UK Unveils New (Smaller) Beer Size

When it comes to enjoying a pint, Britain isn’t exactly known for their flexibility. In fact, the English are anything but relaxed when it comes to pub glass sizes. Just read my post from April and you’ll realize that they’re pretty serious about their weights and measures.

That rigidity seems to be softening. Soon pubs will be able to serve a smaller beer containing about 400 milliliters. The same size drink is already popular in parts of Australia, where it’s known as a schooner.

According to their Science Minister David Willetts, the rules are changing to better suit “modern waistlines and wallets.”

The British pint (a 568 milliliters pour) was introduced in 1698 and has been the only acceptable size for beer and cider ever since. Currently, bars are only allowed to serve beer as a pint, or as a third or a half of that measure.

Now, they’ll be able to serve smaller glasses of beer and wine. Some say the change may help the British government reduce their country’s thirst for alcohol – which seems to be unquenchable. While alcohol consumption has fallen in many European countries over the last three decades, it’s increased about 40% in Britain.

All of my extended family lives in England and I must say, they can drink. When they come to visit us here, we can hardly keep up. I doubt that offering a smaller size option will convince everyone to consume less but either way, it’s always nice to have options.



  • Hannah January 5, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Sounds like the boys at BrewDog got what they wanted!

  • brewner January 5, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    personally, i’m for the option of smaller serving sizes. i’m a big fan of the half pour (if priced appropriately) so i can have more variety. i don’t typically go out to get tanked, but to try different beers, and smaller sizes affords me that option.

  • Hannah January 5, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Brewner – I’m with you. The new size is also large enough to get an accurate reading of the brew, as opposed to a half or third pint size.

  • Gman January 7, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Ridiculous they might as well turn the pint glass into a measuring glass with ml all the way up it

  • DLancer January 7, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The pint is an optimum size for a wonderful English brew. With the availability of a third or a half pour, there is no need to “Americanize”, (i.e., a pound of coffee is now 12 oz., a 5-lb. bag of sugar is now 4 lb.) and call a pint 400 ml. Fine, I guess, but I can see the smaller glass replacing the full pint glass. Again, you want less, then order less, like the thire or half.

  • Hannah January 7, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    DLancer – I have a feeling the traditional English pint is here to stay, after all, it’s been around for quite some time. Some of us feel – even our friends at BrewDog, across the pond – that a third or half pint isn’t quite enough of a taste to truly experience a craft brew. I’m digging the fourth 400ml measure.

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