Brits/Europeans: Why so anal about liquid measure? (beer)

As an American, when I go into a bar and order a draft I never think much about the volume being served. Is it a pint? Who knows. If the glass of beer seems appropriate for the price charged, I am happy. If it is a smaller glass, and cheap, then I’'ll just order more of them.

But I’ve heard many tales of British pub-goers complaining about a glass being shy of a full pint. Some of the bar glassware from European countries actually is marked where a certain fraction of a liter falls.

When my gf was in England, she was encouraged to order a half pint of beer (more lady like). Really?

Why these traditions? Why not in the US?:smiley:

(as an aside, in some of the nicer beer joints around here, we are mimicking our friends across the pond)


Alcohol is more expensive so for starters, shorting a drink is more serious.

^But, IMO I would rather get a two dollar glass that is 14 ounces than a five dollar 16 ouncer.

Weights and measures are a serious matter in the UK - the UK Law section of this page explains some of the background:

Thanks mate!

From that article:


^Like I said, “anal”!

I have a collection of beer glasses and the line thing is cool.

Dude, beer is important!

*An Englishman, a Scott, and a Irishman walked into a pub.
Each orderd a pint of beer. Then a fly landed in each one’s beer.

The Englishman, turning slightly green, pushed his beer away and asked for another one.

The Scott took the fly out, shrugged, and drank his beer.

The Irisman pinched the fly between his fingers and yelled

Did she visit England in the 50s?

No idea why not in the US. I guess folks like to know what they’re getting for their money.

Nope, she and a female coworker were in London in 2011. They told me about the half-pint thing and I do not think they were joking. :confused:

It is getting more common to see women drinking pints, but it isn’t the norm

Can’t explain it, especially when you see the size of some of the wine glasses used now

Really? It’s not like I spend a lot of time in England, but I’ve never noticed this. Perhaps I just hang with heavy-drinking females.

When you think about it, draft beer is a lot more expensive in the US than gasoline - which is only sold from inspected/calibrated pumps that calculate the price you pay to the penny.

I do spend a lot of time in England. Pretty much all of my time, in fact! And a fair amount of that in pubs. Women are quite happy to drink pints, and it’s rare to hear anyone comment on it.
Though these days it’s more like bottles of WKD Blue or whatever.

OK, just checking to see if I was going crazy or something. :wink:

In Germany beer glasses come in a variety of shapes and forms (eg. tall, short, with a stem, etc) but they all have 0,3L (third of a liter) and by law the beer has to be poured to that line. It’s never been explained to me but common sense tells me they made it law so bar owners don’t rip off the customers.

The kicker is… the bartender will not pour off the suds (head) to reach the 0,3L line. They will park the beer until the suds foam down and only then will they put it back under the tap to add more beer. The process takes… minutes, too many minutes imo. The last time I was there I ordered one beer and as soon as he handed it to me I had him start pouring my second beer.

0.3L of beer? You only order those in the summer, when you want to chug them before they get warm. Isn’t 0.5L the standard?

In Germany the standard is 0,3L. Bottles and cans come in that size, too. It is just a wee bit under out 12oz sizes.

Btw, German beer is not served cold… not warm either… rather a tad on the coolish side.

10.14 fluid ounces. That’s a bit more than a mouthful. Much less than a US pint and half of a UK pint.

In my limited time in Europe (and limited experience due to limited money), I recall 0.5 l measured glasses and sometimes 0.6 l, maybe it more brewpub type places.

I’m female, English, and regularly drink pints. I’ve never had anyone comment, but at least one guy I know will only drink from a pint glass (as in, I’ve seen him order a half, then tip in into his empty pint glass) because a half pint is ‘a girly glass’.:rolleyes:

Maybe I should get him one of the Bavarian litre steins; now that’s a proper glass.