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So weíve (or more accurately Iíve) let this slip quietly on by with no action. The original closing date for Beer Swap was 28th March but we will extend that until Friday 9th (we will push the whole thing back a few weeks). We will then arrange who sends to who next weekend. So far we have 35 signed up and itís looking good. If you still need to sign up then do it here (scroll to the bottom and fill in the box - the address needs to be the place you want it delivered to).

The next step is to start buying the beers you are going to send. Remember, itís four bottles, as local as possible but still as good as possible. If you are a brewer then you can send your own beers, but only two. You can also only send a maximum of two beers from each brewery. You can send homebrew, if you want (if you are a homebrewer or a pro-brewer then you can send your beers as extras, if this is an option).

When you know who to send to (and keep this a secret, if you can!), and youíve bought the beers, the next step is the packaging. We can't stress how important it is to pack your beer properly; if it breaks on its way to your recipient then they wonít get to try the beers you have chosen and you won't be entitled to any compensation. No carriers willingly ship beer, so we are responsible for what we send. To this end we must make sure everything is packed very carefully. Sturdy box, loads of bubble wrap, kitchen roll, old t-shirts, popcorn, socks, newspaper, those little foamy things, whatever, just wrap each individually and then also pack the box tightly shut. Donít forget to put a little note in there to say hello and who sent it (so the recipient knows who to say thanks to!). You can put a fragile sticker on the box if you want to, but if itís well packed then it should be fine.

Then itís how you post it. Last year we used Collect+ which was pretty good but we had too many problems. This year itís totally up to you who you send with. Hereís a few to look at:

Parcel Monkey
Royal Mail

Royal Mail will be the most expensive. The top three work by submitting details online and they collect the package from your house/office/wherever and then send it on from there. Itís easy stuff. You just need to arrange a day when it can be picked up from you.

Once you have sent your parcel please email to let us know. And then let us know again when you receive your box of beer.

Then drink, enjoy and blog and tweet about your beers. If you don't have anywhere to write then please let people know as someone will be happy to let you write a guest post on their blog. Remember the twitter account and the #beerswap hashtag. If youíve signed up then buy the beers and wait until next weekend.

And rememberÖ the Burton Twissup is May 15th! Get it booked in. Weíll bring more details soon!