Make Mine A Two-thirds, Barman

Friday, September 30, 2011

COULD I have a venti Heineken and a grande Carlsberg please? This could be a new order in Irish pubs now that beer companies are making plans to offer Starbucks-style drink measurements.

Heineken has begun rolling out “schooner”-size glasses in UK pubs. The schooner, roughly two-thirds the size of a pint, is a popular measure in Australian pubs. Carlsberg, for its part, is bringing out a new glass for its Staropramen and Mahou lagers, so drinkers will have an alternative to a glass or a pint.

The thinking behind the new measures is that they will curb excessive drinking (good luck with that) and make lager a more attractive option to female drinkers. Quite why offering a new in-between size of beer measure would suddenly make the drink more attractive to women remains something of a mystery.

The current pint measurement is seen as old-fashioned, reeking of old men in snugs. The glass (half-pint) measure, meanwhile, was never taken seriously and made little economic sense. It’s hard to see a request for “two-thirds of a pint, please” becoming common in Irish pubs, so expect these new schooner-size measures, if and when they arrive here, to have some suitably fashionable and urban name once beer-company marketing departments can think one up.

In the UK, the government has had to change licensing laws to allow the introduction of the new measure.

It’s not just beer sizes that are being changed in the UK. As it stands, there is a minimum size for a glass of wine, of about 125ml, but there are plans to scrap this limit so that wine can be ordered in measures of 50ml and 70ml.

No word yet, though, on whether we’ll be able to order our two-thirds of pint “to go”.

Source: Brian Boyd, http://www.irishtimes.com

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