New Bill Would Ensure All Pints of Beer Are Really 16-Ounces

Michigan pols become the latest to advocate for so-called "honest pints"

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Two Michigan representatives are raising their glasses to a bill that would make it an “offense” to serve or advertise a pint that contains fewer than 16 ounces of beer, The Detroit Free-Press reports.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), would amend the state Liquor Control Act to ensure customers are getting the most bang for their buck, while local bar owners argued that they don’t want to replace all of their pint-style glasses, many of which come in 12-ounce or “thick-bottomed” 14-ounce sizes.

The Michigan proposal is just the latest in the movement for state-regulated pint standards, nicknamed “honest pints.” For context, the approximately 20-ounce “Imperial Pint” is the government-regulated standard in the U.K., and those glasses have been specially marked, the Wall Street Journal reported. Stateside, Oregon beer blogger Jeff Alworth has been one of the major advocates, co-founding the “Honest Pint Project” in 2007, where he has catalogued pubs nationwide that serve fuller pints on his website and has lobbied the Oregon state legislature to pass 16-ounce standards — though the bill did fail to pass in the state senate.

The amount of head or foam may reduce the amount of beer in glasses. Last month, right before the start of Oktoberfest in Munich, tent officials cautioned workers to avoid underserving revelers, after The Local reported that pours at last year’s festival contained too much head, and many Steins had 0.8 liters of beer instead of a full liter.

In general, however, bartenders say so-called “cheater pints” make for bitter customers. As Frank Martucci of the United States Bartenders’ Guild told Marketwatch in July, “What we strive for is to get guests back in the door again.”

We’ll drink to that.