Brewhouse ransacked for copper parts

Thieves broke into the Wachusett Brewing Co. in Westminster, Mass., to steel copper that can easily be peddled as scrap.

The saddest part if the copper was part antique German-made brewhouse, far more valuable than scrap.

The copper components were part of a large antique onion-dome style copper brewhouse that was made in Germany in 1951. Company president Edward C. LaFortune III said he and his two partners bought it in 2004 from the former owner, who paid $100,000 to have it shipped to this country. The owners planned to refurbish the brewhouse because it is unique and a lot larger than the stainless steel one currently in use.

He said all the components that were stolen probably have a scrap value of $2,000, but will cost a minimum of $20,000 for the company to replace.