More than 400,000 kegs of beer and cider worth €40 million have been stolen or gone missing over the past seven years.
That's according to figures released by the Irish Brewers Association (IBA), who represent the bigger producers in the country such as Diageo, C&C, Molson Coors and Heineken. The IBA say that it costs brewers €100 to replace each aluminum keg.
Thomas Burke, a senior spokesperson for IBS told the Sunday Times that metal theft "has emerged as a worrying issue since 2007".
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"For the brewing sector, keg theft continues to to be a serious problem and is hindering our ability to meet customer requirements by creating unsustainable losses,” Mr Burke said.
The Sunday Times reported that already, a number of criminal and civil cases have been undertaken against individuals of keg theft.
“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,” Mr Burke said.
In response to an upsruge in reported incidents, gardaí in conjunction with the Garda Metal Forum last year drew up a Metal Theft Crime Prevention and Reduction Plan, aimed at reducing the issue of not just beer keg theft, but also scrap metal theft.
The crime affects a wide range of businesses and community organisations with items like precious objects, copper wires, road signs, jewellry, lead roofs and goal posts being reported stolen.