The English take their beer seriously. Very seriously. In fact, the Weights and Measures Act of 1985 makes it illegal for a bartender to under-pour a pint. Now, the City of London is doing something about enforcement. The government is distributing a handy gauge to check your pour and offering advice on action to punters who have not received a proper pint.
The campaign is centered in the Square Mile, London’s financial district. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) previously expressed concern that the banker filled pubs in the area are short-changing their guests.
So, City of London Corporation Trading Standards officers are responding with a multi-pronged attack. At the vanguard is an effort to flood the area with coasters. On side asks, “Did your pint measured up?” On the other side of the coaster is a handy measure of your pour. When aligned with the top of a pint glass, the tool will measure head to brew ratios.
In addition, a website and hotline was set up allowing pub-goers to report bars that under-pour. Finally, every bar and pub in London received written notice from the Standards office reminding them of the need to pour a proper beer.
The government urges drinkers to first ask their bartender to remedy the situation by topic them off. If the problems persists, there is help available. The City urges “Please give us the name and location of the pub, the type of beer involved and the date and time of the sale. You could even send us a photo of your short measure pint on your smart phone if you wanted to. It would also be helpful to have your name and contact telephone number but you don’t have to provide this.”
However, the government isn’t blind to the challenges of the proper pint. The website notes that the problem may be a result of widespread use of “brim pour” glasses. As these glasses are exactly one pint, it is basically impossible to pour a pint of liquid. The agency suggests that 95% liquid and 5% head is acceptable with these glasses, but suggests that all pubs use the better proportioned “line pour” glasses.