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Brewery: Return Swiped Laptop, Get Free Beer for Life

A New Zealand brewer is offering a lifetime supply of free beer in exchange for the return of a laptop stolen in a break-in.

AP

Croucher Brewing co-owner Paul Croucher said Friday the computer contains "all our financials" as well as label designs for new beers and business contacts.

"So we decided that if anyone does come into possession of it we'll be happy to offer them a reward -- a dozen (bottles) of beer a month for the rest of their life," he said.

Croucher estimated the total value would likely be about $19,500 for a lifetime of beer. Since making the offer, "plenty of people" had called to say they were looking for the computer, he said.

"Opportunistic kids and a flimsy padlock" resulted in the theft, he said.

Croucher said he was optimistic the free beer offer would lead to the return of the stolen computer. "We'd love it back. We're at such a critical stage in our little business that every hit like that is quite big," he said.

The microbrewery in the central North Island tourist town of Rotorua currently ships 160 gallons of its three beers -- an English-style pale ale, Czech-style pilsner and a cloudy German wheat beer -- each week.

New Zealand winemaker Montana called to warn the brewery owners to make sure the terms of their free beer reward were precise. The winery had a difficult legal wrangle with the winner of an offer of five years' free wine who tried to extend the supply.

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