Boxing Rock Brewing Co. taproom manager Linnea Swinimer had just settled in with her morning tea on Wednesday when a text message from her neighbour at the Local Source Market gave her the news: Thieves had broken into their Windsor Street storage locker overnight and made off with a whole lot of beer.
Her first reaction was one of bewilderment.
“What the hell?” she says, speaking at the north end taproom with The Coast.
The shock turned into disappointment when the scope of the break-in became clear. All told, the beer bandits took more than $5,000 worth of suds. But for Swinimer, who also lives in the neighbourhood, the brazen break-in struck a personal chord.
“It was disheartening,” she says. Earlier this week, the brewery’s Shelburne-based headquarters had been dealing with a flood. News of the Wednesday theft felt like insult added to injury.
According to Boxing Rock co-founder Henry Pedro, thieves forced their way into the Windsor Street taproom’s refrigerated beer storage container early Wednesday morning and left with every can of beer in sight. To Pedro, the hop heist feels premeditated: “It was quite obviously something that was planned in advance. They showed up with the right equipment to do the job and a couple of vehicles to pile it all in.”
Security footage shows three thirsty thieves (or is that Pilsner pilferers? Porter pinchers? Lager lifters?) using two vehicles to load the stolen beer and returning several times between roughly 12:40am and 5am. One vehicle appears to be a white third-generation Ford Escape. The other, a silver-coloured pickup truck, resembles either a Chevrolet Silverado or GMC half-ton crew cab. One suspect, possibly in their twenties or thirties and white, is dressed in a black hoodie and wearing a black N95-style mask.
As of Thursday morning, Pedro had made the drive to Halifax to restock the container. The kegs and bottled beer was left undisturbed.
“They didn’t take any vegetables either,” he says, with a laugh. “So they’re going to be constipated.”