More than 400,000 beer and cider kegs worth €40million have been stolen or reported missing nationwide since 2007, the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has said.
IBA’s senior executive Thomas Burke has said already a number of criminal and civil cases have been undertaken against individuals of keg theft.
The cost of replacing a keg is approximately €100 each – which has amounted to €40 million over seven years. The majority of beer and cider kegs in Ireland today are made from high grade stainless steel.
“Metal theft has emerged as a worrying issue since 2007, costing the Irish economy millions of euros every year,” Mr Burke said.
He is urging all operators of licensed trade establishments to remain vigilant and report incidents of stolen kegs or suspicious activity to gardai.
“For the brewing sector, keg theft continues to be a serious problem and is hindering our ability to meet customer requirements by creating unsustainable losses.”
“For every keg stolen the cost of providing beer and cider to publicans in this country increases and damages the profitability of breweries,” he said.
“We believe that it is in our shared interest to protect our industry from keg theft.
The association is working closely with gardai to alleviate the problem.
“Much of our effort has been placed in producing a series of proposed measures with the garda metal forum, aimed at reducing the issue of beer keg theft,” Mr Burke said.
“Looking forward, we hope an elevation of vigilance amongst licensed trade operators and a series of workable measures can reduce theft and ultimately ensure that empty kegs are returned to suppliers safely.”