Pat Nolan Blog

Shoe enough to return that glass

It’s a common enough problem among bar-owners: theft of glasses.

But across in Belgium some bar owners are just not going to take it any more.

Belgium has a wonderfully wide variety of beer types and Belgians would not take kindly at all to one brand of beer being served in another brand’s glass as is so commonly the practice in the Irish on-trade. And some of these Belgian brands require special glassware such as Kwak, a brand that’s characterised by a round-bottomed glass (it goes back to the days of coach & horses, but don’t ask) that cannot sit on a table-top unsupported but rests instead inside a wooden gallows-like structure on Belgian bars.

Needless to say such unique beer containers find their way into customers’ coats never to be seen again by the bar-owners.

But now, two bars have had enough and are not going to (let their customers) take it any more.

A report, carried in theDrinksBusiness recently, stated that Bruges’ Beer Wall is putting a stop to the loss of “at least 4,000” glasses a year.

“The tourists especially like to walk with them,” Bruges publican Philip Maes told the local publication Nieuwsblad, “For some reason, the customers think that when they pay for something to drink, they get the glass as a present.”

As a result of all the glasses becoming ghosts, he’s had to install a €4,000 scanning security system on the door.

Other café-owners, however, have avoided this expense by some nifty footwork with their customers.

The Dulle Griet in Ghent simply requests a deposit of one shoe in exchange for one glass of their house beer which comes in the Dulle Griet’s specially-made glass.

“Anyone who drinks our house beer must hand over their shoe,” the bar’s Alex Devriendt explained to 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.”

Needless to say such unique beer containers find their way into customers’ coats never to be seen again by the bar-owners.

Needless to say such unique beer containers find their way into customers’ coats never to be seen again by the bar-owners.

Tourists visiting the bar like to avail of a souvenir or two (unbeknownst to the proprietor, naturally) and have even been known to try removing posters from the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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