Author Topic: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style  (Read 1616 times)

Offline roguejim

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Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« on: August 31, 2010, 02:50:21 AM »
A friend of mine just returned to the U.S. from England.  He remarked that when he ordered pints at several pubs, they always seemed to purposely overfill the pint glass to the point of overflowing.  The bartender would then wait for the beer to settle, and then top it off.  A real mess apparently.  Why this filling technique?

beveragebob

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 03:02:22 AM »
There is a strict code over there(England) where when you pour a pint...it HAS to be a pint. I think there was almost a war over there because patrons felt like they'd been cheated. It happens here in the US all the time. It's happened to me. I ask for a pint and wind up with a "cheater Pint"(look for a fatter glass bottom than your usual real pint glass) then there's the two fingers or more of foam so, what you wind up with is more like 12 ounces and paying for a pint. The secret to avoid that when going to a beer bar that I discovered is to ask for a glass with a commercial logo on it(most honest breweries crank out real pint glasses) and just one finger of foam and you should be good to go even though an eyebrow may be raised.....screw'em you're dropping you're hard earned cash there so, they should comply. If they don't, get up and walk out.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 08:42:56 AM »
It's sad when the word "pint" is taken to mean some random amount of beer. I guess you can just ask bars "how many ounces is that?"  If you want to make a point, you can then measure it and ask for the rest of what they promised. 

The pathetic thing is that they give you the heavy bottom shaker/sleeve glasses to save a couple ounces, but then they pour a half gallon down the drain while trying to avoid giving you half a glass of foam because their lines aren't balanced properly.

Don't get me started on the ways I've seen US servers misuse handpumps (pulling on them like they're trying to start a lawnmower, jamming the neck down to the bottom of the glass to make sure I get maximum contact with the stale beer, using sparklers so tight there's no condition left in the beer when I get it).

When I can make 5 gallons of my own beer for what I'd spend on two pints in most places, the times when I actually pay for it, it better be done right.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 08:51:57 AM »
Good summary of the UK law on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pint_glass#United_Kingdom_law

I have seen glasses there with a line indicating where a pint is, which avoids the overflow issue your friend encountered. Wiki makes it sound like those are less common than they used to be.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline denny

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 08:54:05 AM »
Preach it, Brother Gordon!
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Offline Me

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 01:36:06 PM »
Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy-
BF

Offline The Professor

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 01:41:31 PM »
It's sad when the word "pint" is taken to mean some random amount of beer. ...
When I can make 5 gallons of my own beer for what I'd spend on two pints in most places, the times when I actually pay for it, it better be done right.

That's for sure. 
I was dragged kicking to a FRIDAY's recently, and I ordered a pint of Sam Adams...it was served in one of their  'signature' glasses which I suspect is less than a US pint to being with, and it was underfilled to boot.  Like, enough so that it would fit into a 12 oz glass. 
Apparently there are segments of the beer industry (including, I'm told,  some distrubutors)  that actually encourage bars to use various 'cheater' pints to fatten up the bottom line. 
I haven't done the math, but seems that those 2-3 ounces not delivered each time a "pint" is ordered  would certainly add up to quite a few real pints of extra profit over the life of a keg.
AL
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Offline Me

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 03:46:13 PM »
If the unscrupulous bar shorted every customer 2 ounces it would make the keg last about 17 more "pints" (124 pints vs 141 "pints"). At 4 dollars a pop that's an extra $64. At a 4 ounce under-pour your looking at more than 41 more glasses (not sure you can call this a pint) or $164 more per keg. I hate looking at this math because I can see why crappy bar managers might choose to adopt this policy. When I would bar tend I would always fill 'em up, if you short someone 20% of their beer you're at risk of them shorting you 100% of your tip.
Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy-
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Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 03:49:32 PM »
I have learned at a couple of bars to ask for a beer without any head on it. I'd just rather get my
value, sometimes...
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline alikocho

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 01:03:08 AM »
The UK has an extremely strict weights and measures act. All glassware must have a crown stamp on it to show that it is a pint, so that the drinker knows that's what they're getting. Far be it from me to suggest government intervention in beer consumption, but perhaps the AHA or the Brewer's Association could lobby for some mark of approval that a full pint is served.
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Offline anthayes

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 01:46:44 PM »
A friend of mine just returned to the U.S. from England.  He remarked that when he ordered pints at several pubs, they always seemed to purposely overfill the pint glass to the point of overflowing. 

This is a regional English thing. Down south folks don't like head on their beer. Up north they do.

All over the country people want a minimum of 568ml. CAMRA's push for oversize pint glasses, i.e. ones that can hold a pint without spilling all over your hand, has been more successful up north than down south.

Ant Hayes
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Soek jy die oerkroeg se bier

Offline joelambic

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 11:36:56 AM »
My understanding is that draft (draught) beer in the UK must be served in one of three measures; 1/3 pint, 1/2 pint, 1 pint.  Glasses must be certified either to the brim (no line) or have a line denoting the proper measure.  Other than the Great British Beer Fest (GBBF), I have never seen a 1/3 pint glass and CAMRA only introduced that glass a couple of years ago.  Some pint glasses may have a line at 1/2 pint and then either a line at a full pint or be brim measure.

CAMRA has made a push for oversize, lined glasses but the industry - at least around London where I've frequented - has shied away from them.  As it was once explained to me, some pubs - Wetherspoons were one chain IIRC - tested the oversize glasses but many patrons asked for "top-ups" (a fair request for a brim measure glass but not for oversize glasses if there's beer to the line).  The staff were often unwilling to make a scene so would accommodate which resulted in lost revenue.  Unscrupulous patrons learned they could get an extra few ounces by making such a request.  The pubs switched back to brim measure pints.

Another reason for lackluster adoption of the lined glasses has been that the pubs (and suppliers) have a large stock of brim measure glassware which could be costly to swap out.  Sure, new lined pints could be brought in to replace breakage but that could take a while for a full swap out and then there's the issue with use of two glass types (see above) in the interim.

I personally like the line glass.  A lined glass at shows a given volume with room for head (or not).  A consumer know whether or not they've gotten a full pour and what that amount is/should be.  Some US pubs (Gordon Biersch, Rock Bottom Mug Club mugs are two off the top of my head) use these.  The standard US "pint" sleeve/mixer glass comes in too many variations, not all of which actually hold 16oz to the brim.  Some pubs are using imperial pint glasses but there still is no indication to the consumer whether they're getting a proper measure.  I'd guess if the US had more enforcement with regards to ensuring a serving called a "pint" actually held a pint, menus would just change to calling it a "glass" of beer.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 12:40:37 PM »
In Germany there is a fill line for beer, the  "Plimsoll line", for a full fill of beer and room for the head (I just found that the Plimsoll is from the max legal load line on the side a cargo ship).  The Germans have strict weights and measures codes, that are followed.

There is this in the US.
http://honestpintproject.org/index.htm


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