What with that global COVID-19 pandemic only seeming to gather strength throughout Europe and the U.S.A., it’s perhaps not surprising that some folks seem rather concerned about whether their flow of beer will be interrupted. Still, even the most ardent craft beer supporters among us would probably think twice before hijacking an entire 18-wheeler filled with IPA. That is, however, apparently what happened to BrewDog yesterday, according to founder James Watt on Twitter. Tuesday morning, he posted that a massive, bright blue BrewDog truck filled with the company’s Punk IPA had apparently been swiped.
Watt then playfully joked that he would be ramping up security for the next shipment, tweeting an image of a BrewDog logo-adorned army tank. The snarky online commentariat, meanwhile, was quick to point out that this was arguably the most “punk” theme that had ever happened to BrewDog, a company that is often derided for clinging to a “punk” ethos even as it grows into a global beer giant.
These types of large-scale beer heists are rare, but not completely unheard of. Back in 2016, SweetWater Brewery in Paste’s own hometown of Atlanta was hit by such a theft, being lifted of more than 78,000 beers when a truck went missing. The beer was later recovered in a warehouse, but ultimately had to be destroyed—sadly, there’s no way to ensure it hadn’t been tampered with in the interim. If the BrewDog beer is recovered, it’s safe to say it will probably suffer the same fate. One has to wonder how the heist was pulled off, and if it possibly could have involved an inside man in the company.
To their credit, BrewDog has been attempting to help out in various ways during the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, manufacturing and freely distributing both hand sanitizer and school lunches. This latest theft must feel like salt in an open wound at this point.
To all the other breweries reading this: Guard your shipments! Don’t let the beer highwaymen win.