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Belgian Bar Takes Patrons’ Shoes as Collateral to Prevent Beer Glass Theft

Stealing elaborate beer glasses has become an increasingly popular trend among patrons of Belgian beer bars, so much so that in recent years owners of such establishments have started implementing all sorts of safety measures. For example, one bar in Ghent asks visitors to hand over one of their shoes as collateral.

Belgian beer is famous the world over, so it’s no surprise that tourists flock to beer bars when visiting the European country, but lately many of them have developed a habit of leaving with a souvenir. Philip Maes, owner of The Beer Wall bar in Bruges, said that he loses over 4,000 beer glasses a year, which can get pretty expensive, as many of these glasses are elaborate works of art custom made for his establishment. A beer glass can cost up to 50 euros ($55) so having thousands of them stolen adds up to a significant financial loss. So Maes and other bar owners have implemented security measures to discourage beer glass thefts.

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Belgian Bar Forced to Install Alarm System on Beer Glasses Because People Keep Stealing Them

The Beer Wall, a popular bar in Bruges, Belgium, has recently installed alarm sensors on all of its beer glasses as well as a scanner at the entrance, in order to deter patrons from stealing them.

All of the roughly 1,600 Belgian beers sold at The Beer Wall are served in their own specially designed glasses, some of which are apparently very interesting. From goblet-like glasses that usually accompany abbey-made beers, to glasses shaped like hourglasses or even sliced coconut shells, the famous Bruges bar has plenty of attractive glass artworks. The problem is that many visitors, tourists in particular, don’t settle for feasting their eyes on these unique glasses while sipping a cold one. Instead they steal them as souvenirs, ignoring the warnings in four languages on the bar’s beer mats, which state state that the glasses are not free, and that they can be bought from the souvenir shop next door.

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