Man steals 13 beer kegs; we pay the price

Colin Joliat Alcohol & Food Editor

If you hate laying out the extra upfront cash to buy a keg, you can blame this guy. He recently stole thirteen kegs, and in doing so, screwed all of us.

Unlike the 19 cases of Bud Light stolen, which I chalk up to comedy and thirst, keg theft has an actual impact on all of us. AB isn’t going to raise their prices or change the regulations just because a few cans of beer walked away. Kegs, on the other hand, are a different story. Deposit was once just $10 while the tap that carried the expensive $45 deposit. Now the keg itself often carries a similar loan. Sure you get that money back, assuming the barrel isn’t stolen when you pass out, but not everyone has the extra cash laying around before a party.

Some states, breweries, and liquor stores have put more regulations on keg sales. It’s not uncommon for stores to only accept barrels that they sold as a way to discourage theft. If you snatch a keg but don’t know where to take it, you’re stuck with scrap metal prices and the hassle of taking it there. A bigger issue for underage college kids is in places such as MI that introduced the laws for tagging kegs. While technically it’s meant to limit underage drinking, it’s another way they are combating theft. The buyers name, address, and drivers license number are registered, and the return is only accepted from the same person. Again, no reason to steal that keg unless you’re heading to the scrap yard. Tough break 19-year olds, things are getting tougher for you.

The final downside to all this theft is that breweries, especially small ones, have to charge more for their beer. It costs them $150 to get a new barrel, and that money doesn’t come from their petty cash drawer. Eventually prices go up, and we have this guy to thank for it.

Thieves caught on camera stealing empty beer kegs from Coronado restaurant [10News]
h/t to Katie in CO

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