CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Patio season means missing glassware for many local breweries. It’s a theft that can cost them thousands of dollars.
In the clink of an eye, NoDa Brewing Company estimates $24,000 a year in missing or stolen glassware. Sycamore Brewing says it costs them $18,000 per year. Legion Brewing reports $4,600 due to swiped glasses and Lenny Boy Brewing spends almost $3,000 replacing stolen cups.
“If it’s like a cool goblet, you are going to take that because you want it to be in your trophy collection,” says brewery-goer Corey Baumgardner.
Craft Brewers tell FOX 46 Charlotte they have caught criminals in the act. Triple C Brewing Tap Room Manager Lee Boxer says he has seen it all.
“I’ve seen the purse, I’ve seen the little shuffle like they are holding it by their side, and they always do the head turn to see if anyone is looking," Boxer said.
“Funny story: A couple weeks ago I was talking to a lady and she put her purse down and there were two pint glasses inside,” says Lenny Boy Founder Townes Mozer. “And I was like oh! Nice!”
Even Legion Brewing who doesn’t use logo printed glasses in their tap room or patio for this reason report about 30 glasses a month in this kind of theft.
“They will even take a plain glass!” says Jordan Coley, Legion Brewing Tap Room Manager. “Its amazing with a plain glass still how many we fly through.”
While some brewers take it as a compliment, others say the beer may come back with a bite.
“We have definitely had to pad our costs,” says Ivey Amburgey, NoDa Brewing Marketing Manager.
Coley predicts, “the price of beer could go up just to level the playing field out again.”
One solution could be serving plastic cups, but most tap room managers say they will never switch out the glass because it elevates the experience beyond other bars.
“We take all that time and effort to make good beer,” says Boxer. “We are not going to pour it in plastic.”
Craft brewers ask customers think before you take and purchase the pint glass. They range from $3 to $7 at the breweries we tapped into.
“It’s just like adding another beer to your tab,” says Coley.