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Who Stole 78,000 Beers from This Small Atlanta Brewery?

When brewery workers showed up to SweetWater Brewing Co. in Atlanta last Tuesday, they saw that someone had stolen two refrigerated trailers containing 3,300 cases of fresh-out-the-factory brewdogs.

Nothing is a bigger bummer than opening the door to what was a fully stocked fridge to see you're all out of cold ones. Disbelief takes hold first, then panic, followed by sobering disappointment and simmering resentment. It sucks, but not as much as this: When brewery workers showed up to SweetWater Brewing Co. in Atlanta on Tuesday, they saw that someone had stolen two refrigerated trailers containing 3,300 cases of fresh-out-the-factory brewdogs.

The trailers were stocked with more than 78,500 bottles of beer, and were ready to go for an early morning pick-up when nefarious thieves came by in the wee hours of Tuesday and swiped them. Cops were able to track the trailers using GPS, but both were empty. A quarter of the missing beer was found in a nearby warehouse, and the police are examining it for clues that could help lead to the criminals. But alas, the recovered beer can't be resold—it's destined for the drain.

"We can no longer trust that that beer would be up to the quality standards that we as a brewery maintain, so unfortunately we have to destroy it all," Steve Farace, who handles marketing for SweetWater, told NBC.

It turns out that the warehouse where the beer was recovered is near the filming location for the 1977 action comedy classic Smokey and the Bandit, in which Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed) hightails it cross-country in a big rig full of contraband Coors with the fuzz in hot pursuit. Burt Reynolds, playing the role of Bo "Bandit" Darville, drives a blocker car to distract the cops, and you better believe that hijinx and yuk-'em-ups ensue.

The stolen beers were SweetWater Summer Variety Packs, containing the popular pineapple IPA Goin' Coastal. Now, people in the Atlanta area are basically out of luck if they want to suck back those sweet pineapple suds.

The loss stings for the 140-employee SweetWater. "For a small company like us to lose that much beer, it really hurts," Farace said. SweetWater has asked retailers to get in touch if any suspicious outside sources try to sell them SweetWater beer.

READ MORE: Stealing Beer Is (Literally) Not Worth the Trouble

But maybe the police should expand the search to our nation's interstate highways, where 18-wheeler brothers-in-arms full-up on a full tank of go-go juice obey a time-honored code of the open road. Out there, whether you're headed to Big D or Cow Town in a super chicken or a Jimmy, you're on the lookout for your fellow road dog even if he is a suicide jockey with a haul of illegal rocketsauce because you know what it's like to have a swarm of gumball machines or a bear in the air hot on your six.

By the way, has anyone seen Burt Reynolds lately?