How to buy a beer when you aren't there
November 8, 2010 2:58 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to send a beer to a friend or coworker in a different U.S. city/state?

Occasionally, people will do favors for me, and I'd like to pay them back. On other occasions, I want to do something nice for someone I like. In both of these cases, the recipient of my largesse will often like beer.

What's the best way to buy a beer online for someone in a different city of the U.S.? (I suppose by phone would be OK too.)

I'm talking about one beer (or one drink, whatever). Ideally, my friend would be able to enter an establishment, say, "Hi, I'm ____" and he or she would get a nice, frosty (if that's the way they like it) beer. Less ideal (but acceptable) would be a cold beer delivered by U.S. mail or its equivalents.
posted by mrgrimm to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Booze-o-gram? Don't think there's anybody doing that. You can certainly get beer delivered--in some states--but we're talking by the case.

Here's a list of a bunch of places you can place orders, but again, the smallest thing it looks like you can buy is a 22oz bottle.
posted by valkyryn at 3:02 PM on November 8, 2010

Best answer: I imagine if you called up a bar in their area (maybe one they already frequent, depending on how well you know them/your area) and ask how you could make such an arrangement.
posted by Jon_Evil at 3:09 PM on November 8, 2010

Best answer: I swear I remember a site set up for just this very thing awhile back... a quick search gets me You Got Beer, which may or may not be the one I was thinking of, but certainly looks like it does what you want it to.
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:09 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I tried doing this once for some friends of mine after a big softball win. The bartenders were not too thrilled with the idea. Now, the friends were well known entities at this reasonably smooth-running establishment, and clearly of age. Hell, the place was their actual softball sponsor. Still, they politely said no.

You might just try getting a gift card/gift certificate and presenting it creatively.
posted by Madamina at 3:10 PM on November 8, 2010

Road trip!
posted by beelzbubba at 3:34 PM on November 8, 2010

The laws concerning the shipment of alcohol are a huge mess. I would not try this. A gift certificate can be a symbolic beer.
posted by cj_ at 4:26 PM on November 8, 2010

This looks pretty fun and may or may not be helpful, depending on where you live. I expect that it will go more widespread with time though.
posted by jimmysmits at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2010

There's a business idea here somewhere.
posted by rhizome at 5:33 PM on November 8, 2010

Best answer: Call a local brewery. Many have buddy beer boards (mine does) where people can buy beer for their friends. If such a thing exists where your friends live, just call and pay for beer and have the bartender write their names up on the board.
posted by special-k at 7:03 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions and/or polite discouragement. YouGotBeer is the idea, but the implementation looks sketchy. It seems to be a gift-certificate middleman for a few chain restaurants.

Most problematically, you can't specify a beer.

What I want is a nationwide financial system that allows me to send $5 (or whatever) to Bar X and say, "when John Krakorn comes in (and shows his ID to prove it's him and that he's 21), give him this Pilsner Dooflagon." (or glass of '02 sangiovese, etc.)

If I were the recipient, I would likely tip the bartender a little more, since my beer was free. I think bartenders would be OK with it.

As for establishment incentive, well, it's a good gimmick? I would also be willing to pay extra, maybe $1-3 for "processing fees."

You might just try getting a gift card/gift certificate and presenting it creatively.

Too hard. The purpose here is for spontaneous outpourings of nicety for minor favors and/or trivial celebrations.

Internet, please.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:00 AM on November 10, 2010

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