Cheers: Michigan, for Going After the “13 oz Restaurant Pint”

by Scott H. Andrews | October 10th, 2013

14oz-pint-fullI’ll understand if Michiganders prefer that their state legislators be tackling more important issues, but since Michigan has one of the best craft brew scenes in the country, and alcohol consumption always goes up in hard economic times…

I’ve long grumbled about those ubiquitous vertical “pint” glasses that many bars and restaurants use.  I’m a scientist, so I have a pretty good handle on what rough quantitative volumes look like.  Especially when pouring a 12 oz bottle into one of the many of those glasses that I own.

Sure enough, years ago I measured one of them, and it came up well short of 16 oz.  As you can see in my demonstration here (I’m also a college science teacher; can you tell?), even if you fill it to the top, those glasses only hold a max of 14 oz.  Mix in a sloppy barkeep who leaves the top inch full of head, and you’re down to 13 oz or even 12.  Hence, what I’ve long called the “13 oz restaurant pint.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with 13 oz or 12 oz of good beer.  But if it’s being sold as a pint, shouldn’t it be 16 oz?  2 oz difference might not seem much, but that’s 15%.  In Britain (home of the 20 oz Imperial pint–cheers!), beer glass volume is regulated, and only glasses that have been calibrated to be a pint or half-pint can display that little crown logo and “Fill to Pint” line.

Enter several Michigan state legislators!  Who after getting complains from constituents about “cheater pints,” are sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to advertise or sell as a pint any glass of beer that doesn’t contains at least 16 oz.

Hey, the government already regulates the hell out of alcohol, so why not.  Make all those bars change their listings to “lesser pint” or something.

Maybe we can even invent the “Colonial pint,” which instead of 20 oz or 16 will be 13 oz.  There were 13 colonies, after all…

2 Responses to “Cheers: Michigan, for Going After the “13 oz Restaurant Pint””

  1. Ha! Good for Michigan.

    Of course, they could be fixing the roads….

  2. Call your state rep! Better yet, take him out for a (cheater) pint. :)

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