Years ago in Stirling Scotland I likely got my only true pint of beer. The fluid crested over the glass holding it through the miracle of surface tension and the bartender told me to lean over and take a first draw off the top to avoid losing too much. That was a fine pint. Every other of the 63,574 glasses of beer I've had, well, I assume they are pretty much near enough and don't really worry that much.
But there are those who have questions. NPR ran a news story last week about a movement in Portland Oregon to standardize glasses in response to "falsies" or "cheaters," the latter being my word for the drug store reading glasses I now seem to wear. "Falsies" appear to be slightly related to the Aussie question of what is a "pot" and what is a "schooner" as both they relate to uncertainty as to the size of a measure. As the Wall Street Journal explained last June, "falsies" are 14 ounce glasses that look like 16 ounce ones. So, unlike CAMRA's campaign for the full pint and against short pouring, a "falsie" is full but not perhaps the measure as expected. For some, falsies are very bad indeed.
Associated with this is an overabundance of beer sizes which have left some in the UK concerned over the proposed two-thirds pints glass. As the Times of London reported this weekend:
...a two-thirds pint could become a standard measure in bars and restaurants next year under proposals announced yesterday by the National Weights and Measures Laboratory...The concept of a "twother" for the sale of draught beer and cider is included in a shake up of weights and measures out for consultation until the new year. Other proposals are to allow pubs, supermarkets and wine merchants to sell small measures of wine less than 75ml for tastings and samplings, and to ban 250ml servings of wine by setting 175ml as the maximum serving.
Again, for many, a two-thirds pint will be a very bad thing indeed, too. There is huge attachment to the measure of the pint in the UK to the point that even the 2007 exchange of the crown for a EU symbol on each glass indicating legal measurement caused consternation - not to mention discussion in Parliament.
I think my lack of concern with falsies and full pints is that I am Canadian. We live in a mixed up world where some measures are the English imperial one, some are US-based and some more are metric. As a result, I tend to think of whatever is in front of me as the proper measure of itself. Am I a soft mark? I don't think so. See, the first thing is I am so grateful to actually find a glass of beer in Canada worth pondering that I seldom ponder its true length. Then, I have no sense that we have standard price of beer as each pub, tavern or bar I have ever graced sets prices that seem to have more to do with the class of establishment rather than the quality of beer in the glass. Finally, the glassware you will be served can be anything from eight to twenty ounces if you ask, as most Canadians do, for "a beer" - the range being illustrated so very poorly up there to the left from this 2004 post of mine.
Maybe you have different thoughts? Maybe this is a cultural thing? Maybe it's just me but I sort of value the session out by other things than a 4% +/- variance on glass fills.