A friend of mine from Scotland always jokes about the number of microbreweries in the US: “microbreweries are huge here!”. Micro..huge…get it?
But you know what is not huge in the US microbreweries? Pints.
Let’s take a look at the definition.
Pint: 1. A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 1/8 gallon or 16 ounces (0.473 liter). 2. A unit of volume or capacity in the British Imperial System, used in dry and liquid measure, equal to 0.568 liter.
Okay, so here we can see that for whatever reason the US pint is about 20% smaller than British pint. And in ounces, a US pint is 16oz and UK pint is 20oz.
The culture of drinking pints at a pub is very much borrowed from our British friends. But we are served a much smaller pint here, which just makes me think of the shrinkification problem.
This thought was spurred by a recent visit to a brewery. At some point I looked at a glass I was holding, and I knew straight away it wasn’t 16oz. It probably was 12, but might have even been 11. I noticed that just a few years ago, you were able to order a true pint at many breweries (well, a US pint, 16oz). It wan’t most, but enough that it was noticeable when you didn’t get a full 16oz pint. These days, however, 12oz “pints” is all we seem to get here in the US. Disappointingly, even at an English pub locally the default pint size is 12oz.