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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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