Mail Alcohol through the USPS? Why Not Modernize?

Why Not Mail Alcohol?

It isn’t possible to mail alcohol. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) cannot ship alcohol through the mail. But FedEx, UPS, and other private carriers will deliver beer, wine, and spirits. This inconveniences customers. It also harms the USPS.

The restriction seems to result from anti-alcohol sentiment. It’s continued long after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Indeed, almost one of every five adults in the US today favors prohibiting drinking by anyone of any age.1 And there’s a very strong neo-prohibitionist movement that opposes home delivery of alcoholic beverages.

This is in spite of the clear failures of Prohibition. Not only did it not stop drinking, it created many serious new problems.

Postal Service

The Postal Service seems frozen in time. And it’s a time long past. The internet and e-mail have changed the world forever. The USPS must change with the times. If not, it will continue to lose money. That makes it an ever greater burden on taxpayers. They will be forced to subsidize more and more a “service” that serves them less and less.

mail alcohol

The U.S. Postal Service is no longer called the Post Office. But it’s still operating many decades behind the times. It continues to loose billions of dollars. Yet it is forced to reject a good source of much-needed income.

That might change. Rep. Jacki Speier has sponsored a law that would permit the USPS to change. It would be able to ship alcoholic beverages from brewers, vintners and distillers. Twenty-four members of Congress have joined her in sponsoring the bill. Perhaps it will soon be possible to mail alcohol.


Being able to mail alcohol would benefit the US Postal Service, alcoholic beverage producers, and consumers.

The proposed law would not effect state bans on alcohol shipments. They would remain in effect.

Source: Cameron, D. Mail Call… Indiana Bev J, 2015, 71(11), 3-4.

1  Alcohol Prohibition: Favored by almost One in Five Americans

Also see USPS Shipping Restrictions