The obligatory use of pints and prescribed fractions thereof for draught beer and cider alongside the absence of restrictions when sold in cans and bottles creates anomalies and confusion. What can be done to remove these anomalies without creating new ones?
In Australia, jugs and glasses with standard sizes and relevant markings in millilitres could show the way forward for the UK. Here are some examples:
These images show glasses for serving 285 ml and 425 ml of draught beer, which are soft conversions for half pint and three-quarter pint quantities. These sizes are now called a “midi” and a “schooner” respectively. Australia also has 330 ml glasses for draught beer. The jug shows a quantity of 1140 ml, a soft conversion for two pints.
By allowing glasses of different sizes, including sizes for soft conversions for half pint and a pint, the UK could allow drinkers more choice. As long as the glasses bear the CE mark and the glass displays the quantity in millilitres on the bottom, this could be a way of implementing one consistent measure for serving draught beer and cider and removing the need for the use of pints. The UK could use a similar approach for beer and cocktail jugs but use a marked horizontal line to show the quantity in millilitres.
By using this approach, the UK could abolish the official use of pints in the same way that Australia has done. Australia has used a mixture of soft and hard conversions for draught beer and that could allow the use of different glass sizes in pubs. It makes no sense that British drinkers can buy 330 ml beer bottles and 440 ml and 500 ml beer cans in pubs but cannot buy these quantities of draught beer.