back to article Gov gone wild: Mad new pub glasses, bread freedom introduced

Science minister David Willetts has launched a vicious January attack on the honest British pint in favour of Australian "schooners" and Continental micro-measures of wine. Under cover of claims to reduce red tape, Willetts will end rules restricting pubs to selling beer in pints and half pints to allow them to sell "schooners …

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True

The schooner glass is in common use down here but only when ordering beer by the jug. If you order by the glass, the glass in question is usually a pint glass.

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Pint

Say what?

Typically...

No, a schooner is mostly sold with it's FROSTY COLD contents inside.

Empty "schooners" may be requested, these are usually accompanied by a jug of beer, at 1140ml, it's just over the litre.

It may be considered good form to "shout" a jug between 2 people...

As for "cold but flavourless lager", hah!

The author got the "cold" bit right anyway.

Beer glasses in Aus are kept in a chiller and must be frosty cold upon filling with amber ale.

To do less would be uncivilised.

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@Rattus Rattus

The glass in Australia is not typically the pint it is the schooner (or pot when you wander into the more redneck/good old boy areas). The pint is becoming more popular but the schooner is definitely more common. Go to Queensland and see how many joints sell pints - only really the English/Irish themed bars.

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Anonymous Coward

Have I stumbled onto the Daily Mail website by accident?!

Not good.

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Alert

You have not

I think the Weights and Measures department of El Reg is actually a subsidiary of CAMRA (a fine organisation IMO, and becoming less beardy and sandally by the year).

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You must be new here

Did you not spot the bright red banner at the top of the page? This is the IT version of the Daily Fail / Sun. Expect stories to be entertaining instead of informative. You need to go find any actual information yourself.

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CAMRA?

Good as far as it goes, but to suggest the only good beer is live beer is a complete nonsense. They really need to change their name an modernise. Also anybody who reads Pete Brown will know CAMRA have ended up looking pretty silly since it turns out that proper IPA was very definitely not a live beer in direct contradiction of what CAMRA have been claiming for years.

Back in the day CAMRA were formed they served a purpose. Live beers were disappearing from our pubs and being replaced with horrible fizzy keg. There are however plenty of decent beers out there that are not "live" but CAMRA are stuck in a rut of wanting live beer served manually by hand pumps and do not seem able to accept that other beers can taste nice.

Also I never liked their use of the word Ale either. Ale is distinct from lager but there are plenty of good quality lagers out there. Yes I know most British drinkers think that "lager" means piss like Heiniken or Stella, but that's not proper lager any more that John Smiths Smoothflow is proper "ale".

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WTF?

@ Grease Monkey

Ohhhhhhhh-kaaaay...

...

...

#backs away slowly#

...

...

#runs like the wind#

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Anonymous Coward

I was referring to the predictable Little Englander comments

"Rip-off Britain" and other such yawnsome comments.

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@Marky W

OK so what's your view of CAMRA then?

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Anonymous Coward

pesky restrictions on bread sizes

Are those the ones that force bread to be made a different size to the toaster?

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75ml of wine?

Is that meant to be admistered intravenously?

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Coat

Neither cable knit jumper nor beard

I like beer. I like different beers. I like micro-brewery local beer.

If this enables a tasting menu of 6, 10, whatever, smaller measures without leaving the pub and walking straight into a lamppost then I'm all for it.

As for price sensitivity - I'm astonished how price insensitive drinkers are. Take any bottled beer also sold on tap: 175ml Bottle £3, Pint £3.50. Do people think (if at all) that they are brewed in different places? If so someone needs to organise day trips to Interbrew.

Mine's the one next to the one with the CAMRA guide.

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Volume

Beer should be subject to the same price controls as the foodstuffs and drinks sold in your supermarket. You know the price on the shelf that shows the price per kg or litre as well as the unit price? Imagine if the prices were clearly displauyed at the bar per litre as well as per bottle - I think that might harm the sales of some bottled beers quite badly.

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Pint

BRING IT ON say I.

This is great news. I love real ale and often fancy nipping in for a swift half during the day. Much as I envy the denizens who quaff away from opening time on, I find a pint of 4.8 proof does not improve my productivity.

A half pint would be perfect but I refuse to drink fine ale out of these poxy straight sided lemonade glasses they use instead of the half pint tankards and tulips of yore.

A schooner (Oz style) is a step in the right direction. We don't have to drink their pissy lager out of it.

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Flame

If proof were needed

"... I find a pint of 4.8 proof ..."

<rant>

It really gets my goat when people mix up "degrees proof" and "percent alcohol by volume". A drink of 4.8 _degrees_ proof ~= 2.7 %ABV, much the strength of said Antipodean lager. Anyone who says "percent proof" is making no sense and sounds like a fool.

We've not used degrees proof in this country for years, and according to that book of ultimate truths, Wikipedia, has something to do with the combustion of gunpowder.

</rant>

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Flame

Only wusses...

...drink beer of 2.7% ABV. I've never seen a beer that low in Australia. Even our 'low strength' beer is 3% or more. The vast majority are 4.6% and up. And no, I'm not gettign into a discussion about taste, just responsing to the inaccuracy on strength.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

They should take a tip from the petrol stations. Bring your own tank(ard), charge 597.9p per litre straight from the (hand)pump.

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WTF?

You a landlord or something?

I am not paying that sort of price increase for my pint/euro-litre...

Just over two quid a pint does not make almost six quid a litre...

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Pint

I've lived in Aus for close to a decade...

...and in that time I've not come across any drink that remotely resembles beer. Gnat's piss, yes. Beer, sadly no.

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Errm?

I'm sure I recall a lager called Piss that was quite nice. Like most countries there are beers in Aus that are nice, but they are not the big brewery mass produced beers. There's very little in the main stream in the UK that's particularly pleasant. Even some of the "craft" brands have been taken over by the big breweries and gradually declined in quality. Then there's what happened to the quality brands from the big breweries. I don't even want to think about who owns White Shield these days. And we all know what happened to Bass, once the biggest brand in the world and now it doesn't really exist any more.

Where in Aus do you live? There are plenty of websites out there that can recommend good brands in your area.

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Pint

I'm sure there are some good beers here...

...but they seem to be invisible in the local pubs. To be fair, I don't drink much and picking up the occasional dozen bottles of Spitfire or similar from a specialist bottlo sees me through the year. If it wasn't a six hour round trip I'd probably have a few more :)

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Anonymous Coward

@gerryg

"I like beer. I like different beers. I like micro-brewery local beer.

If this enables a tasting menu of 6, 10, whatever, smaller measures without leaving the pub and walking straight into a lamppost then I'm all for it."

I think that was exactly the rationale for introducing the 1/3rd pint measure some years ago.

Anyway, for variety perhaps they should also introduce that well known american invention of the "English pint" .... which is 20 US floz (and thus is very slightly large than a real pint!)

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Australian "schooners"?

I'm sure the last time I was there a "schooner" was a different size in different states. So which particular schooner are we talking about?

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A schooner is actually three quarters of a pint

Australians have traditionally used different glass sizes in different states and have had the same names for different glass sizes in different states and different names for the same glass sizes in different states, so it can be a little confusing for visitors. I don't know where the author of this article got the idea that a schooner is two thirds of a pint though, as this size is unknown in Australia.

A schooner in Sydney is three quarters of a pint (originally 15 ounces, but these days rounded to 425ml as Australia uses the metric system). A schooner in South Australia is these days a half pint (10 ounces, 285ml) but used to be smaller (9 ounces, 255ml). However, what is called a pint in South Australia is three quarters of a (British) pint, and the same as a schooner in Sydney. The Sydney schooner size used to be uncommon elsewhere, but has become more available nationally in recent times, although it is still relatively rare in Melbourne and Perth. The half pint is available just about everywhere (and always has been) but under a variety of different names (middy/handle/pot/ten).

The (British) pint is not a traditional glass size in Australia, but has become more common in recent times, possibly due to the opening of theme Irish pubs. This is a bit silly - in hot weather you want to drink from smaller glasses so you are finished before the beer gets warm.

On the other hand, allowing pubs in the UK to serve in whatever glass size they like strikes me as sensible. I sometimes frequent a Portuguese place in Stockwell that serves beer in 0.2 litre and 0.4 litre sizes. They have imported the original Sagres glasses from Portugal to serve it in, and are just being culturally authentic. However, at the moment they are breaking the law. Polish places sometimes sell beer in 0.3 and 0.5 litre glasses, which are the standard sizes in Poland. Once again, why not? Many continental types care more about the beer being served in the original branded glass from the brewery. Forcing them to make glasses in non-standard sizes if they want to sell draught beer in the English market seems silly.

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FAIL

I'd much rather

They got rid of all the stupid new regulations rather than old established ones we all understand... Now we can look forward to the bakers taking20 grams off the weight of a loaf every month, maintaing the same price per loaf, until a large brown is the same size as a current small one...

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Boffin

A schooner is ...

3/4 of a pint at least in Sinney, and a half pint is a "middie", and I think there were also 7oz measures but I can't remember what they were called, nobody drinks beer in that quantity! When I left there 25 years ago you could get pints, but they were mostly drunk by Pommy Ex-pats and a pub might only have a couple of pint glasses if any at all. Not sure about now though, I think pints are more common.

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Unhappy

Ahem

Depending on which state you're in (wibble) a schooner of beer is either 485ml or 425ml, the former being 0.85 of a pint and the latter 0.75.

They also have '7's <sigh> which is 0.35 of a pint, although foam and sloppy pouring usually means you only get a mouthful of gnats piss.

I can't begin to imagine the cost of changing the measures in which alcohol is served in the UK. Not just the glasses but the tills, the accounts, the menus etc etc. Of course the one thing you can absolutely guarantee is that the customer will always pay more.

Anyone remember decimalisation...?

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Glass sizes

In sensible parts of the world, beer is generally served in a glass size that suits the strength of the beer. So a weaker session beer will be served in a bigger glass than something a lot stronger. When I was in Belgium I was surpised that a round came in branded glasses of different sizes for different brands. It didn't take much intelligence to realise that the stronger beers came in smaller glasses.

In the UK however there seems to be a stigma attached to glass size. If you don't order a pint you're considered some sort of jessie. And as for breweries supplying a branded glass for their beer, that's not how the market works. The pub/bar is expected to buy the cheapest pint glasses they can lay their hands on. It is ridiculous that it doesn't matter whether the beer you're drinking is 3% ABV or 6% you are expected to quaff it from a pint glass. And a round buying culture demands that whatever you're drinking you have to drink it at the same speed. If beers were served in glasses that suited their strength this wouldn't be an issue.

One pub I was in before christmas told me their local authority had demanded all drinks were served in plastic glasses on the run up the christmas for "safety reasons". Ridiculously it seemed that this only covered pint glasses and the occasional half pint. Wine and shorts were still being served in glass. Local authorities making stupid decisions like this will restrict things even further.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm......

"In the UK however there seems to be a stigma attached to glass size."

This is because the law mandates the volumes that alcoholic beverages can be purchased in. Pints are a reasonable amount for evening drinking, especially if you intend to shift a decent quantity of beer and your chosen hostelry is fairly busy (no point in queueing for 15 minutes and then buying something you will have drunk by time you have got back out of the queuing area).

Most pubs have only girlie half-pint glasses. It isn't the volume of beer itself that is the problem so much as looking like a big Jessie whilst drinking it. In places that serve continental beers or cater for the cafe-culture type of drinking it is easy to get a half pint in a decent glass.

It is typically lagerred up pint-drinkers that tend to glass each other, they really should restrict all glass if they are going to restrict any, but statistically you are unlikely to get glassed by a small lady drinking Chardonnay or a 15 year old drinking Pernod and black.

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Half Pints

Queueing for 15 minutes? If you drink in town centre meat markets maybe, but I've never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes in a proper pub.

Have you noticed that bottle drinkers don't have this problem - so it's not strictly true that beer must be sold by the pint or half pint. Only draught beer has mandated sizes of 1 pint, 1/2 pint or strangely 1/3 pint. Quite why the regulations should only effect draught beer is beyond me.

As I've mentioned the European countries where I've drunk don't seem to be affected by similar silly regulations.

The important thing should be that the price per litre or whatever is clearly displayed then you know what you are getting for your money.

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Moz

Lying on a park bench?

"Australia ranks fourth in world rankings for beer consumption but scores much lower on per capita alcohol consumption, which tells you all you need to know about their beer. "

And British lager? Carling. That's all I need to say. Apart from pot,.kettle and black, of course.

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@Moz

Carling? That would be Canadian then.

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gildedtumbril

David Willets? Since first I heard he had been invented, (Ex head of Thatcher think tank) I have always called him david witless. Now folk can see why.

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Thumb Up

Indeed

I am sure when asking for a beer in Germany I have, over the years, had variously 0.2, 0.33, 0.4 and 0.5 litre marked glasses, always filled to the line. Now I just ask for a half litre. Much better than being disappointed!

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Germany is like Australia. It's regional

The Germans have different beer cultures in different parts of the country, and different beer glass sizes in different places. In some instances the pouring culture varies due to the different glass sizes. In Cologne and Dussuldorf they do have those 0.2 litre glasses, but aggressive service to go with with them. The moment you are finished, you will be brought another glass be the waiter, unless you beg him not to bring one (or put your coaster over the top of the glass). It's an easy culture in which to drink too much, actually, as there is always a full glass in front of you.

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continental

Can't one buy beer by the third of a liter on the continent? Surely you're not going to tell me that the English brews are better than one gets in Flanders or Bohemia.

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gov gone wild

Since firast I heard of his being invented, (Head of Thatcher think tank) I have always called him david witless. Now we can all see why.

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WTF?

Uniform packaging helps consumers compare prices

The lowly loaf of bread has significance in comparing costs of living in a diverse number of countries is usually in 400 or 800 gram sizes which has been fine for years, until some twit of a politician wants to make a name for himself.

Standards exist for good reason for decades, whereas a minister of the Crown is a passing fad.

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Pint

Much as I loathe to give positive mention to a national chain ...

Where I live we have a Wetherspoons pub which regularly stages beer festivals, at which one can purchase 3 different 1/3 pints for the price of one pint - which is itself very reasonable at about £1.90. All are hand-pulled and "real", including lagers and other exotic forrin types, and the bloke who runs it keeps it well enough to deserve its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide. I hate chains and pubcos, but must give credit where it's deserved - with the qualifier that ours does NOT seem to be a typical example of the 'spoons genre.

Don't see the problem with using 1/3 glasses to measure two 1/3s into a pint glass, no need for new glasses, or for unmanly use of undersized glasses. I do see the need for smaller bread, though - current bread slice sizes are usually too big to dunk in my pint, making it hard to maintain a balanced diet.

Pint because, well ...

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Stop

Rather they clamp down on watered down PINTS.

If they really want to piss about, can they please just ban pubs from watering down pints ?!

Having lovely pints that end up tasting like piss and weak yet being charged full price is a bit criminal

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Anonymous Coward

Schooner

When the glass comes with two straws?

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Pint

titularly inebriate

Yeah, and a pink umbrella too methinks....

Where I come from, even the girlies drink pints :)

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Rest of Europe....

Seem to have 2/3 ish pint sized glasses - they have less binge drinkers too - coincidence?

(saying that, they also have the large tanker glasses, and in eastern Europe, it's much cheaper.... but still).

I'd prefer to go to the pub had lunch and have 2 x 2/3 glasses than 2 pints (which is a bit much to have a proper productive afternoon) , and having 2 halves is, well, for the ladies ;)

To the commenter who mentioned bread sizes and toaster sizes - needs a knighthood !!

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Happy

I remember schooners

At least, I remember the first couple I had when I visited Australia. The stuff in them was ice cold so I don't know what it tasted of. But it was quite strong. I don't remember much after that, I'm afraid.

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Grenade

Fosters in no more beer than Budweisers

For the authentic stuff, you need to go to the boutique breweries.

And yes, England may have the Ashes but then again it is also where Rugby and Rugby League go for their retirement holidays after no longer cutting it souith of the equator. Oh, and about the Football World Cup...........

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Anonymous Coward

Bah

I prefer how they do it in the US. It's up to the bar . If it's good place they don't short you. 75ml of wine ?? thats a joke out here thats shorting you .

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Pint

Re: Litres

Why do we have to struggle along with our obsolete imperial measures? Wine is sold in metric quantities so it's absurd to sell beer in pints. We should adopt continental practice and have a "large" beer (cider, etc) of 500ml and a "small" one of 300ml.

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Stop

I'll call it a pint

OK, I'll have 568ml of ale - but for convenience, I'll call it a pint.

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Flame

bah no aussies took the bait

Was hoping to hear a few pommy and limey bastard exchanges after the Cricket diss in the article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Nf3TWWTv8

Oh that was wicked one. Hahaha bodyline bowling ftw. Just a yank stirring up the sh_t.

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