Recently we enlisted the help of a veteran beer trader, Howard, in educating readers on the ins-and-outs of beer trading.  After a fantastic five part series, we thought it fitting to host our own first annual (or semi-annual) Thank Heaven for Beer swap.  In actuality, this is not going to be a typical beer swap in which participants will compare beers they are stocked up on and make decisive trades; rather, it will be a Secret Santa event.

Basically all those who decide to participate in the event will sign up (click HERE or on the picture on our home page).  Upon signing up for the event, your name will be put in a pot.  Through random drawing, your name will be paired with another participant.  You will send a beer or two to whomever you are paired with and vice versa.  This is no different from the secret santa shindigs you participated in during grade school or at the office last December.  Of course, you will not know who had you until you get your secret brew in the mail.

We felt doing a secret Santa type beer exchange would be better for our purposes than a typical got/wants trade for a few reasons.  First, not everyone who subscribes or follows this blog has an account with a site that accommodates beer trading, and we don’t quite have the resources yet to adequately set it up on the site.  Second, the mystery of not knowing what is arriving in the mail is fun.  Third, it offers a great opportunity for first time traders to learn the ropes of beer swapping.

A few rules and disclaimers:

1)  Don’t send home brew as your secret brew.  It can be sent to accompany a your gift, but cannot be the gift alone.

2)  Don’t send crap.  I, for one, will not be excited if I receive a lone bottle of Mickey’s in the mail.

3)  While the principal of BIF (beer it forward) is the way to go, try not to be extremely upset if you get a slightly less fantastic brew than you sent (although we are hoping everyone is satisfied).

4) Sending more than one beer is acceptable, but keep #3 in mind.

5) While you can technically send any brew, try for something unique:  Locally specific, limited release beer, or even something that has been cellared for a few years.

Beer Trading Neophyte?

Try Howard’s series to get a grip on what’s to come:
The Suds Swap Meet (1 of 5)

Beer Value and Ettiquette (2 of 5)

Getting Started (3 of 5)

Beer It Forward (4 of 5)

Packing, Shipping, and Wrapping Up (5 of 5)

Basically, we really just want to take our blog to a higher level and create a little community interaction beyond the comment boxes.  We hope more than a few sign up, and are anxious to see what every (and ourselves!) are able to enjoy as a result.