Press Clips: Suds Stolen from Sweetwater; Brewer Killed in Car Crash

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Atlanta Brewery Robbed

Two trailer loads of Sweetwater Brewing Company beer were stolen from the company’s facility this morning, reports to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Approximately 3,300 cases — roughly 240 barrels — of the company’s summer variety packs had been loaded into refrigerated trailers and were awaiting an early morning pickup when they were lifted, the outlet reported.

About 800 cases were later recovered but company spokesman Steve Farace said those beers would be destroyed because the brewery could no longer guarantee quality.

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Recovered Sweetwater beer (photo: Steve Farace)

In addition to its 420 Extra Pale Ale, IPA and Take Two Pils offerings, the variety packs also contained bottles of Sweetwater’s pineapple-flavored seasonal, Goin’ Coastal IPA. The heist reportedly wiped out a significant portion of the company’s Atlanta inventory for Goin’ Coastal IPA, according to the company’s Facebook page.

“The really bad news is we were already having trouble keeping the Variety Pack and Goin’ Coastal on shelves cuz [sic] they were selling like hotcakes, and this was basically our entire inventory in Atlanta – so you may not see it on shelves for a minute,” the company wrote on Facebook.

Founding M.I.A. Brewer Killed in Car Crash

Piero Rodriguez, one of the co-founders of Miami’s M.I.A. Beer Company, died in an auto accident early Sunday morning, according to the Miami Herald.

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Rodriguez, 34, had reportedly worked late Saturday night and lost control of his car on his drive home. The brewer was not wearing his seatbelt when he struck a light pole and was ejected from the vehicle, brewery owner Eddie Leon told the Herald.

A GoFundMe page for Rodriguez has been set up to raise money in memory of the brewer. Over 300 contributions totaling more than $30,000 had been made as of press time.

Following the accident, a number of Miami-area breweries took to Facebook to remember Rodriquez.

M.I.A. Brewing Company

“It is with profound shock and sorrow that we mourn the untimely passing of Piero Rodriguez, an irreplaceable member of M.I.A. and the Florida Craft Beer Family. Our heartfelt condolences go out Piero’s family.

We have all been very blessed to know Piero. He was a loving person and free spirit that always made the best of every moment with his infectious smile and positive attitude.

We are still in disbelief that he has left us, but as we gather our strength back we know there are at least two things he would want us to do. First, help his son and family in any way that we can. Second, raise a pint and cheer him to living life to the fullest as he always did. We hope to post soon on ways that you can help.”

Wynwood Brewing Company

“Miami’s craft brewery family has recently lost a beloved member. Our entire love and support goes to Piero’s family and friends from M.I.A. Keep brewing in heaven, brother.”

There will never be another. We’ll never forget that smile, that energy.

A photo posted by Boxelder Craft Beer Market (@boxeldermiami) on

Wakefield Brewing

“This Monday we mourn the loss of a vibrant spirit within the Miami and Florida craft beer community. With the utmost respect to all families and friends we remained silent yesterday as we all discovered the loss of loving father, brother, son, and friend, Piero Rodriguez of MIA Beer Company. Piero was a true Miami original helping grow the local craft beer community with Misfit Home Brewers, Subvert Ales, Most Wanted Brewing, and MIA Beer Company.

Our hearts and condolences go out to Piero’s family and friends. We will be collaborating with the local community to help his son and family during these difficult times.

Today, we brew for you brother! May your taps be forever flowing.”

Concrete Beach Brewery

“Incredibly saddened by the news of fellow craft beer family member, Piero Rodriguez, passing away this weekend. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and MIA Beer Company.”

Hopsy Secures Seed Funding

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California-based beer delivery startup Hopsy, a door-to-door growler transport service and online marketplace, last week closed a seed-funding round led by VC firm Ironfire Ventures. The round also included investments from members of the Berkeley Angel Network, which consists of alumni and faculty of UC Berkeley.

“This seed investment will allow us to scale our operations to meet demand, and to open new markets, starting with San Diego by the end of year,” Hopsy co-founder Sebastien Tron said via a press release.

Jason Wang, the founder of food delivery service Caviar and a venture partner at Ironfire, has also joined Hopsy’s board, the company said.

Hopsy launched in January with the idea of cutting out traditional beer distributors by picking up and delivering growlers of freshly filled beer from small, mostly taproom-focused breweries to beer aficionados and enthusiasts in the Bay Area.

The company has delivered more than 10,000 growlers, from 12 breweries, to more than 3,000 individual customers, it said.