Brewery ransacked by thieves in smash-and-grab raid

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Scene of devastation: thieves dragged a floor-bolted safe through the wall containing £6,000 cash
Scene of devastation: thieves dragged a floor-bolted safe through the wall containing £6,000 cash
A blitz on West Berkshire Brewery will cost the company “tens of thousands” of pounds in repairs, according to its managing director.

Burglars broke into the rear of the brewery and ripped doors off their hinges and yanked a safe off the floor and through a wall despite it being bolted down in a locked room, on Sunday night (4 November).

Horror show

The criminals trashed the brewery’s shop in the village of Yattendon and also emptied the tills on the way out, escaping with a total of £6,000 – the shop's weekend takings.

Prior to the devastation, the bar had been screening the comic horror film Scream​ to 30-odd customers until about 10pm.

Head brewer Will Twomey then opened up just before 6am to find the brewery in "absolute chaos".

He told the Morning Advertiser: "As I drove down the side of the building, I saw the taproom door smashed to bits and could see all the detritus coming from the back door.

"The door was hanging off its hinges and all the block work just hanging out of the wall – I couldn’t believe someone could do that, it still seems so surreal."

The show must go on

Managing director Tom Lucas said there would be "no significant business interruption" and that the shop and adjoining taproom will be open again on Tuesday (6 November).

Lucas added that the incident provided a lesson for any business not to leave too much cash on the premises and said that "it could have been worse".

Brewer Twomey said how the business is now looking to pick itself up after the havoc caused on Sunday night.

"When something like this happens your heads just not in the game," he said.

"We had a load of beer to pack, we had a customer that needed their beer to be ready the next day for collection and because of my discombobulated state, I didn’t even get the pack line set up until about half two and the lads had to run late.

"None of this is about the money, it’s the fact that it’s so disruptive to us, we’re already under pressure, we’re a small team trying to get this thing cooking and running smoothly.

"We’ve already had so many problems and set-backs, but you’re like fine – I’ll take another kick in the teeth – I’ll keep going."

Community spirit

Thames Valley Police have visited the site to conduct forensic investigations and members of the local community have been quick to help.

"Seeing all this support makes me realise I’m not in a bubble, West Berkshire Brewery is part of the community and people’s generosity is blowing my mind," said Will.

"As a brewery in the middle of nowhere, it’s easy for us to feel isolated having gone through something so horrible.

"It’s made us realise what a close-knit local and beer community we have and how great it is to be part of it, we’re so thankful."

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