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

OK, my experience, from memory, was different. Beer was cold, and was served in 0.5L (or even 1L) glasses or mugs.

Not sure why you would add all Europeans in the mix as if they all had some issue with exact measures. I’ve spent enough time in the UK to understand what you mean there. But I have also been in other parts of Europe and it can vary greatly. I have noticed that the marker is present in most glasses around Europe and I think that could be an EU decree. I remember drinking pints in the UK many years ago where there were no such markers. At least for beers, but they did have the exact measure draw devises for hard liquor even back then. Bottles were turned upside down attached to the device and when the bartender would draw a shot, they would press up and an exact measure would be served.
As for other Europeans, Scandinavians have expensive booze, but I can’t remember they ever being stingy when serving a glass of beer. Almost every bar I’ve been to in Stockholm or Copenhagen, they would serve to the rim rather than the line. I’ve found the same in Spain, France and Italy when it comes to wine. But then there are no lines on a wine glass, so maybe different rules apply for wine. Not surprising when you consider that the wine is cheaper than milk in in these countries.

In Germany it really depends on the region you’re in and the type of beer served there.
In Bavaria for example you’ll mostly drink Weissbier - served in 0,5l glasses. In Cologne you’ll get Kölsch - served in 0,2l glasses.

We really take the regionalisms quite serious here - you will hardly find a place in Düsseldorf that sells Kölsch, or a place in Köln that sells Alt (the Düsseldorf local beer).
Ordering the wrong beer in the wrong city will get you a pitying look at best, a (joking) threat to throw you out of the pub more likely. :smiley:

Knowing that it isn’t really surprising that we take the measurements serious as well. :wink:

Sure you haven’t switched the Irishman and the Scot? Scots have a reputation for being…thrifty…that seems more in tune with the joke.

The marker is there for fairness - to ensure that you don’t pay for a pint of lager and get a half pint and a bit of lager after the froth has settled. When I worked at pubs, it was also useful to prove that I had actually served them the amount they were supposed to be served.

Most pints I’ve been poured in the last few years have been filled to the top. Great! Now my hands, my clothing and the floor are all covered with beer while I carry it back to wherever we were sitting.

It died out in the eighties/early nineties. I was born in 1975, and, in my younger years, still encountered men who thought it was wrong that I should be drinking pints. Those older men are likely still alive and drinking in pubs now, so it wouldn’t be that odd to meet one of them, or a few drinking together in an old man pub.

And I have to admit that I do actually find pint glasses harder to hold - I have very small hands. But no way am I going to get half-pints when I’m paying for full pints for everyone else in a round.

Nah. The point is the Irish guy wants every drop of drink in a mad drinking Irish way. Thrift has nothing to do with it. The need to get all the drink into you is what it’s about.

Hmmm…I lived in Germany for 3 years, and while it was possible to get 0.3l bottles, 95% of the beer I purchased was 0.5l bottles in cases of 20. In fact, that’s pretty much the only thing offered at the beer store in the town I lived in.

Another German chiming in to expand on the accurate post by Rheintochter about German beer customs.

The thing is that for most popular German beer varieties (especially for Pilsener), a certain amount of foam is obligatory. We even have a rather respectful name for the foam at the top of a glass of beer, it’s called “Krone”=“crown”. Every serious lover of Pilsener would return a glass without that foam. There’s even a saying that tapping a good glass of Pilsener requires seven minutes (though that’s a bit exaggerated). Note that the mark on a German beer glass is placed deep enough to let it be tapped to the mark with having enough room left for the foam. And it’s common to reclaim a beer that wasn’t fully filled to the mark.

Yes, beer is a serious business here :).

0.5l used to be the common size for beer bottles, but in the last 20 years or so 0.33l bottles have become increasingly popular.

Like Rheintochter already said: It depends very much on where in Germany you are.
0.33l bottles in cases of 24 are the norm in northern parts of Germany and in pubs and restaurants you can usually chose between a small beer (mostly 0.3l, very rarely 0.25l) and a “large” beer (mostly 0.5l, sometimes 0.4l).
In southern Germany beer is usually sold in 0.5l bottles in cases of 20. And I am certain, that they have different customs as what sizes are served in pubs and restaurants, but I don’t know for sure.
As a rule of thumb: the more southernly you are in Germany, the larger you typical beer serving would be.

It’s probably because Europeans actually enjoy the taste of their beer, and don’t just see it as the price you have to pay for getting drunk.

That’s because European beers can be very, very good. But note that there isn’t anybody here from Italy or France defending their brews.

There’s a reason for that. :smiley:

I didn’t see that when I went over in '08. Pub prices seemed to about the same as the US - at least compared to the price of craft beers in US bars, if not the cheap, macrobrews.

I was told by an ex-pat friend of mine that the prices at bars had actually increased, and it had been cheaper before that.

And beer was certainly much, much cheaper at the market in Germany than the US. I got decent beers at roughly $1 for a half-liter. The same quantity/quality beer in the US would have been at least 50% more expensive.

Yeah, we enjoy our beer and get cheaply drunk at the same time ;).

If I remember correctly, Oettinger is the best-selling beer in Germany, and its primary draw is it’s cheap. For a cheap beer, it actually is pretty tasty–better than the American equivalents of it.

Do you require other foods sold at restaurants on the basis of their taste to be served in marked, pre-measured containers? Or just alcohol-based intoxicants? Sushi? Caviar? Beef steak?

I think you’re right, it has become extremely popular over the last years, with a price of about 6 € for a case with twenty 0.5l bottles, whereas premium brands cost twice as much. Personally, I don’t like it much and never drink it, but I’ve drunk much worse beers.

I see here you’re using the English version of “Europe”, which means “those other people on the Continent.” There’s plenty of cheap ‘n’ nasty alcoholic beverages in the off-licences–and even at most pubs–which are designed to do nothing more than get you schnockered as fast as possible, and many British students I knew drank nothing else.

What were you doing drinking in pubs in the 80s if you were born in 1975? :slight_smile:

To add a few figures to the OP’s question, I would note that, from here, CAMRA have estimated that

bolding mine

No, but when I buy other stuff based on the weight (and historically alcohol has been sold by weight) I don’t expect them to shortchange me either. Also, alcohol isn’t exclusively sold in restaurants.

Another way of looking at it is that in some countries alcohol is VERY expensive. I was out last night and drank Guinness in a normal pub in Stockholm (Southside by Zinkensdam station for those that care) 64 SEK per pint. According to XE that is, right now, 9.25 USD or 5.97 GBP.

At those prices I am damn well going to get the amount I paid for.