Wow, this is one of those seriously WTF stories (thanks to Lisa Morrison for tweeting it). The Idaho Statesman has a disturbing little story entitled UPS, FedEx Side With Wine in Beer Battle by their beer columnist, Patrick Orr. To work yourself up into the proper lather, I recommend reading the whole column first.
But essentially, an internet beer retailer — Brewforia.com — after 18 months of uneventful UPS shipping asked UPS for a specific contract to ship to other retailers, beyind the regular customers he’d been shipping to all along. Instead, UPS “told him they weren’t going to deliver Brewforia products anymore — no matter if a state allows such deliveries direct to consumers or not — and were not going to offer a contract.”
Their website has an entire page on wine shipments and how they do them. UPS ships wine for countless online wine stores. Beer is mentioned just once, here:
UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and alcohol) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or alcohol, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or alcohol as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and alcohol, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.
According to the Idaho column:
“When asked why UPS will deliver wine and not beer, [Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for UPS] said ‘that has just been a policy that we have had. It’s a program where our focus has been working with a number of licensed wine shippers.’” “For right now, UPS has chosen policy where beer contracts are for business-to-business shipments.”
UPS goes on with even more nonsensical gobbledygook:
Rosenberg said the issue is complicated by some states defining wine differently than beer and having different distribution requirements. UPS officials have been working with wine retailers for longer and don’t have any immediate plans to revisit their beer policy, Rosenberg said.
No, heaven forbid thy revisit their beer policy to bring it in line with the world in 2010. So the obvious answer now to “What Can Brown Do For You” is nothing if you’re beer, everything if you’re wine. That they utterly fail to see the hypocrisy in that is baffling, especially since they’re essentially throwing away money by their refusal to treat beer equally. It’s important to remember this is a policy decision, not a reaction to any law. Beer can be shipped to consumers in a majority of states, UPS has just chosen not to.
Personally, I think we need to organize a grassroots response and inundate UPS with just how ridiculous they’re being. Hypocrisy should not be rewarded.