The Government is set to change the law and allow two thirds of an imperial pint to become a legal measure in the UK. The industry believes it will offer greater flexibility for serving draught beer and cider, especially those with a higher alcohol content. “There is no question of replacing the British pint, but introducing the option of a new imperial measure is good news for consumers, providing them with more choice," said Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson.
I suppose there is a logic to this as thirds are a legal measure, but I suspect this is not so much a widening of choice, but a part of the continual demonising of alcohol by pushing smaller measures overall. I don't know of anyone who has campaigned for this and I've never heard it as a topic of conversation among drinkers, or indeed the trade. Will it make a difference? Well being of the persuasion that suspects the worst, it may be that some unscrupulous sellers of beer will use this as an excuse to either sell two thirds for the current price of a pint, or will sell two thirds not at pro rata, but at a premium. I can imagine that glass manufacturers will be trying to design a glass that looks as much like a pint glass as possible. I rather doubt if it will be done by using lined glasses with the two thirds being an option. The on trade has always resisted such glasses and as the push apparently comes from the trade, who have never bothered with using thirds, you have to suspect motives, especially when the Government goes along with it.
What do you think?
It isn't known when this will happen, as it needs a change to primary legislation.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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