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Sunday 18 March 2018

Yes, you can have a beer, but first give me your shoe

Belgian beer glasses are so desirable that local bars lose thousands of dollars each year through theft.
Now two bars have taken action to stop the glasses going walkies; one installing a €4,000 security system and the other asking for customers shoes as a deposit.

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports theft has reached absurd proportions.

At the Beer Wall in Bruges, owner Philip Maes told the paper 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.”

To counter the glass thieves, Maes has attached small security alarms to each glass and  installed a €4,000 alarm system with a scanner at the door.

Another beer bar, Dulle Griet in Ghent, demands drinkers hand over a shoe as a deposit before being served a glass of house beer. 

“We then put them in a basket that we put up against the ceiling," said spokesman Alex Devriendt. "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 and tourists simply want a souvenir."

Belgians take their beer glasses very seriously and consider it particularly important that beer is served in the appropriate glass. Tourists simply like to nick stuff. 

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