With great popularity of craft beer comes the temptation to steal rather than purchase. This is a harsh lesson that BrewDog’s wholesaler Ales By Mail learned last week when fifteen thieves broke a window, entered their warehouse, and loaded 16,000 bottles of BrewDog beer into the back of a truck.
The daring robbery was reported by the Mirror on Saturday. The article showed the frustration by manager of Ales By Mail Paul Kruzycki who held no love for the thieves. He said, “The people who have done this are scum of the earth with no regard for people’s livelihoods and it just sickens me.”
The most interesting fact is that the thieves appear to have only taken prototype beers from BrewDog brewery. They bottles were to be sold at a price of about £3.00 a bottle as they were filled with currently unreleased BrewDog beers. The beers were listed as limited edition varieties of Moshi Moshi 15, Interstellar, Hobo Pop, and Brixton Porter that were slated for sale this week.
I find this fascinating because it may be that the thieves knew what they were taking; namely a massive haul of limited, highly desirable beers from an incredibly popular brewery in the United Kingdom. While Ales By Mail most likely will have to report the loss of the beer as close to £50,000 the thieves, if they were to sell their stolen wares on the craft beer black (or gray) markets, would be able to sell the beer at a wildly inflated price. Rabid craft beer fanatics would likely pay well above the £3 suggested price for a beer they know to be severely limited after a huge loss of inventory like this theft.
The question is whether this was a targeted robbery for this very reason or did the thieves focus only on the highly recognizable beer ignoring (or missing) other beers in storage at Ales By Mail on accident.
I think this is a question that merits an answer and given that the police have CCTV footage of the robbery and any sale of BrewDog’s new beers are going to be hotly investigated means we might actually get an answer.
This of course makes one wonder if with the growing popularity of craft beer will we see more robberies of this nature?