Skip to main content

Get Started in the World of Beer Trading

The Beer Exchange, Beer Trading
For fans of craft beer, the search for new brews quickly becomes an integral part of the hobby.

The distribution areas for some of the country’s highest rated beers rarely tend past their own state lines. Once you’ve exhausted the variety on your local shelves, you’ll find that vacations become sidelined with trips to visit new bottle shops and breweries. If beer travel isn’t an option, you may also find it impossible to locate a package store that ships cross-country without shipping fees that triple the price of your order.

Related Videos

That’s where beer trading comes in.

The good news: you’re not alone in your quest for new beer. There are thousands of like-minded individuals around the world who are looking for new bottles and cans to line their cellar shelves. Websites devoted to beer trading have sprung up to fill that niche.

One of the most full-featured communities to embrace the beer trading phenomena is The Beer Exchange. Users post a profile on the website with beers they have available for trade and beers they’re interested in receiving. The site then automatically matches traders based on those lists, or you can browse individual users and their collections.

The Beer Exchange features an eBay-like trader rating system, so you can feel confident in making your transaction with experienced, trustworthy partners. Once you propose a trade, you can work out all of the specifics about your trade, including adding any “extras” to help fill out your box and share a bit of beer karma.

Many beer traders use platforms like The Beer Exchange to find “whales,” hard to find, exclusive, limited-release beers. Getting access to those can be tough for new traders with small cellars and limited resources. However, there are plenty of users also interested in “local-for-local” swaps who just want to experience beer from around the country, regardless of its perceived worth or scarcity.

Access to The Beer Exchange is free, but advanced features are available for a $5 monthly subscription. The premium add-ons include receiving notifications when specific beers are added to a user’s list, dollar value calculators to determine your trade and cellar worth, and the ability to easily export your beer list.

Editors' Recommendations

Drought-friendly agave plants might be the key to saving California farms
A brand new spirit is coming from California
farmers turn to agave plants due california droughts

For non-Californians, the Golden State is often associated with things like surfing, palm-tree-lined beaches, rows of lush vineyards, and romantically foggy Golden Gate cityscapes. But for those in the Central Valley, the dusty desert landscape is much more familiar. Long, hot, dry summers and farmland as far as the eye can see are common experiences for more than 6 million Californians. Many consider the Central Valley to be the breadbasket of the world, where expert farmers farm thousands of crops like citrus, grapes, figs, tomatoes and nuts on a commercial level. Unfortunately, climate change and drought have hit California hard in the last several years, and after constant battles over limited water use and frustrations over other political regulations, California farmers have had to shift gears and get creative.

When you think of tequila and mezcal, of course Mexico comes to mind. You might imagine a hot summer sun beating down on a desert landscape peppered with fields of agave in the gorgeous highlands of Jalisco. In this environment, agave — the mother of tequila and mezcal — thrives, generously providing us with her sweet gift of delicious spirits. The beloved tequila plant has been known exclusively as a Mexican treasure — until now.

Read more
This Toronto cocktail recipe is the perfect whiskey drink
Escape to Canada with the lovely Toronto cocktail
drinkers guide to aspen aspenkitchen obiwanoldfashioned3

When you think about signature cocktails, names like Tom Collins, Brandy Alexander, and Old Fashioned come to mind. Yet, for whiskey lovers especially, there's an unsung hero that's deserving of a big-time comeback. It's named Toronto, and it's a cocktail well-suited for the chilly days of midwinter.

The drink dates back to 1922 and is a riff on the beloved Old Fashioned. It's a great whiskey cocktail, for certain, but also one that can be experimented with, as the best versions tend to involve a mix of a couple of different whiskies. The key ingredient, however, is Fernet, the intense and medicinal amaro from Italy.

Read more
The USDA tightens the rules for organic food labels (and here’s why it matters)
Organic labels are in the process of changing. Here's what you need to know next time you're at the store.
Variety of raw uncooked organic potatoes: red, white, sweet and fingers potatoes over wooden background.

In what can only be described as overdue, the rules for organic food labels are changing. It's a refreshing move that will give consumers more info and allow us to avoid imposter foods trying to play the organic card. It's also one of the biggest moves the USDA has made in recent history.

For years, the rules have been a bit fuzzy, meaning that producers have been able to slap the "organic" label on products that may not technically be so. Like sustainability, organic has become a term with as much (or more) marketing cache thanks to its environmental and health benefits. And with loose regulation comes an opportunity for some producers to enter the fray with products that may not meet the standards others are shooting for.

Read more