Mon, 05 Nov 2018
WEST Berkshire brewery was the victim of a smash and grab raid last night – amid a spate of similar break-ins believed to have targeted other rural businesses across the district.
Attackers broke into the rear of the Yattendon brewery on Sunday night.
Once inside, the attackers wrapped chains around the brewery’s safe, which was bolted to the floor and wall and contained around £6,000, before ripping it out.
They then burst through the glass door and into the tap room, resulting in “tens of thousands” of pounds worth of damage.
The brewery’s staff room (pictured) suffered considerable damage as a result and the tap room remains closed today.
Saddleback Farm Shop in Brightwalton was also targeted by burglars, while two other rural businesses are believed to have been hit.
Tom Lucas, managing director at West Berkshire Brewery, said morale was high at the business despite the havoc that was caused.
Mr Lucas said: “I’m really pleased to say that there’s a lot of damage done internally, but it’s not impacted on our business in any way.
“The tap room will be open for business as of tomorrow and we are going to press on.
“The £6,000 that was taken is obviously quite significant, but they have caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage and a lot of headache with the insurers.”
Mr Lucas confirmed a team from Thames Valley Police had visited the site this morning to conduct forensic investigations and members of the local community has rallied around the business.
Several of the brewery's staff were invited to The Pantry in the village this morning, where they were served tea, coffee and pastries.
The brewery has also received over 23,000 comments, likes and messages of commiseration on its social media pages from customers and rival breweries alike since the attack.
Mr Lucas said: “The community has really rallied around us and we have been really lucky as a community business.
“We have great links with the local community and a great support network.
“I think everyone in the business was feeling a bit devastated but we are a community business and are part of West Berkshire, there’s a sense of betrayal almost.”
Mr Lucas added: “You think, ‘What have we done to deserve this?’ but the show must go on.
“We will bounce back from this.
“I’ll be buying everyone a drink later, it’s onwards and upwards.”
A statement from Thames Valley Police said: “Thames Valley Police is investigating a report of burglary at The West Berkshire Brewery in Yattendon, West Berkshire.
“The incident was reported today (5/11) at around 5.55am.
“An investigation is underway and any witnesses are asked to call police quoting URN 109 5/11.”