A 10 STRONG gang stole £35,000 of rare beer from a warehouse in a brazen midnight heist.
The highly organised criminals spent two hours removing about 16,000 bottles of Brew Dog beer, from the Ales By Mail warehouse, in Radford Way, Billericay.
The beers were part of a range that were exclusive to the company and were not due to be put on general sale until later this week.
The company has been based in Billericay since October 2012, but staff fear the theft may put them out of business and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them or the police.
Lilly Miller, management accountant for the company, said: “Whoever did this was extremely organised.
“What’s horrible is nobody really knew we were there.
We had not put up any new signs.
“This burglary could be huge for us.
“Brew Dog is a big customer and if this undermines its trust in us it could go somewhere else.
“This burglary is a real worry for us.”
Part of the raid, which happened between midnight and 2am on Monday, was captured on a nearby CCTV camera.
It is believed a lorry carrying between ten and 15 people pulled up beside the warehouse, which is opposite Jewson’s Builders’ merchants at about midnight.
Burglars then smashed a window, clambered in and stole a key from the office to let themselves into the warehouse where the beers are kept.
The crooks then spent two hours unloading eight pallets on to the waiting lorry before making their escape.
While in the building, they also took a number of personal items belonging to staff, including a pair of running leggings.
The brands of Brew Dog beers stolen included 4,500 bottles of Interstellar, 1,700 of Moshi Moshi, 4,500 of Hobo Top and 5,300 bottles of Brixton Porter.
Ms Miller added: “These beers were prototypes and we were the only business in the country to stock them.
“We had made a small number of bottles available to a certain customer, but apart from that these beers were not on general sale.
“Anyone offered these for sale are most likely being offered our stolen stock.
“We have worked so hard to build up this business. It’s a massive blow.
“We just want anyone with information to contact ourselves or the police.”