Thieves Pulled Off An Underwater Beer Heist From Inside A Sunken Ship In Argentina

Breweries are going to some extreme lengths to make interesting beers these days, and now it seems thieves are going to equally great lengths to steal the brews for themselves in Argentina. According to a report, a wild beer heist went down sometime in the last month that involved beer aging inside a sunken ship, and so far no one knows who’s responsible.

According to the New York Times, the heist happened in Argentina, where 185 gallons of beer were stolen as it was aging 66 feet underwater inside a sunken ship.

The owners of the three breweries in Mar del Plata, which had teamed up with a diving school for what they described as a first-of-its-kind monthslong experiment in deep-water beermaking, were left mystified, and heartbroken, upon discovering on Tuesday that the barrels were gone.

“I started crying,” said Carlos Brelles, who runs the Thalassa Diving School in Mar del Plata, a coastal city five miles from the sunken ship. “Three or four people without morals destroyed the work of so many people who put in so much effort.”

Mr. Brelles and the brewery owners said they have no clues that could shed light on the disappearance of the barrels, but they haven’t ruled out an act of sabotage. They asked prosecutors to open a criminal investigation.

The concept for the beer is just as fascinating as the crime: the breweries decided to make a dark ale between 11-12 percent alcohol by volume, barrel it and then put it underwater tied to a ship called the Kronomether, a Soviet-era ship that sank in 2014 and became a popular recreational diving spot. In speaking with divers, and reading about other beers that were aged underwater, Brelles and other brewers worked for more than a year to get permits amid a pandemic to put seven barrels of beer underwater on November 22.

The thing is, sadly, that the beer is likely useless now: the plan was to combine the aged liquid with another beer to make about 2,000 bottles of beer named after the ship it was aged in. Unless the people who stole the beer know what they’re doing, it’s undrinkable as it. And those who went to retrieve the beer fear it was destroyed just for the sake of ruining a fun experiment.

“If they stole it for their own consumption, they’re going to have to throw it away,” said Mr. Vincent. “It was a lukewarm, gasless liquor that would be very difficult to drink.”

Mr. Vincent said he suspects vandals broke the barrels loose.

“I think they broke everything so the barrels would drift away,” said Mr. Brelles. “It was malice for malice’s sake.”

The good news? The three breweries plan to try it again. Hopefully in a location where whoever decided they wanted to ruin a good time can’t find it this time around.

[via The New York Times]