British Columbia

2 huge fermenting tanks missing, presumed stolen from under-construction B.C. brewery

A craft brewery owner showed up Monday to his Port Coquitlam business to discover he was missing two key pieces of equipment. Large ones.

Coquitlam RCMP investigating after 5 metre-high, 1-ton tanks — worth up to $20,000 new each — go missing

These two fermenting tanks worth more than $20,000 turned up in scrap yards after being reported stolen. (Phil Saxe/Boardwalk Brewery)

A craft brewery owner showed up Monday to his under-construction business in Port Coquitlam, B.C., to discover he was missing two key pieces of equipment.

Two massive fermenting tanks worth about $20,000 each new were gone.

The almost five metre-high tanks, estimated to weigh more than a ton each, were parked in a back lot on Seaborne Avenue near the loading bay of Boardwalk Brewing while construction of the brewery floor was underway.

Owner Phil Saxe said that the plan was to pour concrete for the floor this week, and begin brewing by December. But the missing tanks are a "significant" setback.

"It was pretty devastating, obviously," he said.

He said when he arrived at his business on Monday and saw the tanks were missing, he first asked neighbours and called business partners to make sure the tanks were not just moved or in storage.

The tanks, estimated to weigh at least a ton, vanished last weekend from the back lot of Boardwalk Brewery, which is under construction in Port Coquitlam. (Phil Saxe/Boardwalk Brewery)

Coquitlam RCMP confirmed they are now investigating the apparent theft of the two stainless steel tanks and a large blue tarp — probably used to hide the loot.

"This is the first that I've heard of fermenters being stolen — and something this large. There was a blue tarp that went with them, so I would imagine that would have been covering them on the way out," said Const. Deanna Law.

The tanks, which are estimated to weigh between one and 1.3 tons each, vanished between Oct. 16 and 19.

Saxe said a crane truck or a forklift with special extensions would be needed to move the almost two metre-wide tanks. He said one of the tanks had a nameplate with NSI on it, and the other with Jiangsu Prettech Machinery.

RCMP investigators are canvassing the neighbourhood for any security video that may reveal how the thieves moved them.

Saxe says he's offering a reward for any tips, as the tanks are a key component for his brewery and he's not sure yet if they would be covered by insurance.

"If your neighbour looks like they're building a brewery in their backyard and some new tanks showed up please let us know. These are worth way more to us than they are in scrap," he said.

About the Author

Yvette Brend is a Vancouver journalist. Yvette.Brend@cbc.ca or on Twitter or Instagram @ybrend

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