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The public service campaign reminds pub-goers that serving under-filled pints is against the law. Amen.

Mike Pomranz
February 02, 2018

As we’ve discussed in the past, the Brits take their beer pours very seriously. Thanks to the county’s Weights and Measures Act of 1985, it’s literally against the law for a British pub to short you on a pint – and that means literal liquid. If you wait for the foam to settle, you can still request your pint be properly topped off, and for many longtime pub goers, doing so is a point of pride. (It’s kind of one of the most endearing things about the UK.) But just in case you need more proof of the gravity of a short pour, Trading Standards officers with the City of London have launched a public awareness campaign on the topic – even handing out beer coasters with markings that can be used the measure just how poor your pour may have been.

Courtesy of The City of London Corporation

“Does your pint measure up?” the official City of London coasters (or as they call them in the UK, “beer mats”) state on the front. “It’s OK to ask for a top-up,” the back continues. “Find out more about short measure beer and how to complain if your pint is too small: cityoflondon.gov.uk/shortmeasure.” But beyond this friendly advice, the coaster also doubles as a measuring stick: When it’s held to the rim of the glass, four lines help to tell you whether your pint is 5, 10, 15 or 20 percent short.

Courtesy of The City of London Corporation

Though as Americans who are used to pours being anywhere from subjective to downright inaccurate (dear America, a “pint” is a glass size, not a glass shape!) we may think London must have bigger fish to fry, but the city’s Trading Standards Service has framed the initiative as a way of preventing drinkers from getting ripped off. “Consumers are well within their rights to make sure they get exactly what they've paid for,” Steve Playle, Trading Standards manager at the City of London Corporation, said according to The Sun. “It's worth remembering that for a pint costing £5, a shortage of 5 per cent is a 25p cost to the consumer. Drinkers are entirely within their rights to ask for a full pint of liquid if they wish.”

Getting the beer you paid for. What a novel idea!