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Doc

Doctor's Orders Brewing
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Black bear develops taste for local brew

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BAKER LAKE -- Rain-eeeeer ... Bear?

When state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort, there were some clues scattered nearby -- dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer.

The bear apparently got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And not just any cans.

"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.

Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest.

"He didn't like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier."

A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground, but the animal just climbed a tree to sleep it off for four hours. Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.

Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation, baiting the trap with the usual: doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier. That did the trick.

"This is a new one on me," Heinck said. "I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."
 

Kai

Fermentation Assistant
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I've never tried Rainier, but it sounds like this bear had good taste. I love this story.
 

Doc

Doctor's Orders Brewing
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Looks we know where they released the bear too :p

Beers,
Doc

RCMP discover more stolen beer in N.B. woods, but bear gets there first

FREDERICTON (CP) - Somewhere in the woods of New Brunswick, there may be a bear with a buzz on.

RCMP said Wednesday they discovered 200 cans of stolen Moosehead beer in the forest near Doaktown, N.B., but a few had been ripped open by a beer-guzzling bear. "Six of the cans were discovered with bite marks in them indicating a bear had, at one point, been into the beer," the police said in a news release.

The RCMP said there was no sign of the bear or the culprits who had possession of the beer, part of a shipment of 54,000 cans stolen from a Moosehead truck in August.

The beer, labelled in Spanish, was headed for the Mexican market.

The bear may have sniffed more than beer in the air. The stolen brew was found at a hidden marijuana production site.

The RCMP said they discovered thousands of dollars worth of equipment used for marijuana production, including two camouflaged tents.

The stolen beer has been turning up here and there since the transport truck was discovered abandoned in Grand Falls, N.B., north of Woodstock, in mid-August.

Wade Haines of Fredericton, the driver of the truck, has been charged with theft over $5,000 and is awaiting trial.

The stolen suds, destined for a Mexican supermarket chain, would be worth more than $75,000 if sold retail through the New Brunswick Liquor Corp.

Police have so far located about 14,000 of the 54,000 stolen cans.
 

Doc

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Caught and convicted.

Doc

N.B. jury convicts self-proclaimed "beer bandit"

By KEVIN BISSETT

FREDERICTON (CP) - A truck driver who sent a birthday card to an ex-girlfriend signed "the beer bandit" was found guilty Tuesday of stealing a shipment of 50,000 cans of Moosehead beer. A jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before convicting Wade Haines, 31, of theft over $5,000.

As the verdict was read in a Fredericton court, Haines briefly rubbed his eyes, and stared at the jury as if in disbelief.

Haines, of no fixed address, was charged after a truckload of beer from Moosehead brewery in Saint John, N.B., disappeared last summer.

He was supposed to deliver the beer destined for the Mexican market to Etobicoke, Ont., last August, but neither he nor the truck ever made it.

Instead, the tractor-trailer was found with less than 300 cans of beer and the engine running in a parking lot in Grand Falls, N.B.

Haines was arrested in Ontario.

He told RCMP the delivered the beer to a trucking yard in Fredericton on August 13th but never returned to pick up the shipment as he was supposed to on Aug. 15.

Instead, Haines said he abandoned the tractor portion of the vehicle, with the keys in it, next to a highway in Fredericton and hitch-hiked to Ontario.

Haines said he wanted to get away for a while after he had a fight with his girlfriend. He said he was expecting to lose his job after cashing a cancelled paycheque a day earlier.

Police testified during the trial that Haines's story didn't make sense as he didn't contact anyone, despite a blizzard of Media stories about his disappearance and the missing beer.

In his closing arguments, Crown prosecutor Cameron Gunn said he found Haines's story hard to believe.

In order to be true, Gunn said, someone would have had to take the abandoned trailer from the side of the highway, match it up with the trailer of beer in the yard, and drive it to Grand Falls without raising suspicion.

"Highly improbable is a generous description," Gunns said.

Cari Watson, Haines's ex-girlfriend, testified that she received birthday cards from Haines while he was in jail awaiting trial.

She said Haines told her to look on the back of one of the cards for something funny.

Watson said it read: "Copyright. Made in Canadian jail by the beer bandit."

The Crown's case was based mainly on circumstantial evidence, as there was no direct proof Haines had any contact with the beer after driving the shipment to Fredericton.

But the Crown argued the the circumstantial evidence weaved a credible story.

"The strands are wrapped around each other until it's strong, and points without a shadow of a doubt to Haines's guilt," Gunn said to the jury.

Defence lawyer Ron Morris said Watson's testimony likley swayed the jury.

"I think Cari Watson cost us this case," Morris said outside the court, after the jury's decision. "I think she turned on Mr. Haines for whatever reason. I think that hurt."

Watson testified that Haines called her from Ontario, wanting to put money into her bank account, and later said he would be getting a lot of money once he was freed from jail.

She said Haines wouldn't tell her the whole story about the beer because he was concerned her telephone had been tapped by the police.

Only about 14,000 of the distinctive Spanish-labelled stolen cans have been recovered, many of them along rural roads outside Fredericton.

At one point the Moosehead company, based in Saint John, capitalized on the worldwide publicity generated from the case by selling a "Beer Heist Tour '04" T-shirt at its outlets.

There have been no other arrests in the heist, but Crown prosecutors believe Haines didn't act alone in the robbery.

RCMP Sergeant Gary Cameron told reporters Tuesday police plan to charge anyone found in possession of the beer.

Morris isn't convinced.

"I think they got one guy and the only way they'll find any more beer is if they go to a beach party somewhere," he said. "I really feel that it will be the end of the investigation."

Haines will remain in custody until sentencing March 7.
 

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