Bar Makes Customers Give Shoes As Deposit So They Don’t Steal Glasses

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Bruges is known for two things, beer and the incredible cult film set in the city starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

But fans who are flocking to the city seem to be enjoying themselves a little bit too much, and are trying to take home some pretty expensive keepsakes as a result.

There are reportedly tens of thousands of unique beer glasses being pilfered every single year, but some bars are fighting back.

One Bruges landlord, Philip Maes, has invented a set of security tags which are attached to the stem of each of the glasses.

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He told The Guardian:

We have lost at least 4,000 [glasses] every year. Especially the tourists liked to walk with them. For some reason, some customers think that when they pay for something to drink, they get a glass as a present.

Such an alarm system does indeed cost €4,000. But we already had a large part of it because we have a beer store. There was already a scanner at the exit and the cafe is part of the business.

Similar measures are being employed in Ghent where a bar has gone a little bit further to ensure the safety of their glasses. The Dulle Griet is enforcing a strict shoe for beer policy.

Alex Devriendt told Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad:

Anyone who drinks our house beer must hand over his shoe. We then put them in a basket that we pull 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.

We have to supplement our inventory every day. Tourists simply want a souvenir. Some even try to throw those old-fashioned billboards off my wall.

Certainly in the winter a lot disappears, they have thick coats on. In the summer they can hide the loot less well.

Let’s just take a minute to enjoy the pure joy of In Bruges:

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Anyone’s who has ever had a sip of the nectar of the Belgian gods will know that their glasses are a little bit more intricate than our standard bitter chalices.

The beer glasses which seem to be a favourite of the tourists in Bruges are the glasses which have the insignia of the Brugse Zot, the city’s only central brewery.

The brewery do give away their glasses to bars for free as a form of marketing, but they do admit that it comes with a big price tag.

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Jan Paillaert told:

Every month we have to deliver a thousand new ones here in Bruges. Glasses are a necessary evil for brewers. They are our business card, so you want every cafe to have them all the time.

But it costs you money when people start walking with it. Hotel bars are even worse than cafes. A lot more disappear there.

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To be fair, there are probably similar problems with most Spoons in the country, pretty much everyone in the entire nation has a Stella glass in their cupboard, right?