Packaging & Shipping Beers

Packaging and shipping information for the 2020 World Beer Cup coming soon. Get updates.

Beers Must Arrive March 19-23

Competition entries must be received at the following address between Monday, March 19 and Friday, March 23, 2018. 

Brewers Association – WBC 2018

c/o Elite Brands

587 S. Taylor Avenue

Louisville, CO 80027

Detailed shipping information will be sent to participating breweries once the registration process is completed. Please carefully read the following to plan properly and to ensure your beer entries arrive on time. Late entries will not be judged.

Labeling, Packaging & Beer Quantities

Labeling Your Beers

Brewing companies that normally bottle or can their products must send the beer in its commercially available container with the beer’s standard label.

All brewing companies must clearly label EVERY bottle or can of beer being sent with the following information:

  1. Name of the brewing company
  2. Name of the beer
  3. Category (#) and subcategory (Letter) in which the beer will be judged. This information should match World Beer Cup categories.
Label Templates

There are two templates available to create your labels. These labels fit best on an Avery 5160 size label.

Place one label on every bottle (not on the bottom) without covering any portion of your beer’s label.

PDF Label Template The PDF version is not editable on a computer. You may print these labels out and hand write the required information (listed above)
Word Document You may type the information into this template and print these out.

All beers produced outside of the U.S. without U.S. federal label approval must attach a label with the following text:

For sample purposes only. Not for resale.

Government Warning labels Government Warning: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery and may cause health problems.

Packaging Your Beers

Package your beers in a way to withstand rough handling during transit. The World Beer Cup is not responsible for broken shipments.We will contact breweries if broken bottles are received, however time may not allow replacement bottles to be shipped. Determine the type of packaging that will ensure your beers maintain the best quality possible. Some breweries include cold packs in their shipments.

Packaging Guidelines:

  1. Label your Boxes! Be sure to label each box with your Brewery ID number, and a box number (i.e. Box 1 of 4, Box 2 of 4, Box 3 of 4, etc.)
  2. Place all bottles standing upright in the shipping container. All bottles should be placed in the same direction (lids up) wrapped in bubble wrap. Use your standard carrier to help keep bottles secure.
  3. Fill the shipping container to the top with packaging materials. Packing peanuts are NOT recommended. If used, make sure peanuts are enclosed in a plastic bag.
  4. Wrap the original box in a plastic bag to avoid possible leakage and then place the box in a strong shipping box filled with more packing material.
  5. If more than one box of entries is being shipped, be sure to keep the samples of each brand in the same box. Do not ship bottles of the same brand in separate boxes.
  6. Beers sent in coolers or other special containers will not be returned, however the beers that arrive in specialized containers will be judged and tend to withstand the rigors of shipping.
  7. Please consider shipping extra bottles for our volunteer sorting crew that works hours in the cooler getting the competition beers sorted and inventoried for the competition.

Quantities (Please Note Larger Amount for American IPA – Cat 93 Below)

The number of bottles/cans to be sent for the competition depends on the size of the bottle/can the beer is in. Please use the following as a guideline:

Attention: Some categories have a larger number of competing entries, therefore will undergo more rounds of judging and will require more samples to be sent. Please be sure to use the appropriate information below, based on the category your entries will be judged in.


Category 93: American Style India Pale Ale
Container Size Amount to Ship
 588 ml (19.9 oz) or less 16
589 ml (20 oz) and higher 10
Container Size Amount to Ship
322 ml (10.9 oz) or less 16
323 ml (11 oz) – 588 ml (19.9 oz) 12
589 ml (20 oz) and higher 8

International Breweries –  Shipping Information

Breweries located outside the U.S. may ship beer entries one of the following ways:

  1. International Consolidation Points: The Brewers Association has set up consolidation points in the following countries: Sydney, Australia; Sao Paul, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Vancouver, Canada; Tokyo, Japan and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Participating breweries may elect to ship their entries to one of the consolidation points instead of directly to the United States. The Brewers Association will then arrange for the beers to be shipped from the consolidation points to the United States. Beers will be due to consolidation points between 5 – 14 March, 2018.   World Beer Cup Consolidation Points
  2. Ship Using an International Courier: Breweries may ship using a courier and customs clearance company of their choice (such as FedEx, UPS or DHL), but have sometimes experienced difficulty having their beers cleared through U.S. customs. Breweries that regularly ship beers to the United States are encouraged to use their regular shipping network/distributor/importer. Breweries that use a courier that bills customs charges back to the Brewers Association will be responsible for paying all of these charges before their beers are judged.
  3. Ship Using a Freight Forwarder: The World Beer Cup will once again work with DB Schenker as a customs and international freight forwarder. Their Denver office is the coordinating office for the World Beer Cup. They are familiar with the competition and can help make shipping to the competition easier. The contact is Rose Stamps:
  4. Use Your United States Distributor: If your beers are currently distributed in the U.S., your distributor may deliver them directly to the host distributor. Details on this location will be shared once registration is complete.

Required Documents When Shipping (International Only)

Breweries must include a Commercial Invoice when shipping beers to the competition from outside the U.S.

A Commercial Invoice includes:

  1. Description – indicate “samples for evaluation” next to description
  2. Indicate $0 value of the shipment.
  3. Quantity of bottles
  4. Unit measure in liters
  5. FDA Facility Registration Number
  6. Country of Origin Very Important for Entrants Outside the United States

Registering Your Brewery with the U.S. FDA (Compliance for International Breweries Only)

The U.S. government and FDA require that all importations of beer, including samples, are subject to FDA prior notice. Each entrant outside the U.S. must file prior notice with the FDA.

  1. Set up an account with the United States FDA. Begin the process at the top of this page.
  2. Once your receive your login information, go back into the system and “Register a Food Facility”.
    1. Here is a PDF guide to walk you through the food facility registering process. This includes information (page 5) on who to use for the United States Agent+.
    2. +For US Agent, use the following information: Brewers Association 1327 Spruce Street Boulder, Colorado 80302 +1-303-447-0816
  3. Please file prior notice with the FDA, just before shipping your beers to the US.*
    1. Harmonized Tariff Schedule Number: 2203-00-0030
    2. The FDA product code for beer is 32ACT04

*This step will not need to be done if you are using a World Beer Cup consolidation point.

U.S. Breweries –  Shipping Information

Breweries in the United States should deliver their beer to the WBC host distributor in one of the following ways:

  1. Ship via Courier: FedEx, UPS, and private couriers work well, but freight companies work best. Please do not use the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  2. Deliver Direct: Breweries or their distributors may deliver their beers directly to host distributor during the competition delivery window. Details on location will be shared once registration is complete.