If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Honest Pint Still in the News

I somehow missed this: the AP picked up the Honest Pint story. This link is to a Seattle Times story, and I'd like to draw your attention to the comments. Recall the bizarre reaction Janie Har's story got last week in the Oregonian? Well, the Washingtonians are a little bit less unhinged. And envious. A sampling:
imjustsayin
A full pint AND no sales tax...

I'm moving south
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groverdill
About time. I hope Washington gets on board with this. All over Europe it's mandatory to fill to the "line". If a bartender doesn't, then you go ask for a new pour. It's pretty ridiculous that there's no standard here.
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boogiedown
I don't even drink any more and I'm in favor of this idea. If a business claims that it's main product contains 16 ounces then it better bloody well contain 16 ounces.
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crossingwa
Why didn't the Washington legislature think of this first? How long will it take for us to catch up with our Oregonian brethren on this key issue?
My mom, who has a friend in Colorado, phoned to pass on word that the Denver Post also has a story today on the Honest Pint Act. They give me a mite too much credit, though, failing to mention that it was, in fact, Jules who champions it. What I find amusing is the rather dismissive reaction they get from locals.

Chris Black, who oversees Falling Rock Tap House in LoDo, is less frothed up than Alworth over the issue. "If you call it 'a glass' it doesn't matter. In the U.S., how we measure glassware is different than elsewhere — say, in Germany or England."

Charlie Papazian, one of the industry's leading advocates and president of the Boulder-based Brewers Association, has heard it all before. "That issue and that notion about full pints has been around for years."

You'd expect more from the Napa of Beer, wouldn't you?

Finally, Draft Magazine noted the story, as well.

16 comments:

Mark said...

I think "Napa of Beer" says it all, doesn't it? If Denver wishes to be compared to that part of California, they are welcome to it. They will certainly never be Beervana.
The Honest Pint is a movement that cannot be stopped, I think. No matter what some tavern owners might wish, consumers are on a roll with improved regulation. (I know the Honest Pint legislation is about certification, not regulation, but why quibble) If the G20 countries want tighter regulation of financial markets, it's a done deal that we will want our full 16 oz of beer, or 20 oz if you're still part of the British Empire.

SirRon said...

Here's the thing... if businesses found themselves making less money because they were pouring more, price would just go up. When you plunk down $5 for a glass of beer, you are getting what the bar decided was the price point for their servings. Any change would just result in a new price. Why quibble over what probably is a matter of quarters (or less).

I'm surprised Charlie didn't just say, "Relax, have a homebrew instead."

Jeff Alworth said...

Ron, the problem is, five bucks may get you anything from 12-13 ounces (cheater pint) to 14-15 (16-ounce glass) to 18 ounces (imperial pint). Calling them all "pints" isn't exactly clear, is it?

SirRon said...

Yes... I suppose that this issue depends on whether the bar calls them "pints" or "drafts", eh?

By the way... great blog. I visited Portland on a brewery journey that doubled as my cousin's bachelor party. Both of us coming from Texas where a breweries are few and far between, Portland truly was Beervana. Cheers!

Jared said...

Hey, I made a mistake and made a statement on my blog without first clarifying it. I just assumed from what I'd read on here that you were going to cut back on the Honost Pint project now. With the honost pint bill introduced are you going to cut back on your Honost Pint community program? Or are you going to keep it active and even go on top of the Oregon one?

dr wort said...

I don't care if pub calls the beer container a Stein... Everything should have a weight and measure in regard to public sales.

We live in a carefree nation where people just take what they get and ask no questions. It's time we start asking questions.

If a pub wants to pour me a "glass" of beer, that "GLASS" should have a standard measure too.

If a pub wants to raise their price a nickle to serve a real 16 oz. pint, then so be it.

I find it funny no one argues that the European measured "Line" glasses are stupid. If it's good enough for the Europeans, maybe it's good enough for us. They use marked glasses for Soda pop and other beverages too..

I say lets just do it right and regulate all the glassware measurments. If not, someone will be forging those "Honest Pint" stickers by day two of the campain.

;-}

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dr wort said...

I think the Middle East just made a statement!

SirRon said...

I may be marginalizing the issue, but here are a few more thoughts:

- When you walk into a pub, if you don't notice what people are drinking out of... your skills of observation are seriously lacking.

- If by chance you are the only person in the pub, and you are curious what that $5 beer on the menu is served in, and you don't have the gumption to ask your server... then you have some social issues or you are too oblivious to care anyway.

- I'll say it... kinda. The European glasses aren't "stupid," just completely unnecessary and won't really mean the same thing on this side of the pond. On top of that, standardizing something doesn't turn it into tradition. If you don't have any traditions in your life to compare it to, wiki some.

- Jeff's stance on the issue (I'm taking some liberties here that I understand where he stands based on his posts) is a good one. His grass roots project was noble and good for the community (it only affects those that care). The political issue is worthless and unnecessary.

- Why do you drink at a pub? Certainly it can't be your only means of getting intoxicated. It's more than that... and more than I care to spill out in this comment section. If a bar doesn't promote those feelings of why you want to go there in the first place, then most likely you won't be buying a beer there in the first place. The "bad" places will get weeded out naturally. *That's* the American way. *That's* what is great about blogs like this. It reminds us of what we believe in (posts about why we love beer)... without tell us what to believe in (frivolous legislation).

Anonymoose said...

even Muslim countries want an Honest Pint.

Jared said...

Cheers SirRon,

You and I are on the same page with this. I would add another bit to your points though.

Value in a semi free market society like ours should be determined by the consumer, not the government. I go to bars that serve cheaters because I like those particular bars. I don't mind paying $5 for 2-4oz less of beer. Why should I feel I'm being ripped off when I have the option and means of choosing another place that gave me those extra 2oz? If I didn't have a choice in buying beer then I might gripe, but as far as I know drinking a beer is still a choice.

Also what else should be measured to protect the consumer? Would you people like your water glasses to have a standard measurement? What about the tea cups at Chinese resteraunts? What about your soup bowl? Should what constitutes a portion of food be measured and designated?

@Jeff

When I go to a bar I either order a glass, or a beer. I don't often ask for a pint. Despite that fact it always comes in a cheater pint or a pint. So to me it seems clear. I ask for a glass, and I get whatever glass that place uses filled with beer.

Jared said...

Cheers SirRon,

You and I are on the same page with this. I would add another bit to your points though.

Value in a semi free market society like ours should be determined by the consumer, not the government. I go to bars that serve cheaters because I like those particular bars. I don't mind paying $5 for 2-4oz less of beer. Why should I feel I'm being ripped off when I have the option and means of choosing another place that gave me those extra 2oz? If I didn't have a choice in buying beer then I might gripe, but as far as I know drinking a beer is still a choice.

Also what else should be measured to protect the consumer? Would you people like your water glasses to have a standard measurement? What about the tea cups at Chinese resteraunts? What about your soup bowl? Should what constitutes a portion of food be measured and designated?

@Jeff

When I go to a bar I either order a glass, or a beer. I don't often ask for a pint. Despite that fact it always comes in a cheater pint or a pint. So to me it seems clear. I ask for a glass, and I get whatever glass that place uses filled with beer.

dr wort said...

Hmmmm.... Why do we ALL go to pubs? Good question! We can all go out a buy a 6-pack for $8 vs $5 for ONE beer too... Maybe take that six-pack to a friends house and socialize there. Maybe even get a group of people together at one persons house.

I guess we go to pubs to socialize with OTHERS and to get out of the house. The cost to leave your houses comes with a price... $5 a pint vs $8 a 6-pack. We're already losing more cash leaving the house, shouldn't we all get our $5 worth? Or is that not considered fair enough?

That 6-pack of beer is placed in well calculated measures, why not my $5 pint? The mark up for $5 pint is huge! Why accept anything less? Laziness? Convenience? Where's the good argument to accept less than what you should be paying for? Because it's been THIS way for 80 years? That's just oversight for a long period of time....

If you bought a 6-pack and there was bottle missing, would you think "Oh, well... 5 bottles is GOOD ENOUGH." NO! You'd want that 6th bottle. Same should goes for a pint or glass of beer. Why accept less? Our country regulates Weights and Measure for about 100% of retail products. An apple isn't 25 cents, it's bought by cost per pound. "PER POUND."

I think the Honest Pint program is good start or stepping stone. I'm taking anything away from that...

SirRon said...

I'm probably 1 comment away from being banned... but...

I bought 3 Gala apples for a buck last weekend. I also bought a six pack (for more than $8). The packaging said 6 12-oz bottles.

Earlier this week I went to a pub after work. I ordered a Real Ale ESB. There was no packaging that came with my ESB. The menu didn't specify volume or weight (I don't know how we got into a weight discussion, I believe we are only taking about fluid ounces and not dry ounces). There was a little head. No worries. The pub had not advertised, published, or promised a volume per serving. The implication was they would fill their bar glass with ESB and I would pay them the amount it said on the menu. If I had asked them to top it off after the head went down, they probably would have. If I asked for a sidecar to meet a certain fluid ounce standard, they probably would have cut me off.

dr wort said...

@ SirRon and others

Your opinions are valid.

I understand what you are saying. It's all about social norms. We go to a Grocery Store and we buy products by proper weights and measures. Then we go to pub and order a beer.... and we get a beer. We don't usually think about the amount of beer in the glass, we just "get a beer." It's the way things are... I'm sure 90% of the nation is used to this commerce interaction. 90% of the nation can't be faulted for following regular social commerce.

That said, there's 10% (maybe more) who ARE wondering how much is in that glass of beer and should that amount be accounted for when purchasing? A purchase of goods is a purchase of goods. Why is it OK to regulate MOST purchased goods, but not others?

Do we want to buy or even think about buying a 16 oz bowl of soup? Not really.... We assume that a "BOWL" means a BOWL, but there is no standard measurement for a bowl... is there? If there WAS a standard accountable measurement for a bowl, glass, pint, stein or tea cup; We might NOT have to wonder if we were getting our money's worth.

I guess it's personal preference how one spends their own money. I want to get what I pay for... Others can throw their 2-4 ozs of beer away and not care about it. That's fine.... Your choice. If all works well, even the guy who doesn't care will get his monies worth too.

So keep buying whatever you feel comfortable with paying, some of us want to fight for different standard of commerce. In the end, the guy who doesn't care won't be hurt either way.... Right?

If you support the "Honest Pint Project" great! If not, I'm sure you won't care about paying 5 cents more for an honest pint. So, if you're not on the bandwagon that's fine, you really don't have much to lose either way, so there's really not much discussion on your side.. ;-}

It's easy to conform, it's much harder to make a difference. ;-}

Corey said...

Reading all this ounce to money ratios are making me thirsty. Have you guys a beer today?

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