Wednesday, 5 January 2011

A Glass Half Full


So the Gummint is hastening along the introduction of the two thirds of a pint measure. Some will welcome this, but for me it is somewhat of a gimmick disguised as broadening choice. It's a non event; a distraction, though I if I try very, very hard, I can see the odd time when it might be attractive. Maybe when your last bus is in 10 minutes? Not enough times to make it worthwhile anyhow and there is potentially a more sinister down side. You can see in your minds eye places where this will be welcomed for less than wholesome reasons. Think night clubs, outside events such as football matches, racecourses, concerts etc. and of course, the new wave of specialist bar where I can easily foresee that the pint will be supplanted by a two thirds measure at the same price. So to me, at best it is a tinkering irrelevance and at worst a Trojan Horse whereby the unscrupulous may deceive, or use it as an excuse to charge more for less.

Of course the ordinary pub is likely to be unaffected some will say. They haven't the space, time, inclination or demand for it. It will remain like the third of a pint, a legal curiosity which is rarely observed or used. It's harmless. Maybe. But to those that think this is a brilliant innovation, I'd just warn of the law of unintended consequences and that other law. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I see BrewDog claim the credit for this and say also "If we weren’t so busy brewing, we would probably be able to solve most of the world’s problems." They probably believe both things to be true!

18 comments:

Baron Orm said...

I can see your point about the negative sizes and also that the regular pub is not going to start selling Jennings Bitter in 2/3pt glasses but I do think it offers glassware suitable for decanting 300-355ml bottles as well as a suitable measure for 6%+ ales.

Mark said...

But Peter, you strike as the sort of person who regularly has an empty glass with 10 minutes spare before the last bus!

And why will a 2/3 come in at the same price as a pint in specialist bars?!

If it ain't broke, don't fix isn't quite the right phrase - this is an additional option, not a 'fix' to what's already there, such as a handle on the nonic or a lid.

And think of the women! Think of the possibility of stemmed glassware! Think of those who want to drive home from the pub and can't risk a full pint! I know it's only going to be relevant in a few places but I like that the option is now there, like going to the Indian and they offer a curry in medium or large.

Tandleman said...

Baron: Doesn't changing imperial measures to suit metric bottles strike you as an odd argument?

Mark. I agree if that's how it works out, but there is always the unscrupulous waiting to take advantage.

I mention specialist bars (selling strong beers) as likely candidates for the glass. It is an argument that you yourself have put forward. I am merely extrapolating it to a possible conclusion. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out though. I hope to be wrong.

Leigh said...

I can see your points - as always - but I just like the idea of having another option to try more beer in a session. Isnt that the same as having half-pints at festivals? People still drink pints there. Like i say, your points about unscrupulous practise probably will happen - but I still want to see these in pubs (really hope I'm right on this one)!!

Curmudgeon said...

The argument that "non-traditional" venues will suddenly start selling schooners for the price of a pint doesn't really stand up. Are they going to stop selling pints, or will they put the price of a pint up by 50%? People aren't going to be able to pass off schooners as the equivalent of a pint (which they might if half litres were permitted).

If this takes off in a big way, what I can see it doing is not supplanting the pint but supplanting the half. After all, I've been in bars in Germany where the glass sizes on offer are 0,5l and 0,33l.

RedNev said...

So BrewDog are ripping off the old Heineken line now? "If BrewDog did politics, they'd probably be the best politicians in the world!"

Flagon of Ale said...

It is pure gimmick. I feel like I should be watching an infomercial whenever someone talks about the 2/3 pint. You guys have some real catching up to do, too. We've been pouring 2/3 pints in the US by default for decades without even needing to advertise is as such. It seems we're ahead of the curve.
And I hope they measure those 2/3 pints very precisely. 10 ounces is not a 2/3 pour, it's 5/8. I shudder to think that a short pour 2/3 pint might leave you with an unthinkable half pint.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear Tandleman - the voice of independent reason. Dredge & co are now just towing the party line after taking the Brewdog/Fullers shilling. It'll all end in a keg/schooners/cans of beery mess. That'll match nicely with some celery compote or other.

ennislaw said...

Hmm. What's wrong with the half?

Just wondering from across the pond (where nothing involving alcohol makes sense).

Ghost Drinker said...

I think it's a great idea, and really good to see that 300 year old laws can be changed. The pubs I frequent regularly have strong beers on from local brewers (in particular Elland) and it would be good to have more choice in measures. After all what's so wrong with a little more choice? We have so much choice when it comes to how we eat in restaurants, (if we don't want a side of something we ask the chef not to put it on). Why do we not apply the same amount of choice to how we drink as-well, ask for what you want. If you want a pint fine, a half... fine, 2 thirds..... fine! Besides at the end of the day were all still going to get the beer in the glass - thats what really matters!

Tandleman said...

I think Ghostie that I must refer you again to the law of unintended consequences.

Tandleman said...

@Mark. I forgot to respond to your point about women. I can agree with your first statement. "Think of women"!

I do. Can't see it attracting many women the old two third thingy though. And I never miss my last bus. (-;

@ Mudgie I think my argument does stand up. It is hardly arithmetically difficult to understand that there is advantage in dropping the pint for a two third measure and charging the same.

As for supplanting the half? Not a likely scenario I'd venture.

Velky Al said...

I have said this a couple of other places but I am really not convinced that the argument of "expanded choice" stacks up.

If I go to the 2/3 option, then I can try three beers for the same volume as 2 pints, but if I stick with a half pint, then I can have 4 - so does it in fact restrict choice, especially if pubs ditch the half for the 2/3.

As for thinking about the ladies, what patronising shite. And why would I want to think about the possibility of stemmed glassware? Has beer really become a poncey lifestyle accessory? Does anyone really believe that 150ml(ish) of beer will tip people over the edge?

As for the specialist beer bars, just another example of the poncification of beer - we don't need specialist beer bars (too close to wine bars for my tastes), when we have pubs, we just need more selection in said pubs. Saying that makes me wonder how many beer geeks are just like Del Boy when he went to a wine bar - you know the scene!

Totally and utterly pointless is the 2/3.

Ghost Drinker said...

If it ain't broke - improve it, or let it stagnate.

Tandleman said...

Yep these third, half and pint measures, plus whatever you want in a bottle, plus free tasters, sharing etc etc is a sure sign that the market is being held back.

Paul Garrard said...

As the Reluctant Scooper blogged, it is only a glass. Now if there was a compulsory handle on it then I think I might get exercised about. Otherwise I don't think it really matters.

Mickey Smarte said...

BrewDog are claiming credit for this?

Fair enough if they want to brew American beers, but do we have to have them kegged like American beers and served in American sized glasses, from an American style beer bar?

Being so keen to be American makes me wonder why they even bother being in Britain?

Ghost Drinker said...

I agree with Scooper, I'm tired of this argument already, it is just a glass. I'm off for (2/3rds of) a pint ;)