Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A half in a pint pot

The latest issue of CAMRA's Beer magazine has a debate about the measures beer is served in.

The Government is changing the law to allow pubs to serve beer in a two thirds of a pint measure. At the moment, the legal measures are a pint, a half pint and a third of a pint (known as a nip and now normally only seen at beer festivals).

The arguments for introducing the two thirds of a pint measure seem completely spurious to me. OK, sometimes you want to drink less than a pint. That's where the half pint comes in. The guy in the CAMRA magazine argues that not only is half a pint not enough but that it is "unmanly" to drink out of a half pint glass. I've never really encountered this attitude, even in pubs mainly frequented by "manly" types such as miners. And if you're that bothered about drinking out of a half pint glass, order a half in a pint pot. If you're at a beer festival where you don't get a new glass every time you go to the bar, there's an incentive to do this anyway as the half in the pint pot is likely to be nearer two thirds of a pint in most cases.

The way things are going, we could end up like Australia where each state not only has its own measures but different names for them as well.


  1. I agree that the 'unmanly' argument is a load of nonsense. I drink pints because I prefer the measure and don't like traipsing to the bar every 10 minutes or so, but that doesn't stop me buying halves to try a beer out, or if I'm driving (very rare) or at the end of the night. If we're going to have 3 different measures for beer, it would make more sense to have quarter, half and three quarter measures, rather than 2 measures (1/3 and 2/3) which are only one sixth of a pint different from a half. I've yet to see anywhere with 2/3 pint measures.

  2. I was surprised to discover that in the 1930's the glass size of choice in Bolton was a half pint. Almost no-one, apart from Irish navvies, drank pints.