After Recovering Stolen Beer, Atlanta Craft Brewery Has to Throw It All Away

The latest comes as another piece of unfortunate news for SweetWater Brewing Co., which just can’t catch a break

Wikimedia Commons / Trevor Marron / CC BY-SA 3.0

The beer was originally stolen from trailers like this one.

Sometimes it feels like you just can’t get a break, no matter what you do.

That has to be the feeling today around SweetWater Brewing Co., a small craft brewery based outside of Atlanta. Last week, nearly 80,000 bottles of its beer was stolen from refrigerated trucks in the pre-dawn darkness. Among those was nearly its entire supply of popular Pineapple IPA Goin’ Coastal.

Now, authorities have recovered 30 of the 40 pallets of beer that had been stolen, minus a few cases. The other 10 pallets had been recovered shortly after the heist.

Sounds like good news, right? Wrong. Because of quality concerns, all of the beer will be thrown away. $90,000 worth of beer—important revenue for such a small brewery—will be recycled into oblivion. It’s a good gesture, and one that shows the company’s commitment to quality, but at the same time, it hurts to think about the idea of tossing so much tasty beer.

Plus, there isn’t much sense of justice in this case. No one seems to know why the beer was stolen, who stole it, or where it was found (a detail left out by the recovering authorities). In short, a mysterious case seems to have mysteriously resolved itself. It’s a situation not unlike the famous maple syrup heist in Canada, except for the absurdity involved in stealing so much maple syrup.

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