Barley Mowat 

BC Can Now Serve A Pint

with one comment

There was rather a spot of noise in August ’09 over a Vancouver Sun article pointing out, quite truthfully, one of the myriad little catch-22s that our convoluted liquor laws create. The conundrum was as follows: any restaurant/bar advertising a pint of beer had to meet the official definition of the word “pint” according to the federal Weights and Measures act. For that matter, anyone selling a pint of anything needed to meet this definition:

1 Pint = 1/8 Gallon

and in anticipating your next question:

1 Gallon = 454,609/100,000,000 cubic metre (aside: what a FUCKED UP way to do this, eh?)

The math boils down to a pint being 568ml or thereabouts (20oz for those keeping score at home). No problem, we’ll just give you 20oz of beer if you order a “pint” then, and call other measures something non-sensical and obviously made up like “sleeve” (which is very noticeably NOT in the weights and measures act).

Not so fast, Sam. The BC Liquor Control Act, blissfully aware of such notions as “pints,” defines the maximum serving size for draught beer to be 500ml, putting us in a bit of a conundrum. Idiocy resulted, and a nationally run newspaper article was born (whose main focus, btw, was seeing what bar gave you when you ordered a pint–something slightly different and very enlightening, more at the end of this post).

So, for a few weeks the whole province got into an uproar about the pointlessness of this whole affair, complete with legislators talking out their ass about how hard and so very not-worth-their-time changing the law in question would be. Then someone famous did something stupid, a new front page article was born and everyone seemingly simultaneously agreed that the best thing to do was drop the subject and never speak of it again.

And that’s how we missed a quick update to the act in March of 2010 upping the draught beer serving size to 24oz, or 680ml, to correct this oversight. So what’s my point? Quite simply this: we, as a group, noticed something stupid about our liquor laws, made an uproar and–this is the key part–not quite a year later the government changed the law to make us happy.

Think on that one a bit.

Appendix: According to the article in question, here are various around-town bar-type places and what they give you when you explicitly order a “pint” (and have the server explicitly confirm that a “pint” is what you are getting).

Metro Vancouver Average: 17oz
Golden Spike, Port Moody: 14oz
Mountain Shadow, Burnaby: 15.1oz
The Cambie, Vancouver: 17.5oz
University Golf Club, UEL: 17.5oz
Steamworks, Vancouver: 19.4oz
Jimy Mac’s, Langley: 19.4oz

Last note: Please please please go to the link to the article and read the bit about how the Mountain Shadow took the news concerning its short pints. It’s absolutely priceless.

Written by chuck

January 27th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Beer and You

One Response to 'BC Can Now Serve A Pint'

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  1. Thanks for the update! Just hope that the bars/restaurants and taphouses start serving true pints again!
    Goes to show you that we can effect change!


    1 Feb 11 at 10:55

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