UK: ZX Ventures buys beer subscription service BeerBods

Just another online bottleshop to add to the shitlist of companies to never give money to.

From that article though:

From a British perspective this absolutely blows my mind. A country as big as the US with such dominance on the internet can’t even reach a single percent. Just shows how restrictive liquor shipping laws are there.
Would love to see figures for other countries. Must be at least 10 times that in the UK surely? Probably more. Feels almost like the norm here.

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Can believe that kind of figure for overall sales even in the UK, overwhelming majority of people don’t buy beer online but get it from supermarket and local corner shops.

Quick google shows SIBA 2019 report says 25% of UK craft beer drinkers would ‘like’ to buy online, and web says craft beer accounts for 24% of overall beer market in the US, so (mixing country stats) that’s only 6% at best

Seems teh big brewers see an opportunity there, which is kind of interesting watching the ongoing “shopification” of ratebeer

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Suspect the issue is that each state will have its own liqour laws and there are complications of who can sell what. Get the impression it’s often easier for US breweries to ship to the UK then get beer over the border to the next state.

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Gets to be too much trouble for a business to keep track and out of legal troubles. Some of the on-line shops I use restrict which states they’ll ship to. I use one shop in San Diego and one shop in North Carolina, and a couple it’s a bit confusing to figure out where they actually ship from at any given moment - but delivery is what counts.

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You’re probably right, I hadn’t considered just how much is sold in supermarkets in the UK, it must eclipse that sold by bottleshops. But not all of what they sell is craft so even then it won’t be an easy figure to pin down.

I saw the SIBA report too - it’s a shame they didn’t get data on how many people made an actual purchase online, and also how frequently they did.
In a more general sense, the most recent Eurostat data (2018) shows that 83% of people with internet access in the UK bought something online last year, unfortunately no additional data points on products or even industry so it’s impossible to even make a rough estimate on how many of those purchases might have been beer. But, that, coupled with the huge increase in off-trade sales over the past few years is a good indicator that online bottleshops is a very healthy niche sector right now, more so than in the US by the sounds of it.

Would love to get some accurate data on it at some point as I find it fascinating, and likewise I’m curious where Ratebeer is going with its “shopification” as you put it (nice term btw), though it is a bit of a shame it’s only partnering with ABI-owned shops rather than supporting independents.


Yep. This is something I’ve built into my online bottleshops website (showing which shops ship to which states) and it’s a bit of a nightmare to keep track of. Some don’t even publicly say which states they ship to. You can kind of figure out by pretending to place an order and keep choosing different states as your shipping address to see which they will and won’t ship to but that’s time consuming.

I know some states (such as Massachusetts iirc) have recently changed laws for the worse leading some shops to completely exclude the entire state, yet others still ship there without issue. From what I’ve read, it sounds like some couriers are willing to operate on a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy with regards to what’s inside the boxes they’re handling, and that’s the only reason why those shops are getting away with offering out-of-state shipping. As you said, a lot of businesses just won’t risk it in case of legal troubles.

article from 2017

TL;DR: It is massively complex with each state having its own laws.


The ABC commission in every state of the United States is different and they hold the craft beer buys down. I wish they would also make it legal to ship at least beer through US Post Office. So much cheaper and they always saying they can’t survive because no revenue.

I’ve bought a ton online since being in UK. Actually have some new country lager ticks coming in from Beers of Europe this week.


I’ve just aboot given up updating my website.
I noticed most of the East coast beer stores that USED to ship don’t do so anymore because FedEx and UPS stopped doing it for them.

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