guy does not seem to know history, even on a wikipedia level.
            The thing with history is that you can’t cherry-pick your history. When I say “where the history comes from” I do not exclude the new world from history. Quite the opposite, no historical sense of America can be made without this shared history.
            The problem with this guy is that he thinks he can separate historical events like the ocean separates the continents. This reeks of selective identity history which is a vile and dishonest thing.
            This mentality is also present in his fabricated understanding of beer culture, which mainly comprises of chauvinistic chest pounding.

          2. “which are people without an history (or are you considering 5 centuries of colonisation as an history ?) beside their European past. That’s what I’m guessing…:”
            Maybe also there Asian, African, and Latin American pasts?
            The claim that America has no history or culture is just flat out stupid. The US has a distinct culture from even other nations in the Americas. The US is very different from Brazil or Mexico. The claim that the US has no culture or history pretty much extends to all the nations of the North and South America and is offensive too all of them. Wow Europe really does think the world revolves around them.

        2. Just because you have no culture or history does not mean you can’t learn about it, bloody hell!.

          Barbarians. This was just a term coined by the Greek for everyone living north of the Danube. To them all of these tribes talked like this “bar bar bar bar”. The term in and of itself tell us nothing about the people themselves.

          The dark ages, which which you probably mean an unspecified period with was, poverty and plagues, means something completely different. It was the period after the roman empire of which not a great deal is known. What you probably imagine the dark ages are, are actually the first couple of centuries of modern history. Americans always get those two confused, even with the millennium separating those two.

          The vandals were just another Germanic tribe. That we attribute the name to destruction has more to do with badly understood history than anything else. The vandals mostly were open to romanisation and embraced the roman culture. They are remembered for the uprising, which was a very small part of their history. They also had nothing to do with the sphinx.

          Genocide wasn’t a European invention. It’s rather a mondial affair. On your side of the world, various cultures in south America knew how to rid themselves of pesky neighbors and the middle east and further Asia, the massacre of entire cities also wasn’t unthinkable. In fact, some of these genocidal events are seen by more than half of Americans as just and morally good, because they are written down in that stupid fairytale book that was mostly assembled and popularized in … Europe.
          Well okay, Europe is to blame for the bible, but it’s not that you lot seem to be willing to do anything about that.

          “Wow and Europeans wonder why every one hates them”
          Perhaps with the definition of “everyone” being limited without the borders of the US specifying some group you think exists in your head.
          I know you people think the world comprised for 90% out of USA, but this is only because you isolate yourself because of your rampant xenophobia.
          The only time I had a slight problem being a foreigner somewhere, I had to explain that I was NOT an American and everything from then on was fine, so what are you blabbering about?

          1. Actually my post was meant to be farcical making fun of Europeans that make comments about how everyone hates the US because they are ignorant of pick a subject. Yes I know who the Vandals where but it is also true that culture did not start and end in Europe. Culture is where ever people are. Both good and bad things happen in every nation. As far as xenophobia goes not so much in my case as in the case of Europeans that think the world revolves around them. The fact that I mentioned that “culture” goes back farther in Asia and the middle east than in Europe really counteracts any claim of Xenophobia. I just dislike EuroHipsters.

          2. Vandals as in vandalism of the Sphinx. It was the French that did the shooting. And yes the dark ages as the period after the fall of Rome. Wow the arrogance of your posts is just disgusting. Thank goodness most of the Europeans I know are nothing like you. Please just go back to drinking beer instead of trying to teach history on Hakaday, you impress no one.

          3. @lwatcdr: not sure if trolling or plain stupid.

            In related news: NSA spying all over the world, US Army somehow ending up in north korea. US Army “protecting their coutry” in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. US Army in Vietnam. Tell me more how Europe thinks the world revolves around it.

          4. @lwatcdr: Holy shit, you are really full of it!
            If I did manage to impress you, I’d probably need to get worried. Generally I scuff at narcissistic rednecks like you and they throw a hissy-fit, as per your comment. What good would it do if scum like that suddenly came over all impressed….

            And no, I won’t follow any “please just…. blabla”, you idiot.

        3. Please don’t confuse voxnulla with a typical European. He’s mostly here to stir up other people.

          As someone living in Germany, who has been to the U.S. often and tasted a few nicer beers I can say that although the quality of the popular beers might be lacking, the not so common ones are very tasty.

        1. It’s very likely that the process of making wort and fermenting it came from the fertile plains of the Levant in the middle east. They were the first to domesticate cereal grains, so this is a likely source.
          What differs is that hops weren’t used until the 15th – 16th century in Europe and the concept of yeast and it’s cultivation was an even later development.
          For most beer styles today, it’s recipe will have it’s origins in European beer culture.

  2. Oh god how the standards for what is considered a hack has fallen. Whats next, a article on how to wrap the contents of a package in newspaper. This wasnt even a smart idea, it would have been far cheaper to ship it via FedEx or DHL than take it as carry on.

    1. Luckily nobody has to subscribe to your standards of what is or is not to be considered a hack. So you can whine and moan all you want with your bud-light and zub-zero beer culture and what not.

      1. How much harder could it be? I looked in to importing gun barrels from Germany and from my conversations with the ATF it seemed like some minor paperwork was involved. The most difficult part was finding someone willing to ship a “implement of war”, the manufacturer said it could only be shipped by sea freight.

        1. The only part of a gun you need any paper work for is the lower receiver so I don’t know what the problem with barrels was. The other parts that make up guns might as well be scrap metal as far as anyone is concerned.

          1. Nope, a rifle with a new barrel is considered a different rifle in South Africa. If your old barrel has worn out and you need a new one, you best be prepared for a ton of paperwork! It might be regarded as scrap in the USA, but definitely not here.

          2. @danieljlouw
            The guy you responded to was indeed talking about America, which is where matt lives given the reference to the ATF. Swapping barrels, stocks, etc is only an issue in the US if it changes how a weapon is classified, eg adding a pistol grip or flash hider or swapping a wooden stock with a metal one can make a previously-legal run afoul of state-level anti “assault weapon” laws (these all define assault weapons along the lines of “firearm that has more than X features on this list”). You also risk turning a legal rifle into a Short-Barreled Rifle, which has extra restrictions. None of this is terribly relevant if the barrel isn’t actually attached to anything.

            That said, US firearm regulations are a nightmarish labyrinth, so there’s really no telling what issues matt ran into without more detail. It’s also possible there weren’t any real issues, but the guy he talked to was having a bad day/is dumb.

        2. For anything that isn’t some specially restricted class of thing checking a bag is going to be dramatically cheaper provided you are already flying back from the place in question because, and this may be a new development for you, most airlines let you check a bag for free. It’s zero cost and basically zero additional effort.

  3. I’d like to know how he get’s away with this. I checked a bag with very well packed pair of bottles of rum from florida to go north, and they removed them from my bag for me.
    “no liquids in your bags”

    1. He considered that… :) But then the “meat” of foam between bottles was not enough anymore. So we decided to go for this one. And yes, having the other bottles with my father while building wasn’t so bad either. :)

  4. I’d have to agree that a lot of the beer in the US is horse piss, and some of the best beer I’ve ever, well THE best beer I’ve ever tasted so far was homebrew me and my dad made w/ a kit even, which was from……..Germany. Kolsch. Belgian beer is also very good, but homebrew will beat any commercial beer, it’s amazing.

    1. Indeed, even kit brews can be very pleasant. But don’t underestimate the ingredient DIY, which makes a lot of difference. Putting effort and time into a brew makes the result all the more special.
      Craft brewers use the same gear, ingredients and methods to produce a test batch and most of them are very much able to reproduce that recipe with large volumes. A quality beer then does not diminish with quantity, this is a myth.

    2. And then you get to taste beer from Munich or Stuttgart. That’s when you see Kölsch as horse-piss, too.

      Especially if you compare the serving-amount. The amount of Kölsch you get in a bar in Cologne (german: Köln) is comparable to a urine sample. While if you order a “small beer” in Munich or Stuttgart, you will get half a litre of beer :D

  5. How does it not freeze? The last couple times I’ve flown, my toiletries bag in my suitcase has frozen… Maybe it was on the ground where it froze, but nevertheless, beer would have frozen too, I would think!

    1. Maybe the several cm of styrofoam might have something to do with it? :P
      Also, the while not A/C, the cargo space on a passenger plane is pressurised, so unless something is seriously wrong, the luggage shouldn’t even come close to freezing…

  6. Some of your comments are very valid (e.g. the wine shipping container. But you seem not to understand that it was also at least 50% about spending time with my dad, and building stuff. Also, just buying some finished thing isn’t half as much fun.

    The Bag was already laying around, so was the foam, and the hole saw. –> No cost, but for the beer. And for who ever posted the link to the Edelstoff to order here, its $2.69 a bottle… I paid 15 euros far all of them, and that includes the deposit for bottles as well as the case, which might lover the price per bottle to about 50 cent.

    Now again, I had no bag to check anyway, which made the shipping free as well…

    And let me tell you, ever since last week, I smile while enjoying this fine brew. Oh, and about the Keg, I can indeed not get the Edelstoff in a Keg, i checked…

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