Can Shipping Alcohol Save The United States Postal Service?

In theory, the idea is flawless: You roll out of bed at noon on a Saturday, pajamas still on, and casually stroll to the front door to check your mail. You've got a couple of bills and a postcard from your favorite nephew...oh, and a full case shipment of that craft beer you've been dying to try – all the way from the other side of the country. Laws regarding the shipping of alcohol are unfavorable, albeit somewhat unclear. But according to CNBC, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe recently pitched the idea of allowing the Postal Service to deliver beer, wine and spirits to your doorstep. Is there a possibility that this scenario could soon become a reality?

Related: 5 Steps To Mastering The Art Of Beer Trading

Donahoe's proposal would bring in a substantial amount of revenue for the cash-strapped Postal Service, which is currently prevented by law from mailing alcohol. This ban results in commercial and homebrewers using licensed couriers and package delivery companies to transport alcohol throughout the country. So, is legislation allowing the USPS to deliver booze the only hurdle that remains preventing easier consumer access? Not exactly. In addition to various state laws that might still stop brewers from selling directly to customers, there are other issues in play.

Beer is heavy, fragile and perishable, and its shipping could be costly for both brewers and consumers. Is the convenience of doorstep delivery enough to spur people to pay shipping fees on items that are available at local liquor stores? Extra manpower would also likely be required to pack and ship the alcohol.

The option to purchase specialty beers and ship wines home directly from wineries are intriguing possibilities, but there just appears to be more uncertainty and questions than answers right now. Do you believe that a reversal of the USPS ban would change the way you purchase alcohol? Let us know in the comments.

More Big Ideas on Food Republic: