"Five Gallons of Ale Sucked through a gas pipe.
—On Saturday forenoon a man named John McKenna appeared before Sheriff Arkley on a charge of stealing five gallons of ale from the brewery of Messrs. Drybrough and Company, Canongate. On the afternoon of Thursday last McKenna, along with three companions, was at the foot of Logan's Close, immediately adjoining the brewery, one of the windows of which was open, and a barrel of ale close beside it. The temptation proved too strong to be resisted ; and accordingly a piece of lead gas-pipe was introduced through the window and into the bung-hole of the barrel, the four vagabonds each in turn taking a pretty long suck. Some boys observed their movements, but the abstraction of the ale went on for some hours ere the boys thought of informing the police. They ultimately did so, however, but the thieves observed the police coming up the close, and three of them managed to make their escape, leaving McKenna, who was considerably more than half-seas-over, to the tender mercies of the law. The ale in the cask was afterwards measured, and it was found that the four had managed to extract five gallons. McKenna pleaded guilty to the charge, and was sentenced to thirty days' imprisonment. — Edinburgh Courant."
Hertford Mercury and Reformer - Saturday 02 May 1863, page 3.
Interesting approach to sentencing in the old days. A cooper who hit his foreman so hard that he blinded him in one eye only got 8 months. Which makes a month inside for stealing 5 gallons of beer - probably worth around 5 shillings worth - seem pretty harsh.
I'm not surprised McKenna was pissed. Five gallons amongst just people means they averaged more than a gallon each. At a time when even weak beer was 5 to 6% ABV.