Two weeks ago, I set off to a business trip to Germany, which is also my home country. I always try to have a few days of vacation included in such a trip in order to be able to visit my family. And what does a father with his son living in another country do when he is coming home? Exactly... having a good old German beer with him.

So we were sitting on the couch and sipping on this delicious beer when I once again had the thought how much I am going to miss this taste once I am back in the states. And some of you might say that a lot of the German beers can be found in the states, and I agree… but they are expensive, and you usually don´t find your favorite. (And that might be subjective, but for some reason they always taste a little different)

So it struck me…

I was traveling only with carryon luggage this time, and would have one bad free to check. So why not bring a case of beer back with me? Right after I had this thought, I shared it with my father, whom was sitting next to me, and after a quick discussion we decided to set out to the hardware store to get everything we´d need.

The idea was very simple, let´s take a case of beer, wrap it up in a sports bag, and check it in. But of course we were concerned about the safety of these precious bottles. Nobody wanted to see them get hurt on the way. Therefor we decided to construct a little more elaborate carrying case.

Here the shopping list:

  • 1 Sports Bag
  • 6 Styrofoam sheets (about 10cm / 4 inches thick)
  • 1 Hole saw (68mm in diameter, sorry no inches here, since that’s just what the bottle measured)
  • And of course one case of your favorite beer (in my case Augustiner Edelstoff)

We measured one bottle to determine how many we could fit in the bag with a 50lb weight limit. And I think it was about 24 bottles. Due to the limiting Factor of the Bag however, we were limited in the form factor. This, if you look at the pictures, only enabled us to construct a 21 bottle case.

We took the sheets, measured the perfect placement of 21 bottles, and started drilling holes into the Styrofoam. This was done for 4 sheets, which provided enough depth to conceal almost the entire bottle. Only the tip was still standing out, which was as planned. For one sheet, we just drilled holes in the diameter of the top of the bottle, and the cap. This way we ensured that the bottle would be entirely surrounded by Styrofoam.

Now we just had to place the sheets in the bag, push the bottles in the holes (upside down), put a last solid sheet on top, and there it was. The best beer carrying case ever built.

I checked the bag at the airport without any issues. Once I arrived in NYC, I was of course hoping that customs would not have had any issue with the bag, and more importantly, that all bottles are still intact.

This was indeed the base. I directly checked at the airport at the luggage check. J

Bottom line… if you want some good beer, just bring it with you yourself.

 have one remark however. Please if you try this, use a bag with wheels. I actually had the choice, but didn´t want to give up the extra weight. I thought that might cost me a bottle :P. In the end I regretted it, since it was actually quite uncomfortable to carry that bag all over the airport, to the train, and home from the train.