Great River Brewing’s Canning Line Stolen

By Kay Witkiewicz

What’s 10-feet long, weighs 800 pounds, and is crucial to your livelihood? If you’re Great River Brewery (GRB) of Davenport, Iowa, the answer is your canning line, which was stolen cloak-and-dagger-style in the dark of night between Sunday, August 12, and Monday, August 13, 2012.

Despite locked doors, there were no visible signs of forced entry into the brewery. When the morning crew arrived on Monday, they found the facility ransacked: cans and sliced-open grain sacks littered the brewhouse floor, while cut air hoses hung lifeless.

Because of its size and weight, Cellarman Tyler Krutzfeldt believes it could hardly have been a one-person job. Great River’s $100,000 canning line accounts for about 70 percent of the brewery’s business. So far there have been no leads in this colossal crime, but at least one brewer in Nebraska has offered to help can GRB’s beers in the meantime. This is another example of how tight-knit the craft beer community is, especially in times of trouble. The next step is finding whoever committed this gutless act.