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'Beer bandit' accused of stealing $15K in rare brews, worth up to $300 a bottle

6:10 PM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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BOULDER - The craft beer community is shocked by the actions of a man police call the "beer bandit."

Adam Dickinson, 26, is accused of stealing $15,000 in rare brews from the Avery Brewing Company in Boulder.
Some of the bottles are worth hundreds of dollars.

Boulder police found 570 bottles in Dickinson's house.

Dickinson is accused of taking the vintage barrel-aged beer during his 8 months as an Avery employee, from March to October of 2012.

Police say Dickinson sold some of the stolen beer online and even gave bottles to his new boss, as a gift.

Dickinson is being held on $5,000 bond at the Larimer County Detention Center.

The stolen bottles are worth $200 to $300 apiece, because each batch is made only once.

"It blew us all away mostly because it is a very tight knit community," said Avery Assistant Tap Room Manager Matty Lambuth.

"Around here we definitely do call each other family," Lambuth said. "We haven't really seen anything like that before."

For those unfamiliar with the craft beer community, a special type of person hops into this line of work.

"Someone that lives, sleeps, drinks, eats beer," Lambuth said.

Assistant Tap Room Manager Michelle Jones says, much like a fine wine, these vintage brews are valuable because of the artisan craftsmanship that goes into each batch.

"They basically have liquid gold," Jones said. "They are very limited batches, beers that we make one time and one time only. We will never make that beer again. So it becomes obviously a prized commodity."

To give a sense of how close knit the craft beer community is, Jones says some of the people who purchased stolen bottles online from Dickinson have already contacted the Avery brewery to inquire about returning the bottles.

"It's really sad to see this happen in the craft beer industry because we are all friends,"
Jones said.


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