The Great Keg Heist of 2016

Eight kegs of boutique beer disappeared from a freezer truck outside the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre last Sunday night, and the heist seems to have been committed partially on foot. That’s the most likely explanation, at least, says Visitors Centre communications director Elijah Forget, after four of the kegs turned up along the Frame Lake Trail over the last day or two.

Two kegs and a dolly were found near Somba K’e Plaza — one still sealed, the other open from the Shore Lunch event on Saturday night. The other two were recovered empty over by the Legislative Assembly, apparently having been jimmied open with something like a screw driver, says Forget.

Four kegs are still missing. The break-in happened Sunday night or Monday morning, says Forget, when it appears someone cut the lock on the freezer truck filled with kegs from the NWT Brewing Company and Yukon Brewing parked beside the visitor’s centre. A second break-in happened in front of the centre the next night: a locked and caged-off area was busted open and the bar from the Shore Lunch, which was stored inside, was scoured.

“When I came in Tuesday morning… the tubing had been pulled out of the bar, though the damage was minimal, more like disassembly,” says Forget.


It isn’t the first time the centre has had issues with theft or vandalism: “There’s a smashed window here, an overturned art emplacement there, planters pushed into water, fairly consistent issues,” says Forget. “It’s kind of a fact of life here, and it seems a lot of people deal with it… But we’ve never had theft on this scale.”

Each keg has a $120 deposit down, and the centre was hoping to sell some of the beer at a later date to recoup costs. All told, the centre is likely short significantly more than $1,000 because of the break in — Forget did not have an exact number.  

“It’s really too bad, this was a fundraiser intended to save the building,” he says. “We’re hoping if anyone knows anything they’ll let us know… Regardless of whatever [the thieves’] situation is, they’re robbing a public fundraiser and I think there should be consequences.”

According to an RCMP press release sent out today, “the investigation is on-going.” Media contact Sergeant Donald Duplissea couldn’t say whether the other kegs have been found or whether any suspects have been identified.


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