Stolen Sweetwater beer found, but every bottle will be destroyed

The good news: Most of the 78,528 bottles of beer stolen from SweetWater Brewing Co. has been recovered, the brewery said Wednesday.

But the bad news: Every single bottle will have to be destroyed because SweetWater can’t guarantee what happened to the cases of beer once it left the Atlanta dock, a brewery spokeswoman said.

Last week, nearly 3,300 cases on two trailers were stolen from SweetWater, wiping out a five-to-seven day supply of local brews with a retail value of about $90,000, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Of the 40 pallets stolen, 10 were recovered the same day of the theft, according to Tucker Berta, SweetWater spokeswoman. The remaining 30 pallets, minus a few cases, were found Wednesday by the GBI and Southeastern Transportation Security Council, Berta said.

The GBI and Atlanta police continue to investigate the theft, and no arrests had been made Wednesday afternoon.

The returned beer is being sent to Synergy Solutions Crisp County, a zero landfill, biofuel and waste recycling company, Berta said.