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Monday, April 16, 2007

When is a Pint Not a Pint? CAMRA Attacking Short Pour U.K. Pubs

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is on the offensive against pubs in the United Kingdom that pour pints that are actually less than a pint.

According to a CAMRA report, 26.6 percent of pints served in pubs are under-filled by at least 5 percent. No big deal you say? Well, CAMRA estimates that British drinkers are being shorted to the tune of $957 million a year in ale, lager and cider.

CAMRA is calling on the British government to take action. The watchdog group says that in one case consumers were shorted by 13 percent by a pub.

While CAMRA is pushing for pint integrity in the U.K., beer drinkers in the United States are left to the whims of barkeepers and glass designers. I'd estimate that 98 percent of the pints in the U.S. are short pours. Take the standard "pint" most American bars use. Most are the "Shaker Pint" variety that will hold 14 ounces of liquid if filled to the brim, without a head. That means in most cases you are getting 12-13 ounces of beer, not a true 16 ounce pint. If you are in a place using a sham pilsner for 12 ounce draughts, your pour is more like 10 ounces.

Again you say, no big deal. Really? Look at it this way, the Shaker pint means a bar will save nearly four ounces per "pint." That's like them charging you for a fifth beer on every round of four you buy. I prefer to get the beer I pay for and I'm happy to tip.

Sure, everyone knows what's going on, but instead of calling it Pint Night, they should be forced to call it Three Quarters of a Pint Night. Truth in advertising.

1 comment:

Stonch said...

Hi Rick, interesting to hear that you have a very similar situation in the US. You can read my thoughts on the "full pints" issue here:

Stonch's Beer Blog: A full pint, not a flat pint