Oi! British pint glasses recalled for shorting drinkers 8 milliliters

Illustration for article titled Oi! British pint glasses recalled for shorting drinkers 8 milliliters
Photo: Sally Anscombe (Getty Images)

A “large number” of glasses were seized from a restaurant chain in Birmingham, England after a “significant complaint” led to an official investigation. That investigation, reports the BBC, discovered that a brand of pint glass was 8.1 milliliters short of an Imperial pint, leading to a nationwide recall of the glass.


8ml is roughly 1.64 teaspoons. These glasses were one and a half teaspoons too small. People were being robbed of a smidge of beer. England is amazing.

A spokesman for the Birmingham City Council told the BBC that “the supplier and retailer took corrective action to remove all the glassware from use and supply with immediate effect.” The council declined to name either the chain or the supplier “because the case did not result in a prosecution,” a delightfully old-fashioned notion.

An Imperial pint is 20 Imperial ounces, and is slightly larger than our sorry American pints. If you come across a glass with a Crown Stamp, you’re looking at an Imperial pint. If you try to tell a Brit that their pint is a pint when it is not a pint, they will apparently politely complain until said not-pint pints are removed from circulation, and everyone gets more beer.

The BBC’s piece ends with this delightful quote, on which I cannot improve:

Labour councillor Mile Leddy, a member of the Licensing and Public Protection committee, said: “To come between a man and his pint of beer is one thing, but to come between a man and his short pint of beer is another.”

Off for a pint, see you ‘round the pub.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!



Ah, but those teaspoons add up.

There’s long been a debate over what constitutes a pint. Do you allow for the head or not, for example? It’s kind of reassuring to see these things enforced. There is a petition running to put the crown back on a pint glass to indicate that is what you are getting.

I think I’m right in saying that third and two-thirds measures are legal, so long as customers know what they are getting. But in half an hour if I ask for two-thirds of a pint in the pub I suspect I will get some strange looks.