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It was a case of the tell-tale beer stein.
A woman in Maryland has finally been absolved of her guilt over stealing a beer stein during a trip to Germany — a trip she took in 1965, when she was only 18.
Celeste Sweeney recently told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that she had been feeling increasingly bad about swiping the stein from the Hofbräuhaus in Munich decades ago, so she sent it back last month, along with a note explaining her impetuous actions.
“I took this beer stein from your establishment [in] the summer of 1965 when I was young, reckless and inconsiderate,” reads the note, according to a photo shared with the DPA. “I am sorry I did not get it back to you sooner. Hopefully, it arrives in one piece.”
Sweeney, who sent the stein back at a cost of around $100, also offered to pay for the mug itself, if it broke in transit, Germany’s The Local reported.
As it turns out, there was no need: The mug arrived in fine condition, and the Hofbräuhaus was glad to have it back.
“Vielen Dank!” wrote the Hofbräuhaus in a letter sent back to Sweeney, as seen in a photo shared to Facebook.
“Thank you very much for sending back the Hofbrauhaus Stein from 1965! It was a nice surprise for us and such a great story that many newspapers in Germany wrote about it,” the beer hall told Celeste Sweeney after she sent back the mug.
“Thank you very much for sending back the Hofbrauhaus Stein from 1965! It was a nice surprise for us and such a great story that many newspapers in Germany wrote about it,” the establishment said, per a translation.
As a show of gratitude, the Hofbräuhaus also sent Sweeney a different stein — telling her she was free to keep it with a “quiet conscience” — and even offered to buy her a few rounds if she ever made it back to Munich.
“Thank you and best regards from the Hofbrauhaus in Munich,” the letter concluded.