Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Fancy a pint? No, gimme something smaller

Brewdog's Parliament Protest

The United Kingdom government has relaxed the centuries old rules that regulate that the sizes of beer measures that can be sold in UK pubs.

Currently UK pubs are only permitted to serve beer in pint, half pint or third of a pint measures. The pint has been the standard and most common measure of beer dispense since 1698.

The new legislation, which should be introduced in the Spring, would allow publicans to serve beer, wine or cider in a 400ml glass, similar to an Australian Schooner, which is roughly two/thirds in volume of the 568ml pint measure. A Government spokesperson said that the rules are being relaxed following health concerns and increased demands from businesses to sell sizes more in keeping with tastes and waistlines.

The move will keep Fraserburgh Craft Brewers, Brewdog very happy as they had been agitating for the  move to the smaller glasses and against beer 'size-ism' which even saw them organise a very small lobby outside the House's of Parliament in late 2010.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) had opposed the move on the basis that barstaff  could get the new measures and prices mixed up with the traditional ones the pint on busy weekend.
Jonathan Mail, Camra’s head of public affairs, also warned that having too large measures might also lead to people having greater difficulty keeping track of the number of units of alcohol they had drunk as well as the practical concerns of having multiple price information.

Does it signal the end of the pint measure as we know it? Certainly not but what it does do is offer a little bit more choice to the consumer in terms the quantity that they want but we need to be on our guard against the more unscrupulous landlords who might see this as an opportunity to pull a fast one and make a quick buck by selling us less for the same price or not charging on a pro-rata basis for the new measures. If a pint costs £3 then the new measures should be £2. If your landlord doesn't charge on a pro rata basis then it's time for a quiet word. Or, better still, find a new pub.



  1. I really don't see the point to be honest, for no other reason than if I don't fancy a full pint of something then I have no problem with having just a half.

    If I am out on a tasting/ticking session, halves are much better than 2/3s because for every 4 different beers I can try with halves, I can only have 3 with 2/3s.

  2. @Velky Al

    Can't really see the point, either. It does give us a bit extra choice but I dont remember a great clamour for it other than Brewdog's publicity stunt. I can see the benefit if you are in the Euston Tap or the Brewdog bar and want a high ABV beer but don't want a pint but why not go for a half rather than the two/thirds?
    Would female drinkers be more inclined to go for 2/3 rather than a full pint?