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Beer barrel theft ‘is getting worse’

The theft of beer barrels, which are being sold for scrap metal, is getting worse according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

Metal barrels are being stolen and sold to scrapyards, with some being sold online for a higher price than when originally bought full of beer.

Lee Le Clercq, the BBPA’s northern regional secretary, told the Warrington Gazette: “This is a huge issue. Metal theft, if anything, is getting worse.

“We have moved to stainless steel kegs which are harder to melt but with the price of metal going up it’s still worth thieves grabbing it if they can.

“Often these kegs are very easy to steal so metal thieves think it’s Christmas when they see these barrels.”

The newspaper also spoke to local pub owner, Tony Gandy, who said: “This is happening up and down the country. If anyone pinches my barrels my livelihood will go too.”

The website for trade association Keg Watch, which works to reduce the loss of brewing industry kegs, claims the theft and misappropriation of kegs and casks is costing the brewing industry “millions of pounds” every year.

Last year one man was jailed for 16 months for his part in the theft of £76,000 worth of beer kegs.

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