Belgian Beer Crime – Tourists Are Stealing Beer Glasses!

Every year thousands of beer glasses are stolen from Belgium bars and some owners have started taking matters into their own hands. And according to Nieuwsblad, two bars are going the extra mile to prevent customers from ripping off their glasses.

At the legendary Beer Wall in Bruges, landlord Philip Maes told the news site that his establishment loses “at least 4,000 [glasses] each year.”

“The tourists especially like to walk with them,” he added. “For some reason, the customers think that when they pay for something to drink, they get the glass as a present.”

In an attempt to curve this ongoing wave of thievery, the Beer Wall has installed a €4,000 alarm system with a scanner at the door.

A popular bar in Ghent is taking an entirely different tact to put an end to these beer glass rip-offs…In essence they’re putting ‘your foot down’ regarding the matter and asking customers to put one their shoes in a basket that will be returned once they leave ‘ideally’ glassless.

“Anyone who drinks our house beer must hand over their shoe,” Alex Devriendt the manager at the Dulle Griet told Nieuwsblad. “We then put them in a basket that we put up against the ceiling. The basket has now become an attraction, but for us it remains a guarantee. [The glasses] are quite expensive because we have them made especially for us”.

In an effort to keep up with the depletions Devriendt added that the bar had to supplement their glass inventory daily. “Tourists simply want a souvenir. In the winter a lot disappears, they have thick coats on. In the summer they can hide the loot less well.”

According to the Drinks Business “Belgians take their beer glasses very seriously and consider it particularly important that beer is served in the appropriate glass.” They also have favorites like the long-stemmed glasses that carry the Brugse Zot logo, a popular local beer brewed by De Halve Maan.

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