Prospective brewery owners looking at Birmingham, Alabama as a viable location for your operation, be forewarned: You might need to spend a little bit more capital on security than you were expecting.
Currently, the city of Birmingham plays host to two ale factories: The well-established, well-respected Good People Brewing Company and the upstart, wave-making Avondale Brewing Company. In the past few weeks, both breweries in the Magic City have been the victims of some fairly bold thefts.
In mid-June, Avondale Brewing owner Coby Lake came to work to discover 40 kegs missing from his property. For those that don’t work in the brewing business, lost kegs are the bane of small brewers everywhere. They can cost between $120-$150 a piece to replace (think about that the next time you forego your $30 keg deposit because you’re too lazy/drunk to return it to the liquor store). For a brewery like Avondale, which is just ramping up to production levels, those lost kegs could have been absolutely disastrous. Fortunately, Lake acted quickly and called all of the scrap metal companies in town. One of the companies responded that two guys had just dropped off 40 kegs which Lake immediately reclaimed. While at the scrapyard, he wisely procured copies of the two thieves’ driver’s licenses, tags and addresses to pass on the police department. Nice detective work, Coby!
As for Good People, we’re still holding out for a happy ending on this one. Over the weekend, Good People’s company pick-up truck was stolen right in front of the brewery. The blue, ’84 Chevy pick-up should be pretty easy to spot. Its license plate reads “GUDPEPL” and it’s covered in brewery bumper stickers. One of the brewery owner’s friends actually saw the truck being driven around a few hours after it was stolen. Keep a sharp eye on the roads, Alabama Aleheads! Let’s make sure Good People recovers their property like Avondale did. The brewing industry has enough problems in Alabama thanks to the short-sightedness of our state legislature. The last thing we need is for criminals to impede the growth of our local craft beer scene.
So for all of our Alehead readers considering a criminal career, PLEASE stop stealing from breweries! Go steal from a casino or art museum or something. Maybe they’ll make a movie about you.