Beer Theft

News item: Thieves Make Off With $26,000 of Beer.

Location? Brewtown, of course! (more precisely, the greater Milwaukee metro area).

The AP story helpfully gives the lowdown on the stolen items:

– 384 24-packs of Miller Genuine Draft cans

– 560 18-packs of MGD 12-ounce bottles

– 980 18-packs of MGD 12-ounce cans

– 40 24-packs of Miller Light 16-ounce plastic bottles

Based on this inventory (beer in a plastic bottle?), I have a hard time imagining that the thieves were motivated to steal for their own personal consumption.

UPDATE: Michael’s funny comment below got me thinking about beer in plastic bottles. Being an ever-curious researcher, I looked into the phenomenon. The American Plastics Council has a helpful page on the topic where they offer the following insights:

When a sample of 457 beer drinkers were questioned about the plastic bottle concept, but did not actually see, feel or touch a bottle, the results revealed the perceived perceptions which must be overcome. However, when a separate sample of beer drinkers were provided the opportunity to see, feel and touch a plastic beer bottle, then taste-test the beer, the results were dramatically different.

Overall attitudes towards plastic beer bottles were overwhelmingly favorable, with consumers rating a 16 oz. plastic beer bottle as an 8.0 on a 10-point scale. Additionally, the plastic container was perceived to have the look of glass and the shatter-resistant safety convenience of cans. Beer drinkers also praised the plastic beer bottle for:

* its re-sealable top;

* light weight;

* beer’s better taste (versus cans);

* its comfortable grip;

* its recyclability;

* shatter resistancy;

* its appearance – it “looks like glass” and;

* its non-slip surface”

It’s true. Although I’ve heard of beer in plastic bottles, I’ve never actually seen one in real life, let alone sampled it. So I felt like the American Plastics Council was speaking directly to me by pointing out the risk of ill-informed perceptions.

However, the argument loses me when it tries to compare beer in plastic bottles v. beer in cans. Let me be blunt–NEITHER ARE A GOOD IDEA, so establishing that one is better than the other doesn’t really sway me.

In my research, I also came across this great (but technical) page that discusses the physics and chemistry of oxygen permeation in beer bottles. The following conclusion stopped me cold:

“Public opinion on using plastic for beer bottles has been investigated, and consumer studies show that acceptance is, not surprisingly, highest in the 18 to 25 age group and lowest in the 50+ age group. The generation that has grown up with soft drinks packed in PET doesn’t think twice about beer in a plastic bottle, and so it is likely that it will not be long before beer packed in PET will become commonplace in supermarkets, pubs and clubs throughout the world.”

Ugh. I think this paragraph tells me that I don’t like beer in plastic bottles because I’m old.

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