Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Full measure revisited

The thorny subject of short measures in pubs, and whether we need legislation to ensure a full liquid pint, has once again reared its head on the CAMRA web forum (registration required, but not CAMRA membership). In the past this is something I have strongly supported but, as I warned here, the fact that it was included in Labour’s 2001 election manifesto didn’t mean it was going to happen. If it had been brought in back then, we would have got used to it and would wonder now what all the fuss was about.

But it wasn’t and, while I remain in principle in favour, its moment has now passed. There are no endemic complaints from drinkers and no appetite in government to revive the issue, added to which there is no longer – as there once was – a substantial number of pubs using oversize glasses that could be held up as examples of good practice. It’s just not going to happen, and I really struggle to summon up much indignation about it. About the only places you will now see oversize glasses are at CAMRA beer festivals.

It also seems to be the case that British drinkers have an attachment to the concept of a brimming pint glass. Back in the days when oversize glasses were commonplace, a lot of drinkers didn't actually like them because of the air space left at the top of the glass, and described them as “glass buckets”. Somehow it doesn’t look right. I remember one or two members of the local CAMRA branch repeatedly moaning about short measure in pubs that used them, even though they must have known it wasn’t.

If you fill your car up with petrol, and the pump is dispensing less than it claims, you will be out of pocket and need to buy more at a later date. But, in a pub, if you get a “pint” of 19 fluid ounces, you won’t suffer any financial loss and indeed you might end up with a slightly less sore head the following morning. Being too pernickety about the exact quantities of food and drink consumed at the point of sale seems pretty pointless as small variations make no practical difference. In effect, what people are doing is going in a pub and asking for “a large glass of beer” which just happens to be denominated as a pint. If (heaven forbid) we were to go metric and a half-litre became the standard pub measure, pretty much everyone would be happy with one of those on the occasions where they would now ask for a pint.


  1. You can support the campaign for metric here

    to complete the journey!

    The "pint" will eventually die but the sooner the better yeh.

  2. I'm sure Nige would have something to say about that!

  3. It's not about the EU Mudge, it's about a sensible single system of weights and measures, regardless of whether we stay in that corrupt pile of shite or not.

    Lined half litre glasses, Mudge, that's the future.

  4. Campaign for Real Measurements, Cookie. None of that incomprehensible foreign keg shite!

  5. Oversized lined glasses are actually making a comeback, but they're half-pints. Order a half at somewhere like Font and you'll get a tulip glass with a 'third' line and a 'half' line, and room for the head above the latter.

    I don't know what this shows, other than that what goes around has a tendency to come around.

  6. That may be because standard half-pint brim measure glasses generally look so crap.

    Actually, on two recent Staggers we have been given, for reasons that were hard to fathom, half-pints in unstamped (and thus illegal) oversize glasses.

  7. I also vaguely remember Heineken saying they would introduce oversize glasses for a "Dutch-style pour", but I can't say I've ever noticed it.

  8. I will continue to enjoy my 568ml. And wait for the day when the metric system is fully adopted. As for Mr acceptable face of bigotory farage, see he is picking ultra right bed fellows for his anti-eu EU group, nice.

  9. Professor Pie-Tin5 November 2014 at 19:00

    If you're going to accuse someone of bigotry you might at least learn to spell it.
    Fortunately a return of grammar schools are part of Nige's manifesto as well.

    1. I wasn't' accusing it is a fact that he is a rather silly bigot. As for spelling, oh no it truly is the end of days.

  10. Think about this folks. 99% of packaged alcohol product is sold to you in metric. One or two products sell “pint” cans. They are over overpriced and unloved. Everything except draught beer is metric. Spirits, wine is all millilitres. The only reason it is kept is meaningless symbolism so we can pretend we are an independent country. Those Eurocrats haven’t taken our pints! No, but it’s all clearly marked 568ml

    If it were not for our poisonous resentful relationship with the EU we would have seen sense years ago. Politicians and Eurocrats love pints for the symbology. They are a meaningless symbol they can let us keep and allow us to think we won an argument when in fact another swathe of sovereignty is transferred. At least we kept our pints, lads!

    Here’s the future, a referendum happens or it doesn’t. If it does, we stay or go.

    If we leave the EU we are a free an independent nation once more. Confident and no longer in need of meaningless symbols, they lose their powerful symbology of Britishness, it’s no longer imposed, and it’s a choice. People see sense and we go full metric.

    If we vote to stay in the EU, any reformed membership is horse crap. The political class see it as an affirmation for further integration and we go full metric. Euros and meat in sausages regulations too.

    There is no referendum and we stay in an unproductive resentful half arsed relationship with the EU and we still need the pint. We need the symbology. Something to hang on too.

    If you want to keep the pint, you have one choice. Vote for the shyster Nick Clegg. He’ll keep us in come what may. He needs it. A cushy EU job is his pension. Vote Clegg to save the pint!

  11. Professor Pie-Tin5 November 2014 at 22:55

    " I wasn't' accusing it is a fact that he is a rather silly bigot. As for spelling, oh no it truly is the end of days."

    It's not just your spelling,old cock.
    I think Nige could probably help you out with the old syntax as well.
    Unless,of course,you've been on the turps in which case as a fellow mopper I'm sure Mr Farage would understand.

    1. Gosh. You are a yappy little terrier.

  12. God, are there still people wanting to get rid of the pint in favour of metric?

    Is there another country in the world with a vocal minority of self-haters trying to ditch all their own things in an effort to get patted on the head by foreigners who don't care and don't notice?


  13. Cookie is the world's least conservative Conservative.

  14. Who said I'm a conservative? I don't want to conserve owt. I want to knock it all down and build something better. Pints are like the Queen, we'll keep 'em so long as enough idiots think we need 'em.

  15. Multiplying .568 by 5.2 to work out how many units you have necked is very difficult. Especially after ten pints. Which is why kindly publicans actually give you half a litre rather than a pint.

  16. Just how accurate do y'all think serving glasses are as measures?

  17. Well I always take out with me a measuring jug that's been approved by weights and measures and I'd say not very, Stingers.

    I do this because Dickie, on that forum said to do it. I also have a beer thermometer and always demand a full 568ml within the temperature range defined by cask mark.


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