Patrons Are Stealing Breweries’ Branded Pint Glasses, Costing Small Businesses Thousands A Year

beer pint glass [Source: Charlotte Agenda]
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The craft-beer craze has taken over; there’s no doubt about that. Local breweries are popping up all across the country, and people are loving their popular products. Nothing is more satisfying than enjoying an ice-cold pint while simultaneously supporting a local business. Many breweries offer a host of trinkets for their consumers to indulge in—from t-shirts to branded, pint glasses.

When you visit a brewery, there is a good chance your favorite beer could be served to you in a pint glass emblazoned with the brewery’s logo. Unfortunately, some people may be taking their enjoyment of a brewery’s branding a bit too far—and it’s costing small businesses thousands of dollars every year.

Theft is an increasingly common problem for breweries. It’s not “harmless” to tuck away that pint glass into your pocket or purse; the “collection” of pint glasses and other accoutrements can easily add up to thousands of dollars a year for just a single brewery. Experts say logo glasses can be something of an “invitation for theft,” and it’s not hard to imagine why. Brewery-logo glasses are pretty sharp looking, and alcohol does tend to invite poor decision-making.

Some consider the loss to be somewhat of a “marketing expense”—especially given how tough glass theft can be to keep an eye on. While this is an on-going problem, many brewers are hesitant to give up their trademark, pint glasses.

Blank Slate Brewing owner Scott LaFollete said, “We like the idea of people drinking out of a glass with our logo on it.” Many brewers share his sentiments—even in spite of glass theft. LaFollete said his company probably loses about $1000 worth of glassware in a year—a lot for a smaller brewery. Larger locations, like MadTree Brewing, calculated that they lose up to $10,000 a year—just to theft.

If you like a brewery, you can support their business by buying their beer and their souvenirs—but it’s important to remember stealing could put your favorite place out of business.



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