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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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Bread Sizes!

    "The Science Minster also promised to overhaul pesky restrictions on bread sizes, which have apparently bedevilled bakers across the land."

    If someone can force bakers and toaster makers to get together and decide what size a slice of bread should be then they deserve a fucking nighthood.

    Anyone that eats toast should know what I mean.

    1. Simon Neill
      Thumb Up

      I would like... subscribe to your newsletter.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Right on!

      Slicing a farmhouse into doorsteps one and half inch thick, shoving into the grill, then smearing it in Marmite...nothing, absolutely nothing on this earth beats that! Not even a visit from a scantily clad Lucy Pinder would make me swap my toasty doorsteps and Marmite!

      1. VinceH

        Letters, Digits.

        I've just googled Lucy Pinder. I think you're bonkers. I'd happily accept a complete ban on toast** if I could have a visit from a scantily clad Lucy Pinder.

        ** But I do reserve the right to subsequently break the law.

        1. Sil_W
          IT Angle


          "I've just googled Lucy Pinder".


          But seriously, I wonder how much extra googling she's had as a result of this comment.

          What? It's a tech issue!

    3. The Original Ash


      Be a man and slice your own bread, and slice it properly! I've only ever seen "Doorstep" slices on one loaf so far, and they were only around 1/2".

      If I can still fit the thing in my mouth, the bread isn't sliced thickly enough! "Wafer thin" toasty rubbish is pointless.

      By the way, typically the own-brand cheap bread fits the toaster just fine. Give it a go; You're burning it anyway.

    4. blackworx
      Thumb Up


      Minimum 1.5" thick, buttered to the point where it's dripping out the other side.

      And to think I sometimes wonder why I'm turning such a fat bloater.

    5. Sil_W


      "If someone can force bakers and toaster makers to get together and decide what size a slice of bread should be then they deserve a fucking nighthood."

      And if someone could force those said bakers to justify putting half a bloody gramme of bloody salt in every last bloody slice, I'd pin a medal on them myself.

      "Oh, it's a preservative, it's to make the bread last longer."


      /looks at packaging:

      "Use By Tomorrow."

      Not overly convinced, personally...

      1. It wasnt me
        Thumb Up

        Errrr. ..... no its not a preservative (entirely)

        Its part of the chemical processo of breadmaking. Its used to kill the yeast once rising is complete. By changing the amount you can control the rising process. By putting lots in you can kill it quickly and use more yeast. This gives you a quicker production process and consistent rise.

        I bake my own bread, and it has about half a gram in the whole loaf.

        Get a bread machine, youll never look back.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    old fashioned

    I think they should forget all this fancy stuff, and bring back good old fashioned British pint glasses, big, solid, dimpled and with a handle.

    I can't see anyone ordering a schooner of beer unless they mistake it for some sort of pitcher. It's ingrained in us, you order beer by the pint, with an occasional half for the ladies.

    1. stucs201
      Thumb Up

      Even better

      One day I hope to live somewhere with a proper local boozer worth frequenting often enough to to leave a tankard behind the bar.

      1. Peter Kay

        Not allowed because of food hygiene

        Tankards will never return due to food hygiene laws - you're not allowed to re-use glasses without washing them.

        I'm not sure I want to drink out a pewter tankard, and the glass ones are even more uncomfortable than the old handled pint glasses. There are a few pubs that you can get handled pint glasses in, but stock is usually limited and they're not offered to anyone that looks like they might cause trouble

    2. Is it me?

      Me I prefer a Straight

      That's actually the traditional beer glass, dimples arrived in 1948. 10 Sided glasses were the original jugs, but only form the 1920's, before that it was pewter.

      But each to their own.

      Standard sizes are designed to protect us drinkers from short measures, which is why pub glasses are stamped or have measure lines, is Willets doing away with those as well, so we actually never know how much is in a glass.

      1. Sil_W


        But if we're going for traditional, why don't we drink beer out of horns?

      2. Mark 65

        Standard sizes

        Amen to that (standard sizes of pint and half for the ladies). Australia does not even have a standard size for a schooner - it varies by state. I've even been served a different sized schooner in the same pub depending on whether thee is frequenting the public bar or the other one - a legacy sized one I believe. For some beers you get a "glass" - I mean WTF kind of measure is that? It costs the same or sometimes more than a schooner too. I been served a draught beer in the following sized glasses that I can remember - 285ml (half), 330ml, 385ml, 425ml, 570ml (pint). It's shit and it leads to customers getting f*cked over. Willets is obviously a prick.

  3. John Arthur

    It's a bit more complicated than that.....

    What the COI paper actually says it that it is trying to remove artificial restrictions on the quantities that booze and bread must be sold in. There is no suggestion that I see that the government is trying to force anybody to actually offer for sale booze in the "new" amounts. The market, as always, will decide and I doubt I will see anybody drinking schooners in my pub. Nor thimbles of wine or port. When the government is removing restrictions we should applaud; equally if they proposed to make a certain size of glass mandatory we should protest. And if they try to make Aussie beer compulsory.........

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I'm late into this thread, but...

      It is more complicated, I can see the government putting 3p on a pint, but it would only be 2p on a schooner, so that’s not so bad is it. The 20p on a bottle of wine would only be 2p a glass as well, so stop fretting over government fuelled inflation.

      The law changes will be followed by a campaign to drink the smaller measures on offer, the pubs will charge more for the smaller measures, everyone will drink as much as before, more profits, more duty collected and government and pubs being seen to tackle excessive drinking.

      Been around too long, so cynicism comes too easily.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: I'm late into this thread

        Petrol is taxed by the litre, but you can buy whatever fraction of a litre you like without any difficulties. It will be the same for beer or wine.

        1. gimbal

          @Jonathanb: Sounds straight

          I'm sure they'll be replacing pubs with ordinary filling stations and complimentary metres, shortly.

          I want to drive the beer truck, on that day. The first international beer-truck heist - just imagine....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2/3rds of a pint

    why couldn't he do it "properly" and simply allowed half litres!

    Anyway, why do they need to permit 2/3rds of a pint ... if someone wanted this why couldn't they just ask for 2 1/3rds of a pint

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward


      ....properly, bah!

      Beer comes in imperial measures as $DEITY intended!

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        PROPER beer

        from PROPER beer-producing countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic are served in half-litres, or, even better, litres. I don't see why I should settle for a measly 0.455 litre. You guys in the UK are already being short-changed!!

        1. Liam Johnson

          Small Pints

          0.455 Litre? Sounds like some sort of US Pint, the Imperial Proper Pint is 0.568 Litre.

        2. Phil 54

          I'm sick and

          tired of being forced to drink metric beer here in France. It's depressing to count the shrapnel left in my pocket and automatically calculate that I drank 3.5 l of beer last night. I'd much rather leave it to a vague, foggy "few pints".

          n.b. although I also miss good old canadian pitchers (60 uk oz, or three pints)

    3. NB


      Because half a litre is 500ml whereas a pint is 568ml.

  5. Jonathan Walsh

    Beer today gone tomorrow

    It will just be used as an excuse to charge more for less.

    1. Robert Hill


      The whole REASON of standardizing on the pint and half pint was so that consumers ALWAYS knew what they would be getting as a measure. And prices standardised based upon those amounts, and price comparisons are EASY because of those standardised amounts.

      This will, frankly, end up costing all of us money in the pub. You will order a beer, and shock - you will get a schooner, but it will cost as much as the old pint. The pint WILL still be available, but at a slightly higher price. This won't happen all at once, and it won't happen everywhere - but happen it will, and we consumers will gradually "get used to it".

      "Rip-Off England" continues...

  6. Anomalous Cowturd

    Do not want...

    Only girls drink halves, and big girls drink pints.

    And I'm sure landlords up and down the land are relishing finding extra space for all these new glasses.

    1. Paul Shirley

      1/2 & 1/3 allow variety AND quantity

      When faced by 30+ ciders I want to try (a surprisingly common event) the 3'rd pint 'nip' is a lifesaver. The half is a poor substitute. Gives some chance of hitting the pub on the way home...

  7. Jeremy Chappell


    Err... Why?

    When was the last time anyone thought "you know what this half pint needs is another third of a pint"? Honestly? Anyone?

    Now I can remember the last time I thought "you what this pint needs is another one". Actually, no I'm not so sure I can...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Dapprman

    Schooner glasses have been around in the UK for a long time

    A Schooner (or shooner) is 4 fluid ounces (112 ml) and is the standard size for a large port or sherry (it's basically a double measure of either).

    1. hplasm

      And also-

      When the knobbly pint pots were still around, the tall slippy ones that are used today were known as schooners too...

  9. Jimbo 6

    Of course...

    IANAL (I am not a landlord) but this does probably mean that every pub cash till in the country will have to be replaced, with ones that have options of 'pint', 'half-pint' and 'somewhere-in-between', at a stonking great cost.

    The board of National Cash Registers are probably drinking to this already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm going to presume that you're a round-dodger

      as otherwise you would have noticed that the vast majority of pub tills are remotely reprogrammable front ends for the stock control system, so adding another size option isn't really that big a deal

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Stock Control

        My local still has an old fashioned till where the bar staff put in an amount for each drink and it adds them up, just like they did in the eighties when I worked behind a bar. The stock control is handled by the cellar man. Given the rotation of guest beers (draught and bottled) stock control on the tills would be a nightmare.

  10. stucs201

    Proper Pubs vs the rest

    I think they only 'pubs' that will care are those that charge 4 quid for a pint of fizzy piss (if you can even get a glass, rather than a 330ml bottle for the same price). These places will now take the opportunity to sell a 'schooner' for 4 quid. Proper pubs, selling proper beer will continue to do so in proper measures at proper prices (some can even still manage it in proper glasses with dimples and handles).

    1. guybles


      You, sir/madam, are absolutely right: the only people who will "accidentally" order the wrong size of beer are the ones ordering uber-trendy yellow water that they saw in an advert. If they are too lazy to discover real beer, then I'm happy to leave then to their ignorant overspending ways.

  11. Alpha Tony

    Stuff the schooners...

    Presumably if they can now sell in any size they choose, then they can sell beer in the German 1 Litre 'Maß'?

    I wholeheartedly applaud such a change and toast it with a a full litre of Teutonic über-bräu.

    1. stucs201
      Paris Hilton

      Stuff 1 litre

      I've got a 2 pint stein at home (to the line, extra room for a proper head). I did once persuade a pub to serve me in the similar glasses they had behind the bar for decorative purposes.

      (Paris? I mentioned head...)

  12. Old Tom

    2 * 1/3 in one glass

    Wikipedia tells me that an Australian Schooner is mostly 3/4 pint, but in some places it's 1/2 pint (or, historically less). If true, it would seem nonsensical to use that word to mean 2/3 pint. Especially when your classic convex sherry glass is already called a schooner.

    Meanwhile, as it's already allowed to sell 1/3 pint measures of hearty ale, it seems sensible that you should be able to sell 2/3 pint in one glass. (Provided it's lined and you actually get the volume you pay for...)

    P.S. I will never buy cold flavourless lager - whatever the size of the glass.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      1/3 of a pint... referred to as a "nip". It's the size of bottle used for selling barley wine (very strong sweet beer) like Marstons Owd Rodger or similar. The idea was that most people would find it difficult to drink a full pint of the stuff, both due to the sweetness and also the sledgehammer effect of the alcohol content.

      I once accidentally brewed something like this for a party, due to an error involved teaspoons vs tablespoons when adding sugar to the mash. My memory of actually drinking the stuff is now somewhat absent for reasons I can't remember....

      1. Just Thinking

        I've made similar mistakes

        while at the same time using wine yeast instead of beer yeast.

    2. Marky W

      @ Old Tom

      That would be a *concave* glass, I think you'll find. At least from the outside.

      1. fatchap


        All glasses are concave, otherwise the liquid would not stay in them!

        1. Tanuki
          Thumb Up

          Not all glasses are concave:

          ACME [otherwise known as our good friend Cliff Stoll] produces topologically non-concave drinking vessels:

      2. Old Tom


        I did mean concave; sadly my typing didn't match my thinking.

        More specifically, I meant concave-sided truncated inverted-cone-shaped glass.

  13. Futumsh

    What the article doesn't say is...

    .... typically in Australia and New Zealand, the schooner is served empty, accompanied by a 1 litre jug full of beer...

    1. Rattus Rattus


      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.

      1. Mark 65

        @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.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      Say what?


      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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    Not good.

    1. Marky W

      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).

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


        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".

        1. Marky W

          @ Grease Monkey




          #backs away slowly#



          #runs like the wind#

          1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

            @Marky W

            OK so what's your view of CAMRA then?

    2. The Original Ash

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was referring to the predictable Little Englander comments

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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pesky restrictions on bread sizes

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

  16. gerryg

    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.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    75ml of wine?

    Is that meant to be admistered intravenously?

  18. FanMan

    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.

    1. Helena Handcart

      If proof were needed

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


      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.


      1. Michael Xion

        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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


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

    1. BongoJoe

      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...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        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 :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "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!)

  22. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    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?

    1. Michael Jennings

      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.

  23. JimC

    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...

  24. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  25. 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.

    1. Cheese


      Carling? That would be Canadian then.

  26. Juan Inamillion


    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...?

  27. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "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.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        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.

  28. disgruntled yank


    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.

  29. 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.

    1. John Arthur
      Thumb Up


      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!

      1. Michael Jennings

        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.

  30. gildedtumbril

    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.

  31. JaitcH

    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.

  32. Blitheringeejit

    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 ...

  33. Real Name

    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

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When the glass comes with two straws?

    1. lpopman

      titularly inebriate

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

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

  35. James Dunmore

    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 !!

  36. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Nordrick Framelhammer

      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...........

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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 .

  38. Richard Porter

    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.

    1. Old Tom

      I'll call it a pint

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

  39. asdf

    bah no aussies took the bait

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

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

  40. Richard Porter


    "And we all know what happened to Bass, once the biggest brand in the world and now it doesn't really exist any more."

    And of course W*tney's R*d B*rrel, Double Diamond and Whitbred Tankard. The last disappeared as a result of laws preventing big brewers from owning pub chains.

    1. tumbleworld

      Whitbread? Bah.

      Good job too. I have way too much experience of Whitbread as a company, and frankly anything that cuts down the amount of minion-abuse they can dish out is a good thing!

  41. ffoulkes

    Too much choice?

    Tall glass, thin glass, schooner, vase, bowl, goblet or pipette?

  42. Splot


    I'm not sure you understand where the schooner has its place. At the cricket (or any other sport where Australia is loosing) there is nothing like making a schooner snake and pretending your national team has a hope of beating a side that has skill and application. You cannot make a schooner snake out of glasses with handles.

    I assume our Aussie farnarklers can still beat the pommy ones.

  43. Argus Tuft

    the only reason you lot like warm beer

    is to stop it freezing in winter...

    [wot - no beach icon?]

  44. Argus Tuft
    Paris Hilton

    the only reason you lot like warm beer

    is to stop it freezing in winter...

    [wot - no sunny beach icon? Have to make do with Paris as she knows all about schooners]

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      We don't like warm beer. Unless you consider 6 or 7 degrees to be warm. Ale is traditionally drunk warmer than lager, mostly because ale yeasts work at a higher temperature than lager yeasts. Back in the days before yeast was really understood if you brewed in summer you got ale and if you brewed in winter you got lager. This was before the days of temperature control so you drank lager colder than ale.

      However it is true that as the temperature approaches 0 centigrade you lose the ability to taste the liquid you're drinking. So presumably you drink your beer so cold because that way you don't have to taste the awful slop.

  45. Random aussie

    They're not very good at cricket either.

    That dig about aussie cricket was 'gold'. I would like to take umbrage but given how much we are being outplayed right now have to settle for having a good laugh along with you.

    Oh how the world has turned when aussie cricket fans are hoping for a good few days rain to try and save a test match :D top it off to drown my sorrow I have to drink beer out of smaller glasses as well!

  46. Mr Ian

    Pints > Schooners

    I'm an Aussie and I'll ask for a pint regardless of whether I'm at a restaurant, pub, nightclub, casino or having a barbie. When they say "Don't have pints, only schooners" I sigh dramatically. Bastards the lot of 'em.

  47. N2

    Lets go for a schooner of beer...

    Sounds decidedly camp to me

    Haven't you got better things to do Mr Willetts?

  48. Sil_W

    As a tee-totaller(*)...

    ...I'm probably not qualified to comment.

    As a keen advocate of metric measures - sorry, but there it is, they just make more sense to me - I'm probably even less qualified.

    But bearing those factors in mind, even I would quite happily see pubs retain the pint simply because *it's the measurement you use for buying beer*. It just is.

    Also milk.

    But other than that: metric, all round, definitely.


    (* Mostly. I will have the occasional ceremonial rum. For special occasions, you understand.)

  49. Paul Johnston

    Aussie Beer

    Once in the Queensland Outback we were at a little pub and I asked why the small glasses.

    I was told it was so the beer wouldn't get too warm as they didn't have aircon. Whilst happy about them not having air conditioning and agreeing it did make sense perhaps it was a little mean of me to say you could always drink faster.

    Funnily enough that didn't go down too well but it was 2005 during the Ashes.

  50. WaveyDavey

    Tulip, please

    Disclaimer: biased northerner

    My personal glass of preference is the 1 pint tulip glass - feels nice to the hand, and delivers a nice quantity of beer.

    I do not like the idea of losing the measure line - I don't trust pub chains not to short-measure me, and like the fact that trading standards enforce this. I also appreciate the pint-to-line / pint-to-top differential between (generally) northern beer (with a head) and southern beer (no head), and personally much prefer a head, but you southern weirdo's are perfectly within your rights to do it wrong <grin>.

    My problem with a half-pint glass is not looking like a jessie (I gave up worrying what I looked like some time ago), but that it feels to me that halves go down too bloody quick. I'm sure I drink two halves twice as fast as it takes me to sup my pint. Maybe it's just me.

    And tip of the hat to my local pub, owned by my local brewery - Ossett Brewery, served at the Tap. Carmel, you are a lovely barmaid, serving lovely, lovely Excelsior (5.2% ABV). I think I like it even more than Timothy Taylors Landlord.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      Yes Excelsior is nice although a little variable, however I am at a loss to understand why so many drinkers feel they have to quote the rated ABV of their tipple as if it were some sort of measure of quality.

      1. WaveyDavey


        I quoted it as an indicator that it would be a real good idea to *walk* to the Tap. And some folk don't like strong beer (there's nowt so queer as folk).

        You near-ish to Ossett Brewery then?

        1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


          Not far, but sometimes work takes me to Ossett.

        2. chr0m4t1c

          Good grief

          Is that Wavey Davey ex of CiX?

          Nice to see you still about.

          1. WaveyDavey


            one of the old BBS's ? Probably, but I'm getting that geriatric I can't remember where I used to frequent. Maybe it's the excelsior killing off the old brain cells.

  51. Ember

    Unspecified measures...

    ...seems to be also used when it comes to drafting the limits of authorities a minister has.....since when is the size of beer and bread within the authority of Science? Or are we lacking a proper Minister for Food that we have to resort to cross-disciplin? Or is it because all our food (including 'green' and 'organic') is genetically enhanced and labratory made?

  52. Anonymous Coward

    The reason for schooners

    Australians drink schooners (and sometimes 7oz glasses) so the beer does not get warm. This is obviously not a problem in UK even when the temperature is positive.

    The remarks about cricket have got to be fair comment.

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