Manchester breweries suffer burglaries over the festive period

Manchester-based breweries Cloudwater and Beer Nouveau suffered break-ins over Christmas and the New Year after getting caught up in a spate of burglaries in the area.

Beer Nouveau was targeted just before Christmas.

Despite having security measures in place, two breweries have been left counting the costs after thieves broke in and stole computer and recording equipment as well as money.

Speaking to the drinks business, Steve Dunkley, brewer at Beer Nouveau, said he was targeted just before Christmas.

After closing up on Saturday night, Dunkley returned on Sunday afternoon to find the door broken open. He suspects it was a “professional job using both specialist tools and brute force” owing to the fact that the door itself was a steel reinforced security fire door, which “aren’t easy to just pop open”.

He believes that the thieves turned off the WiFi to stop any off-site CCTV recording and made off with the CCTV box, the hard drive out of the media system, the table used as a till as well as a couple of laptops and a digital camera.

“Stock wise they took a couple of bottles of spirits and some wine, really not much,” Dunkley added, inferring that it was the computer and recording equipment that the thieves were after.

Breweries, especially those with tap rooms, are at a disadvantage owing to the fact that most areas are considered ‘communal’.

Dunkley explained: “Even if they [the police] did find any prints, they’d be unlikely to be able to use them as they could just claim they’d been in drinking. The only hope really the police have it seems is catching them in the act”.

Following the break-in, Beer Nouveau is looking to improve its security, but has to be mindful of the costs.

Dunkley told db that he was worried about the insurance covering the expenses.

“We’re hoping that either the landlord or the business insurance pays out for the door as well as what we’ve lost, because if we have to do that from our own pockets, then I’m seriously considering either downscaling dramatically, or even closing up.

“It’s a tight margin as it is, and we don’t have the contingency cash needed to replace everything,” he said.

He believes that thieves are not just targeting breweries owing to the fact that a premises on the same road was broken into a few days before the incident at Beer Nouveau, while the site next door also had an attempted burglary.

Fellow Mancunian craft brewery Cloudwater also suffered a break-in shortly after the New Year, its third since its inception.

Announcing the news on Twitter, director Paul Jones said that the brewery’s Apple computers had been taken.

He added that appeared as if it was a “preconceived burglary” and that the brewery was “obviously worried about getting hit again once we are set back up”.

Like Beer Nouveau, Cloudwater also had a number of security measures in place including roller shutters, alarms and CCTV. It will be making improvements and has praised the police for “being very helpful”.

Local residents are encouraged to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police. Anyone with any information regarding the incidents above can call the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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